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Remain calm and listen! Influencing to overcome objections.

Posted by on July 5, 2011

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When you have that all-important influence conversation, trying to get someone’s help or cooperation, you may run into some difficult objections from the other person. This often seems like an impossible challenge, since you were really hoping to lay out your request and get immediate agreement. When you meet resistance, panic sometimes sets in–causing you to sabotage yourself during the influence encounter, destroying your chances of a successful outcome.
But instead of giving in to panic, remain calm! All will be well. Remember that listening is key. Of course, really listening to the other person involves understanding, responding to, and overvcoming any objections they have to your request. And believe me, you will almost always hear an objection or two!

So, how do you handle objections in the proper way—without getting upset and shutting down the conversation? Well, here are 4 proven ways to keep that positive influence dialogue going:

  1. Things to Avoid:
    • Do not get defensive! I can justify that… But…
    • Do not avoid the objection.Oh, that’s no big deal… (or change the subject)
    • Do not “knee-jerk” to quick fix. I can take care of that!
    • Do not make assumptions about their real need.
    • Disengage—do not avoid. Calmly bring the conversation to an end for now, and come back to it later when cooler heads prevail.
  2. Make sure you understand the objection:
    • Involve to clarify: Could you expand on that for me? Tell me more… What are your concerns?
    • Active Listening — Restate: So your concern is… You’re saying that…
    • Disclose to connect and build trust: I was unaware that X was causing… My intention was to…
  3. Ask appropriate questions to get to the real need:
    • What are the consequences of this concern?
    • What would you like to see happen ideally?
  4. Respond appropriately:
    • Persuading: Here is what I suggest and why it makes sense…
    • Asserting: If I did X to meet your need on Y would you be willing to go forward… In my opinion it would…

This process shouldn’t take long. If you are really listening, your influence conversation will have a positive outcome for both of you. Not only that, the other person will be much more willing to deal with you in the future. But the real bonus is that you are actually improving your relationship with that person!

Positive Power and Influence

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