Scales of Justice“I’d love to work with you, but I have NO money!”
“What you do sounds great, but I just have NO time.”

When I hear these words, I sometimes just want to turn on my heel and walk away—but then I remember my own advice:
1.    Everyone with whom I speak deserves my respect, honor, and appreciation.
2.    Let people know that I have truly heard their objections, but don’t necessarily swallow those objections whole.
3.    Use THE SCALE. It takes the sting out of objections.

Using The Scale turns the raging tiger of my impatience into sweet little orange tabby kittens, like my guys Frankie and Flynnie.

Frankie and Flynnie

Frankie and Flynnie

But first, I have to wake up, be present, and reach down inside myself for some generosity of spirit. Doing that may not be what was on my agenda for this morning, but that’s what’s on my plate.

First, I need to hear them. Not just with my ears, but with my heart. Maybe these people simply:

  •     Feel some financial or logistical lack right now
  •     Don’t want what I’m offering and are trying to be polite
  •     Feel distracted or hurried and don’t want to make a choice right now

Who knows? The one thing I know for sure is that they have taken the time to listen to what I have to say—and I can appreciate that.

How can I let them know that I’ve heard them, without going into collusion with them that they really have no time and/or no money? I usually start with something like:

  • “I understand that money is tight right now…”
  • “I hear that your feeling pressured in terms of time…”

I do not say:

  • “You poor thing! No money! Here’s $5 and a soup kitchen address.”
  • “Oh no! You’d better lie down and rest! With no time at all, you’re probably on the verge of a stroke or heart attack.”

But then what? This is the time to bring out The Scale!

The Scale is the most powerful technique I’ve found for taking the sting out of objections. In just a few sentences, it:

  • Minimizes the frustration for you
  • Relieves embarrassment for your potential client
  • Brings some good sense to the situation
  • Makes everybody happier
  • Helps people make a better choice about whether or not to buy what you offer.

It might sound something like this:
“I hear that consulting sounds expensive right now, and I also heard what you said about needing to set some realistic goals for the new year. I’d like to invite you to try a thought experiment to resolve the dilemma. What if we put the expense on one side of an old-fashioned scale, and the clarity about your goals on the other. When you look at it that way, which side seems to carry more weight and be more important?”

The Scale is a simple, 4-step process:

  1. Acknowledge the objection.
  2. Return to the benefit they wanted from what you offer.
  3. Invite them to put the objection on one side of a scale, and the benefit on the other.
  4. Ask which has more weight.

The Scale helps both you and your potential buyers de-personalize the choice. It’s often easier for them to tell the truth—and for you to hear it—when they aren’t accepting or rejecting you, or even your offer. They are just looking at a scale, and telling you what they see. Plus, they are looking at that scale with you on their side. They’ll remember that, regardless of whether or not they buy.

To find out more about The Scale, check out The Soul of Selling.

What are some ways you deal with objections?

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