Episode 14: The Secrets to Overcoming Hidden Sales Objections

The Secrets to Overcoming Hidden Sales Objections

“I can’t afford it.” “I have to think about it.” These are common sales objections that you need to be able to overcome, authentically and in integrity, in order to help people step into the transformation that you offer. But did you know that there are hidden sales objections? Objections that are never voiced, that can have people saying “no” when, with a little help from you, they could be on their way to a different life. Join Pamela as she shares the hidden sales objections, and how knowing these can impact your sales.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • The #1 hidden objection for any transformational offer like coaching or healing (and it’s not “I can’t afford it”).
  • The surprising way that your own natural objections can hurt your sales conversations.
  • The easy way to uncover the hidden objections so you can address them head-on (and help someone to a great decision)!

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Timecode Guide:

01:40: Pamela explains hidden objections, and why they’re usually the thing that people need to overcome in order to really benefit from your expertise.
04:38: Discover the #1 hidden objection and get examples to learn how they may show up on your sales calls.
09:24: Let’s look at how your own natural objections can hurt your sales conversations.

Resources Mentioned

Want to know more about how to attract your ideal clients online? We’d Love To Chat! Grab a Breakthrough Session with one of my coaches to learn how to create real impact and income online.

Podcast Transcription

Episode 14: The Secrets to Overcoming Hidden Sales Objections

What are Hidden Objections?

Intro (00:00):
You’re listening to ‘A Profitable Impact.’

Pamela (00:02):
There are common sales objections, like “I can’t afford it,” and “I have to think about it,” but really the ones that often stop sales and stump people who are selling great services are the hidden sales objections.

Gene (00:15):
Welcome to ‘A Profitable Impact,’ where every single week we help experts like coaches, healers, course creators, and online professionals to expand their reach, to increase their impact in the world, and to be well-paid for their extraordinary skills and talents. My name is Gene Monterastelli, and I am the lead coach in Pamela Bruner’s Impact Accelerator coaching program. And I’m now pleased to welcome my friend, my colleague, and the CEO of Attract Clients Online, Pamela Bruner. How are you doing today, Pamela?

Pamela (00:46):
I am doing great. And we get to continue our conversations that we’ve been having about sales, because “I can’t afford it,” and “I have to think about it,” are something that people tell me they hear a lot. But interestingly enough, to me, those are not the biggest objections that people actually have. And so today we get to uncover that. Yay!

Gene (01:06):
And so, as we have this conversation today about objections and overcoming objections, if as you’re hearing this information and you’d like to become more skilled with this, or you’re struggling with some of the concepts, we would love for you to have a free conversation with one of our coaches. All you need to do is go to BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, that’s BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, and you can get on the calendar of one of our coaches. And you can have a chance to have an opportunity to talk about sales, the conversations, and what happens when people start to put up resistance and give you objections to the thing that you are offering.

Pamela (01:40):
One of the reasons I love talking about hidden objections is that being able to dig below the surface is usually an extension of the transformation that you provide. It’s usually the thing that people need to overcome in order to really benefit from your expertise, whatever your expertise is. So, understanding that the objections that they voice are not usually the objections. You know, I’ve had people say once about money, “It’s never about money.” Uh, that kind of concept, I think, is one of the things that makes sales conversations, not only great vehicles for your business, but makes them such interesting conversations and ways to connect with humans. And that’s a degression. So, let’s talk about what we’re covering today.

Gene (02:26):
Well, as you do that, Pamela, there’s one little piece of that I think is really, really important when you said. You know, when they say “I can’t afford,” when they say it’s about the money, it’s not about the money. And I think it’s important for us to recognize why that is the case. Because if I say I can’t afford it, no matter what the reason why, I am saying no. Be it conscious or subconscious, it feels like that’s an easy way for me to get out of the conversation because you cannot make me magically have money that I don’t have. And so, when someone is saying that it’s not that they’re deceptive, but subconsciously they might just be protecting themselves and they’re not even really aware of what the objection is, and that’s why they’re hidden.

