6.2 Park & Sort – The Process Copy

6.2 Park & Sort – The Process 

We are now going to learn some breakthrough techniques for handling objections as well as look at ways to respond to questions and concerns, leveraging the tension that inevitably arises when customers push back.

Objections are not only a normal part of every sales process; they are a critical part.

Through the questions your customers ask and the objections they raise, you can determine their concerns, and potential obstacles to the customer saying yes.

The objections and concerns voiced can also help to calibrate their level of interest or personal investment, as well as potential obstacles to “Yes.”

Remember any questions not asked, any obstacle not identified, any concerned not raised, may be a reason for the customer to say “no.”

So, the ultimate goal is not a lack of questions, but rather surfacing, acknowledging and working through every question, objection or concern your customer may have so that he/she can say yes to the new sale, renewal, cross-sell or upsell opportunity.

Premature Problem Solving 

The typical reaction is to try to solve the problem – but the typical reaction is not the best course of action. Addressing the issue right then and there may reduce the tension in the interim but it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. 

High performing salespeople know how to avoid “premature problem-solving” i.e. delivering the response too soon. 

Too often, we are solving a problem without really understanding the why behind the what. We assume we understand the issue – but often we don’t.

Often, we treat small objections the same way we handle fundamental objections. 

Skilled buyers will surface a series of objections to gain a series of concessions from you. Each concession may seem small, innocuous, but put them all together and you have eroded your value. 

Any question not asked is a reason for the customer to not say yes. You want to be sure you have surfaced all concerns, in essence, get to the “No.” Meaning the customer can say there are no more reasons why he/she can’t say yes!

When it comes time to close the deal after having “solved” individual problems, you have given away a lot, but often get little or nothing in return. The customer has seized control of the sales process and directed the conversation in the direction he/she wants to go, which is often a lower price.

The Park & Sort Process 

The customer brings up an objection. Maybe it’s price, and maybe it’s a feature set, or maybe an impossible delivery timeline. Whatever it is, it is a problem that could derail the sale or renewal.

There is a sequence of behavior that you can use to handle this effectively. 

Remember it’s important to listen and respond effectively, not merely react.

  • Honestly acknowledge the objection. (Note that acknowledgment is not agreement.) 
    Demonstrate a willingness to address the objection in exchange for agreeing to a broader discussion in which all issues and concerns are put on the table. 
  • Ask for and get agreement to “Park” the objection temporarily.
  • Ask the customer to share other questions, concerns, objections he/she may have.
  • Gain agreement to Park each of those.
  • Use Striker Questions to “Sort” through the full depth and range of concerns, including less obvious elements of the issues in question, areas of disagreement, and agreements that have already been reached and prioritize them.
  • Confirm that all concerns are on the table and that if they are satisfactorily resolved, then you will have an agreement.
  • Work together to develop innovative solutions
  • Circle back to apply the information gained to resolve the original objection

As you can see, using this model provides a unique way for you to expose all of the questions or concerns your customer might have and removing any barriers to “yes.”

Any outstanding issues or concerns are a potential excuse for “no”.