When you become a Power Persuader, you will learn to love objections. You will come to understand that when people voice their objections, it actually indicates interest and shows that they are paying attention to what you are saying. The key to persuasion is anticipating all objections before you hear them. Fielding questions and handling objections can make or break you as a persuader. These skills will help you in every aspect of your life.
The first thing is to find out if the objection is something you can solve. Suppose you are negotiating a large office furniture order and the objection comes up about not being able to afford your furniture. You then find out your prospect just declared bankruptcy. Obviously there is nothing you can do or say that will resolve such an objection.
Let your prospect state his objection: Hear him out completely, without interruption. Wait until he is finished before you say anything. Hold your response until the other person is receptive to what you are about to say. This is the first time your prospect has voiced his objection; he will not listen until he has said what is on his mind.
Always ask your prospect to restate or repeat his key points. Every time he replays his objection it becomes clearer in both your minds. Letting him speak, particularly if he is upset, drains emotion from his objection. Allowing him to voice his concerns also gives you time to think about a response and helps you determine his intent in bringing up the objection in the first place.
Always compliment your prospect on her objection. As a Power Persuader, you should appreciate a good objection; it dictates the direction in which you should take your presentation. You don't have to prove you are right 100 percent of the time. Skillful persuaders will always find some point of agreement.
Stay calm. Scientific tests have proven that calmly stated facts are more effective in getting people to change their minds than are threats and force.
Don't be arrogant or condescending. Show empathy with your prospect's objection. Let him know others have felt this way. Talk in the third person; use a disinterested party to prove your point. This is why we often use testimonials—to let someone else do the persuading for us.
Give the person room to save face. People will often change their minds and agree with you later. Unless your prospect has made a strong stand, leave the door open for her to later agree with you and save face at the same time. It could be that she did not have all the facts, that she misunderstood, or that you didn't explain everything correctly.