Pamela (03:06):
And that’s why if you know what to do in a sales conversation, not only can you help your business and help yourself move closer to a sale, but you’re actually really being helpful in creating awareness in the person you’re talking to. And I love that as a bonus for what they get. So, here’s what we’ll cover today. The number one hidden objection that I’ve seen, and I believe both of us have seen, for any transformational offer, any kind of expert services, coaching, healing, training, consulting, any of that, and it’s not the, “I can’t afford it.” And then we’ll cover the surprising way that your own natural objections can hurt your sales conversations, and an easy way to uncover hidden objections that may be there so you can address them head on and help somebody get to a really great decision.

Gene (03:54):
And I think one of the reasons why this conversation is so valuable, Pamela, is that, the people who we get the opportunity to work with are people who want to make a real difference in the world. And when we’re bumping into objections, we don’t want to be hurting someone’s feelings or running them over, so it’s natural for us to want to take a step back. But when we understand what is actually going on inside of this conversation, not only do we get to be better at selling, more importantly we get the opportunity to really provide transformation that is useful and helpful. And so, this isn’t just about increasing my conversion rate; it’s that idea of being able to really provide that impact that we all want to be making with the work we’re doing.

The #1 Hidden Objection

Pamela (04:38):
Exactly. So, let’s talk about that number one hidden objection. So, whether somebody says “I can’t afford it,” or “I have to think about it,” often what is going on when you are talking about any expert service that creates a change in a person and in their life (so I’ll certainly put coaching and healing in there), any expertise that is going to result in some kind of added benefit for the client, whether it is music or martial arts or whatever transformation it is, whatever expertise it is. The biggest hidden objection that I see is “I’m actually secretly afraid it won’t work,” or “I’m secretly afraid it won’t work for me.” Now think about it. Let’s get inside the head of a potential buyer who might have this hidden objection and be voicing something else.

Pamela (05:27):
So, if someone’s sitting there going “Well, this sounds really cool. And you know, I probably could afford the price, but I’m afraid it won’t work for me. And I’m about, you know, 70% sure it won’t work for me, so there’s only a 30% chance of success. And now when I, when I look at that price versus only a 30% or 20% or 10% chance of success, that price now seems a very high for me to take that risk.” And so then the saying, “I can’t afford it,” or “I have to think about it,” makes all kinds of sense. They may want to think about it because they’re thinking, you know, “Is there another way for me to get what I want?” “Is it really that I can’t do it.” Maybe I have to think about it because I’m actually going to look for proof that I can’t do it and then I don’t even have to worry about it anymore. Then I can say just no, rather than, “I have to think about it.” So, there are all of these conversations that are going on and, and here’s the real kicker: many of these conversations are subconscious, not conscious.

Gene (06:30):
And as you say that, Pamela, the thing that is the most important in that phrase, “I’m afraid it won’t work for me,” is the “for me” part of that particular phrase. Because oftentimes I’ve even seen this just inside of client sessions where I’m doing transformation with someone once they’ve already bought in and they’re ready to do the work is we have the ability to feel like we are a special case. Like, even though it works for everybody else, it’s not going to work for me because what we’re doing is we’re comparing everybody else’s exterior with all of the thoughts that are going on inside of our heads. So, we’re just assuming that the people around us are acting with confidence and grace and ease as they’re doing stuff, and we’re the only one who’s struggling. And so we want to make sure you’re not hearing that they’re not questioning whether or not our work is valuable or whether or not our work is useful. That statement is “I’m afraid it won’t work for me,” is about how they see themselves, it’s not how they see us in the work that we’re offering.

Pamela (07:27):
Now, this doesn’t mean that somebody couldn’t have questions questions about what you’re offering.

