Overcoming objections is not a science, it is an art.
You can go out and buy programs and books that will give you scenario after scenario of how to deal with this and that objection and you might feel more comfortable with objections. You might even have a few good comebacks. But, even if you memorized word for word, every one of those responses, you’ll just be spitting out a canned answer that is supposed to solve your prospect’s problem or concern.
The problem with that approach is that no two objections are the same.
You could generalize objections and have some blanket responses. For example, in a Taekwon-Do school the most common objections are price, schedule, and concern for not meeting their goals.
The most effective way to overcome objections is with a well thought out sales presentation. If you have a well crafted sales presentation, you’ll be able to address, if not completely alleviate those objections long before it’s time for your prospect to make a buying decision.
During our Karstadt Taekwon-Do Intro presentation, early on we do a price drop to get a feel for where they are with the price, explain to them how often most students train so they know what to expect when we get to scheduling their classes and we specifically ask what they want to get out of training. This way we know what to say to make sure they are clear that we can help them meet their goals.
We’re not going to go into the details of the sales presentation here because I’d have to write a book to cover all of that. But if you haven’t heard me say this before, I’ll say it again, you need to have a scripted sales presentation to maximize enrolling new members. This is just one more critical reason why.
Now let’s get to the point where you are asking them to enroll in your Taekwon-Do program.
The first thing you need to do is listen. As I said before, no two objections are the same. You could have three people who have price objections, but your response should be dictated by “why” they have the price objections.
Is it because the monthly payment is too high? Is it because they are getting a bonus soon? Is it because they want to pay in full and are waiting for their tax return? Is it because they have a concern about the auto pay?
Are you getting the point? It’s up to you to ask questions to find out the reasons why behind the objections. You’re not doing this to pressure them or force them into anything, you are just asking because you are interested in finding out if there is a way in which you can help them to get enrolled with you.
But had you stopped at the initial “no”, or tried to talk them into something, you would have been unsuccessful. Ask and listen. Then ask and listen. Then ask and listen. Then ask and listen until you have gotten to the bottom of the objection.
You must remember that people buy based on emotion, not reason, most of the time. This is another reason a scripted sales presentation for your Taekwon-Do program is critical. With the presentation you are able to have someone new get present to the feelings and emotions that come along with training. They literally create for themselves what it would be like to train, even what it would be like to earn a black belt!
Whatever it is they are looking for in a program, you can emphasize that aspect by sharing real examples of current students and the impact training has had on them. Real life examples where the prospect can see themselves in the story are one of the best ways to emotionally connect them to your program.
I’ve even had people who, by the time I got to the bottom of whatever their concern was, just enrolled because by that point they knew that I genuinely was interested in them and that was what they were looking for, a sense of community or belonging.
Finally, be honest. If for some reason it’s clear that you can’t overcome an objection, honesty is the best policy. Trying to get creative and “make” it work will have you come across as a used car salesman pressuring them into something so you can make a sale.
It’s best just to acknowledge that it’s not a fit right now and if things change that you’d love to have them join. This way you are creating a sense of good will, they will speak highly of you among their friends in the community and you develop a reputation as someone who can be trusted. And you never know, they may be back!
About the Author:
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org