We talk a lot in our training, newsletters and sales meeting agendas about conducting a good interview that focuses on getting a client to acknowledge a need before we present a product. This consultative style of selling will help you come across as being a service focused professional and will reduce the objections you receive. However, the objections will still happen, just not as frequently.
One of those objections is what I refer to as a "Spousal Objection". It's a simple objection married people (and singles :-) use to get out of a sales situation. It goes something like, "let me talk it over with my spouse and I'll get back to you."
Tips on Responding to the Spousal Objection
1. The first thing you want to do when you get any objection is to respond positive. The bottom line is that if a client wants to go home and talk to their spouse before making a decision you will let them. Right? No one is going to force them to stay. People who object are potentially worried that you might try to keep them there and force them to buy. They may have their guard up slightly which is why we need to be positive in our initial response to the objection. So, what do you say? How about:
"Absolutely, by all means, talk it over with your spouse."
2. The next thing to do is to make sure that they are comfortable with everything you have shared. I call this "Clarification of Product". You want to make sure you do this because you need to understand if this is the real objection or not. You might go to work putting a follow up plan in place because you think they want to talk to their spouse and meanwhile the real objection might be the rate or some fetaure of the product they did not understand. So, your first objective when you hear an objection is to make sure you understand if it is real or not. It might sound something like this:
"Absolutely, by all means, talk it over with your spouse. Listen; just before you go I want to make sure you are comfortable with everything we have discussed here today, you are happy with the terms of the mortgage? And the weekly payment plan, that seems to be the best option for you right? And the rate, are you ok with the rate?"
Some may cringe at bringing up the rate. They think that it's introducing an objection they do not have. Here are my thoughts on that: I know that some people won't like the rate you give them. I also know that not all of those people have the confidence to tell you that to your face. Some of those people will instead tell you they need to talk to their spouse. Just because I ask the client if they are happy with the rate is not going to suddenly remind someone they should be trying to get a better rate. If someone is happy with the rate – they're happy. If they are not, they are not. What we are trying to do is uncover people that are unhappy with the rate but are telling you something different.
Bottom line: you can't deal with an objection you do not know about.
3. What if you go through the product clarification and they say they are ok with everything that has been discussed so you are confident they really do need to just talk with their spouse? Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Ask them, "I know you are going to speak with your spouse about this but, based on what we have discussed, what do you think they will say?"
- If the answer is positive respond, "I think they will think it's a good idea too, this really does seem perfect for you. Let me ask you, what's your feeling about what we have discussed today?"
If they respond that they feel good about it as well you have just effectively eliminated most of the potential objections. In the product clarification you made sure it wasn't the product they were worried about. You made sure rate wasn't a concern. They have told you that they feel good about moving ahead and that their spouse will likely think the same thing. You should have a lot of confidence now that either:
- The deal is going to happen or ...
- They really do need to just speak with their spouse.
What do you do with that confidence? In order – the most confident responses to the least:
- Suggest you do the paper work right now, have the person that is in your office sign off on the paper so they do not have to drive back to the branch. If the spouse says no you can cancel it but you've already established that is not likely to happen. Save them the time and hassle of coming back in.
- Suggest you start the paper work and book an appointment for the two of them to come in to sign off when they have talked it over. Given that it sounds like a done deal anyway why not save them the time by getting it all ready for them in advance.
- Book an appointment when you can see them together to review the information.
One thing is for certain: if you ask the questions we suggest and go through the steps one of two things will happen:
- You will either flush out the real objection which will increase your odds of being able to resolve it or ...
- You will feel confident they really do need to just speak with their spouse.
Either way, your odds of getting the sale are substantially higher than if you just let them walk so why not try it? "If you never risk you never lose, but you are unlikely to win"
Either they are going to leave with you knowing what the real objection is, or with you not knowing and trying to follow up on whether they talked to their spouse of not when that isn't the real.
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