Gene (07:31):

Pamela (07:32):
It’s possible that you haven’t adequately explained the value in a sales conversation, but often you have. And often you have testimonials from people who have done work with you and gotten great results. And so, this idea of “I’m afraid it won’t work” can often be overturned either by your confidence, by the way that you explain something. I talk about really understanding the arc of transformation so that you can explain it well, and all of that can help reduce this “I’m afraid it won’t work,” but nothing can reduce the “I’m afraid it won’t work for me” unless you have an empowerment conversation with your prospective client.

Gene (08:12):
And when someone is giving me that sort of resistance in that conversation, I really like asking them directly, not accusatorily, but like, you know, as we’ve talked about this, and I’ve heard you, you know, agreeing that this process might be something that is useful, what are you afraid of in doing this? Why are you afraid it’s not going to work this time for you and giving them the opportunity to think about the question that they might not have thought about before, or they’ve thought about it and they get a chance to voice that concern that’s sitting inside of them, which means that we then get to respond and be helpful.

Pamela (08:44):
And sometimes when people voice a concern like that, the concern actually diminishes. So if they get the chance to say, “I’m afraid it won’t work for me because XYZ,” even as they say it, it may reduce the effect of that feeling.

Gene (09:02):
I’ve even had people in that particular moment like, “Well, it won’t work for me because of blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, that’s so ridiculous. Of course, that’s not true.” That the instant, they hear the words coming out of their mouth, not only does it reduce, sometimes they’re able to completely let it go because they recognize it is an unsubstantiated subconscious belief that when they drag it into the light of day and they look at it, they know it’s not true.

How Your Own Natural Objections Hurt Your Sales Conversations

Pamela (09:24):
So, let’s look at how your own natural objections can hurt your sales conversations. And I love this conversation. It’s something that I discovered a few years ago, and I’ve been teaching it ever since. And that is the concept that you can’t overcome an objection you agree with. So, if you’re always saying “I can’t afford it, I can’t afford it.” And someone says to you, “I can’t afford it.” You won’t look for a hidden objection. You’ll just say, “Of course I understand,” because that’s your natural objection. Even if you have a hidden objection, if you’re used to using, “I can’t afford it,” you will take that as a stopper. If you are always saying, “I have to think about it,” then when someone says, “I have to think about it,” you will say, “Of course, I understand.” So, my invitation in a case like this is to uncover all of your natural objections. Do you usually say “I can’t afford it?” Why don’t we turn that around into something more empowering, like, “Based on my current values, this isn’t a priority for me to invest in right now.” I’m guessing that most of your ideal clients or prospective clients wouldn’t say that. If you start saying that instead of “I can’t afford it,” it really transforms your energy around abundance and money and all of that kind of thing, and makes it much easier for you to work with someone, to help them overcome an objection about money.

Gene (10:51):
And Pamela, I can remember actually the first time we were at an event together, and you were presenting on this topic and you shared that particular idea. And it was one of those things that just like hit me in the middle of the head. Like, of course I can’t over overcome an objection I agree with. And what this requires, like you were talking about, is it requires us to be thoughtful and deliberate about who we are and being able to do that internal mindset work that we can know how to overcome objections in a strategic way. And it’s good for us to tactically know how to ask questions and uncover that sort of stuff. But this is a perfect example of how our internal mindset is going to show up and impact the way that we are able to be successful in our businesses. And so, this is a real call for us to really reflect on the way that we buy and listen to the words that are coming out of our mouth and to analyze “Is a story that I’m telling, or is this actually true?” And, “If it’s just a story that I’m telling, how can I do, like you just said, transform that, so it’s easier for me to take authentic action in everything that I do, not just in, when I’m selling something for my business?”

Pamela (12:05):
I’m going to say exactly what you said in a sort of a mantra-like way, which is “self-awareness absolutely rocks.” When you have self-awareness about what’s going on within you, whether it’s in sales or in other stoppers or starters or something like that, you have much more power. So, I see that self-awareness in really looking at your natural or your common objections is just so powerful.

Gene (12:29):
And it’s just one of those things that the more we are in the moment, the more we are aware of who we are and why we are doing what we’re doing everything we do in our life (not just our business), becomes easier for us to do.

