This article is the continuation of my articles written in May and June on eliminating objections before they come up in your canvassing presentation.
The article in May focused on the canvassing introduction/ offer and lead capture. The article in June focused on eliminating objections in appointment setting and wrapping up the appointment to keep it warm.
The entire methodology of my system is to eliminate objections. If you’ve not read the first 2 articles in this series, I suggest you go back and review those in the archives before reading this article. Canvass King members can also download the live Silver Telecoaching calls from the membership site.
The entire goal of your canvassing efforts is to get an appointment, not just a lead, but that comes in the second offer in my presentation. So many misunderstand the change in my approach as being only to get a lead. My approach is a more natural progression in the relationship you have with the prospect. Approaching the prospect my way generates anywhere from 3-4 more times the number of leads and proportionately more appointments and ultimately sales. My focus on the last two articles was positioning your introduction and offer to get the prospect to accept it and eliminate stalls, while trying to get the lead and book the appointment. This is ‘Step 1’ of my canvassing script.
Now, believe it or not, some people may still object. That’s where ‘Step 2’ in my script comes into play. I call this step ‘clarify and repeat your offer’. You made an offer to them for an information guide for the ‘if and when’ they ever look at looking into your products and services.
Responding to an objection after Step 1:
From the offer I take an assumptive position they’re going to accept the guide and move right into capturing information based on my Rule of 6, which is capturing the contact information that’s available to me immediately and obviously. If they object at this point I know I have to deal with this real objection right away. The average canvasser will often take a defensive position on the objection and attempt to defend their position or justify value in the offer. Instead, you clarify and repeat the offer again.
This approach is 180 degrees opposite of the sales mentality. Most will try to use clever, learned sales rebuttals and tactics. You won’t need any of it because you’re not creating the typical adversarial position the standard canvassing offer/presentation creates. When you get to a prospect’s door they’re ‘not ready’. They’re going to feel like you’re trying to sell them something they don’t want… right then. The more you keep pushing to get them to do something, the more they’re going to resist you even more. This is why people who are only trained for sales, experience challenges with prospecting. It’s not a sales approach.
This is where canvassers who are formally trained in sales, or a canvasser who’s been trained by a sales person have challenges. Sales people are looking for buyers. Canvassing is not about getting buying commitments; it’s about passive commitments. If the canvasser makes the presentation trying to get buying commitments, then the prospect will instinctively resist you. The professional sales person will want to ‘deal with’ the objections because they want the sale now. You’ll always get the ‘now’ people, those prepared and qualified to make a buying decision now but that is small percentage of the prospects you speak with. By continually adding many more qualified leads, the not ready now prospects, you’ll be building tons and tons of leads that will become qualified and prepared buyers. This is how my clients are doubling and tripling their results. They’re in it for the long-play. Those that engage this mindset and approach are reaping the dividends it’s paying … in a big way.
Even after using step 2 in my system to respond correctly to an objection, some people may still object, which leads to steps 3 & 4 in my system. This is the last chance to make the same offer. I don’t try to cram an appointment down their throat. Steps 3 & 4 are for more advanced canvassers and I don’t have new canvassers do this strategy until they’ve really become proficient at my steps 1 & 2.
Step 3 & 4 is my last effort to get a lead, again, not an appointment, but a lead. You can never get a prospect to an appointment until they become a lead.
Responding to an objection after Step 2:
Step 3 is a simple transition question that will provide either a yes or no answer. How they answer provides you with a lot of information as to how to proceed with this prospect.
That leads to my step 4. If they answer yes it will lead you in one direction with the prospect and if they answer no it takes you in a different direction.
The no response reveals they need a little more qualifying and your response is tailored to help them along from where they are mentally and psychologically on your product or service. If they answer yes, you know they’ve already considered your product or service and don’t need as much convincing because they’ve already acknowledged a need or want for your product/service category. The key is in the scripting, based on where they’re starting, and where you need to lead them; the benefit of the earlier steps is that you’re viewed more as an advisor, not as a salesperson.
Steps 3 & 4 are the advanced steps of my system. As I said earlier, it’s for the advanced, more skilled canvassers. You have to become comfortable and proficient with steps 1 & 2 before you can advance on to 3 & 4.
Step 1: You make your offer for the information guide. If they object you go to step 2
Step 2: You clarify and repeat your offer. If they don’t accept it move to step 3
Step 3: The transition question. You’re trying to find out which type of prospect they are in respect to your product or service.
Step 4: With one prospect you have to establish the need and the other you’re differentiating why they want the information guide.
So many canvassers miss getting leads and appointments because they don’t ask for the lead enough times. In the 4 steps I’ve outlined I’m asking for the lead, by making an offer to the information guide 3 times, in steps 1, 2 & 4. There are no complicated objection rebuttals you have to memorize and rehearse. It makes it a lot simpler because there’s a simple system to follow.
Here’s what I teach students. If you get through step 4 and you’ve made 3 solid offers and the prospect still says no, then you’re done with that prospect. They are not a viable prospect for you, at that time. Move on. So many canvassers (and sales people) will continue to work at getting that prospect. There are plenty more prospects you can talk to in the day. You don’t need to frustrate yourself (or them) by continuing to beat up on them trying to make them a convert to your way of looking at your offer. This is an important end game to understand. The reality is that you’re not going to get everyone, but you’re going to get a lot more people with my system. But you also have to know when to end the conversation, and its after step 4. You’ve done everything you could in the time frame you have. Most canvassers aren’t taught there is an end game, the time to stop. You’ll know when you’ve pushed the prospect too far when they slam the door in your face. No one should want to take the conversation to that point.
You want to make a persistent effort to obtain the lead, but not at the expense of making the prospect feel you’re being pushy. They either accept your offer or they don’t. That’s the reality. If you get through all 4 steps, then you’ve done everything you possibly can.
If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, and heard me talk about my system you know there are 5 steps. The 5th step in my system is a step that no one else takes, and that’s asking for a referral. Ask the prospect if they know any friends, family members or co-workers who could benefit from receiving the information guide? You’re not asking to go sell their friend, rather providing value to them as well. It’s an opportunity that virtually all canvassing systems overlook.
In closing, how do you wrap up the conversation with a prospect, when you didn’t obtain them as a lead, an appointment or a referral? You’re simply parting ways. You must still remain professional and courteous because they may find you shadowing their door again in the future, again asking for them as a lead. It’s important how you wrap up your conversation with them.
“Thank you for your time and courtesy. Have a great day.” Make the prospect aware that you appreciate them and respect the time they’ve invested with you. You’re ending the conversation appropriately.
That’ll wrap it up at this time. If you’d like me to review your scripting and see if it can be adapted to my system you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a question about this month’s subject you can submit them at www.AskTheCanvassKing.com.
I recommend you go back and listen to the recording from the live Silver Telecoaching call you receive as part of your membership. If you’re not presently a member you can correct that at http://www.canvassking.com/SilverProgram.html. There you’ll see and hear a short video about all the benefits included in Silver membership. If you’re already a member, but know of a peer in a direct sales industry who may benefit from the material I provide here, you can send them to that web address also.
In this month’s article I referenced several scripts, especially those on establishing need and want (Step 4 – NO prospects) and to reestablish value (Step 4 – YES prospects). You can obtain my entire system, as well as product/service category specific scripts in my ‘Canvassing in the New Economy’ video training program. You can discover more about that self-guided training program at http://www.canvassking.com/CanvassingNewEconomy.html).
Until next month, I remain committed to your canvassing success.
Chris Thompson, The Canvass King