In a recent post we discussed the difference between “Objections” and “Conditions” in the selling process. Basically, an objection signifies a lack of perceived value compared to the price. It could also be a matter of a lack of want, perceived need, desire, or motivation to make a change. In other words, if he or she really wanted the product or service, they could buy it.
A condition, on the other hand, is a lack of ability to buy. This could be for various reasons, several of which we discussed in the post.
One reader, Randy Allen, wrote the following in response:
In today’s business landscape, many conditions can be overcome if the business owner is flexible and begins to think with the end in mind. Maybe if there is an objection to price because of a condition, there could be a way of overcoming that condition. Remember the old layaway days? Why not resurrect that old idea. It worked for a lot of folks. I put my engagement and wedding rings on layaway because I was young, had no credit and didn’t have the money up front. I paid for them over a few months and then I picked them up!
If we look back in time, there were less boundaries and barriers to getting what you needed. People bartered, and traded a little too. I’m not saying this is for everyone – but the landscape is a changing and as Uncle Sam and inflation takes a bigger and bigger bite out of everyone’s pocketbook, business owners need to look at new (possibly old) and innovative ways to overcome some of these conditions!
Randy, thank you for sharing your great thoughts! Semantically speaking, a condition is something that cannot be overcome (as opposed to an objection which tends to be more a question of priorities).
What you did in your excellent example above is found a very creative way to move something from what may have been thought of as a condition to something that is no longer such. If by doing that you are now able to help the person buy, that’s awesome.
So, most valued community of readers and commenters: have you ever found a way – or seen someone else find a way – to overcome what seemed to be a condition and turned it into a workable situation? Please feel free to share.
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I really like and have used Randy’s “layaway” principle both with my coaching clients and with patients in our medical practice. I’ve found that people appreciate it so much, that they usually pay quicker than the terms we had set up. If the ability to pay the full fee all at once truly is the only objection, I think it makes sense to allow smaller, consistent monthly payments. In some ways, it’s even better for our budgets too.
Awesome, Linda. Thank you for sharing with us!
Sometimes it’s a matter of changing the conditions that will allow the no to become a yes. As business owners we can ask- Under what conditions could this become a possibility for you? As we listen to our customer, we may find that we can adjust our terms to better meet their needs, or we may find a way to better work within their current conditions to keep the conversation open.
Jed, thank you. That’s where creativity and a burning desire to serve the prospect/customer really comes into play. Of course, sometimes it really just “isn’t gonna’ happen” and it is truly a condition. However, as we’re seeing, often the possibilities do exist to – as you eloquently put it – change the conditions.
I agree, conditions can change. Circumstances can improve and keeping the conversation going can only help to solidify the relationship. Bob, I appreciate how you always say that “People buy from those they know, like and trust.” I think as we focus on providing a good product or service and building the relationship of trust, the sales will come as the conditions improve.
Great point, Debbie. Sometimes, today’s condition ends up becoming a future yes when the relationship is there! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Debbi, you’re right. Often, what is a condition today changes down the road. And, if the “know, like and trust” relationship is properly developed, that can often turn into a sale, as well as repeat and referral business. Thank you for sharing!
This is so true, Bob. I had a local ski club come to my hotel wanting us to sponsor some of their races. But it wasn’t in the budget and I couldn’t pull it out of thin air. So he came at it from a different angle: if we could provide two complimentary rooms for the officials, they would post our banner, put our link on their website, and acknowledge us as a sponsor. It was a win all around! We received visibility, they brought people from out of town that needed a place to stay, and we provided a comfortable, clean room for their officials to stay in. Bravo!
Hi Robin, I love what you wrote and the solution the salesperson came up with. The only thing I might respectfully question is whether your price concern was a condition or an objection. “Not in the budget” is typically a question of priorities (objection). Of course, I don’t know what the sponsorship cost was, but usually (not always) price objections are simply a function of not seeing that the value equaled or was greater than the price. Budget or not, when one truly sees the value as being worthy of the price, the money is somehow gathered. Again, not necessarily the case; just usually. And, I wouldn’t have even brought it up but, just as in my response to Randy, the semantics/definitions are important, just so that we’re all coming from the same basic premise. Regardless, a very cool win/win for all concerned. Thank you for sharing.
Nice post, Bob. I really liked Randy Allen’s explanation and positive energy! He has the right idea of turning an obstacle into an opportunity/possibility. Doubt can be so crippling and frustrating. I have dear clients who wanted to support my business but did not have need for a particular service, anymore. I valued their friendship and business and kept them engaged and followed up. They recently started what is now a successful graphic design business. Instead of being just past clients, we are now business partners! Keep up the valuable work!
That’s terrific, Chi Chi. Doesn’t surprise me. You’re a great relationship-builder. Of course, that’s what you write and speak about so it shouldn’t surprise me. 🙂
Great! Yesterday I had a 50 yr beautiful lady patient with a missing molar. I asked her what her plan was with the missing tooth and replacement. The dentist briefly discussed it with her but she thought she would do nothing. Her condition …changed after I logically and emotionally connected to her about the importance of replacing the tooth. Her attitude changed and I told the dentist she now wanted to do a replacement with an implant. He was surprised she changed her mind because her concern for the cost. I explained the opportunity cost to go with out the tooth for the next 40 years and sold the case! I took her objection and made it positive and logical and took her objection and found various ways of making it all work out. Where there is a will there is a way! Great article and food for thought!
Michele, what a great example of helping a person to overcome their own objection, and helping to add so much value to their life. Thank you for sharing!!