In the closing scene of Eminem’s ‘8 Mile’, Eminem (B rabbit) takes part in a rap battle and despite the obvious historical objections of the crowd and his opponent, he goes on to be the victor. How? By anticipating all possible objections, understanding why they are not on his side, and then directly addressing those objections in order to overcome them, ultimately silencing his opponent.
Sometimes, the hardest part of handling an objection is recognising it in the first place. If your prospect is silent, how can you break that silence in order to understand and respond to their objection?
People joke that it’s the quiet ones you need to watch out for and it’s true. Silence does not imply consent and the quiet ones who may be thought to agree because they haven’t voiced their concerns and complaints can be the hardest to identify as a risk
The toughest prospect is one who gives you nothing back – no response, no questions, no feedback. Does their silence mean indifference to what you’re offering? Have they seen or heard something they disagree with? Or do they simply not feel inclined to speak up?
So back to Eminem, he uses insight to break down barriers. He answers their unspoken objections upfront, aligns himself to the things that are important to the crowd (they live in the same neighbourhood and have the same challenges in life), and associates himself with their influencers (other rappers). He builds empathy. By the end of his rap, there is nothing left to criticise, nothing left to throw at him, and no reason to dismiss him. ‘Here, tell these people something they don’t know about me’.
Eminem goes into the battle armed and prepared to handle objections. You can do the same with your sales approach by adopting social selling.
True, you cannot ever know exactly what’s going on in the mind of your prospects, but by harnessing the information out there you can build a pretty good picture. You can identify the most likely objections, and nip them in the bud by preparing good answers. You can pose questions for them to answer, which will encourage engagement with you. You can highlight similarities, and get influencers and fans on-board. Finally, you can align your sales strategy to directly answer any concerns, unspoken or otherwise.