Pamela (12:41):
So, let’s talk about the easy way to overcome hidden objections so that you can address them head on. And for me, this is all about helping someone to come to a great decision. You know, one of the things that you can do is try to overcome objections before they come up. This is a very common sales technique or sales training. It can be used for objections that are not hidden. Like you can try to overcome the “I can’t afford it” either by qualifying people or by talking about value before you even get to presenting the offer in the price so that it’s much easier to overcome the “I can’t afford it.” But when you were talking about objections like “I’m afraid it won’t work for me,” one of the things that you can do is ask people, “What have you done before like this? What’s worked for you before? How have you achieved success in endeavors like this before?” And you can work to create a sense of empowerment for people that they can do it, they just need your help to do part of it. Whether it’s, “I need your help on the strategy,” “I need your help on the mindset,” “I need your help with the system,” because although I’m sure I have the capabilities, I don’t have the system that you do, and that kind of empowerment can be very valuable.

Gene (14:00):
If you love what you’re listening to and would like to learn more about how you can elevate your business and want to know how you can increase your impact in the world, I’d like to invite you to join a coach for a free breakthrough call.

Want to know more about how to attract your ideal clients online?

We’d Love To Chat! Grab a Breakthrough Session with one of my coaches to learn how to create real impact and income online.

Pamela (14:23):
Any time you sense that an objection that somebody is coming up with is not the real one, there’s a whole list of questions that you can ask that help people have the conversation verbally. It’s kind of what we were talking about: How can you get them to say things out loud so that a conversation is not happening in their head? So, let’s look at other hidden objections that might come up. One is, “well, who will I be if this succeeds?” Which is the opposite of “I’m afraid it won’t work for me.” “If this does work and I do succeed at this, what will that mean for me?” I’ve heard of a lot of situations where someone is talking to a health coach or a weight loss expert or something like that, and there’s this fear that if this succeeds and they lose weight then negative things will happen – their spouse actually won’t be happy, or they will attract unwanted attention from the opposite sex, or something like that. “Who will I be if this succeeds?” I know I’ve talked to people who are afraid of success, and they say, “I’m afraid that if I’m successful at this, I will sacrifice my health, or I will sacrifice my family or something like that.”

Gene (15:33):
As you’re doing that, I like framing a question where we’re going to start kind of poking around fears of success, as “I know that this probably sounds like a silly question, but sometimes these things are here. I want you to imagine all of this works out. What are the things that you’re worried about that might go wrong if you’re actually successful?” And I think it’s useful when asking a question like that, that feels odd, to pre-frame it. And to let them know, this is kind of a squirrely question. That’s a little bit off the wall, but let’s just explore this a little bit. And as they start to investigate that sort of stuff, it’s amazing. The clarity that they show up with as you were talking about those health examples panel, I was thinking of a client of mine that she just, as we were investigating this, she just said, I hear how all my friends talk about skinny people.

Gene (16:18):
And if I lose weight, they’re going to say those horrible things about me. And for many of us, we might not be in a circumstance where people are saying that about people who are losing weight, but certainly there’s the cultural conversation about people who are successful. And all of those stories we have about those mean horrible, successful people. And if the people in our lives are telling those particular stories, then we’re afraid that that’s going to happen. And so by asking the question in a way where we’re letting them know, it’s a little bit of an unusual question, it helps them to not just dismiss the question out of hand, but to really dive in and investigate a little bit, to see where they might be struggle.

Hidden Objections to Look for and a List of Questions to Ask to Help

Pamela (16:56):
Exactly. You know, a couple of the questions that I really love are questions that start with, how do you feel about, and I like, pre-framing it with, this might be a squirrely question, or this is a little unusual or something like that, because that’s a very disarming statement and it makes people, or it encourages people to look at something seriously that they might otherwise not. So I think that’s great.

Gene (17:21):
One of the phrases that I use a lot is “I know you don’t know the answer to this question, but if you did…” And just giving them permission to just blue sky and pretend a little bit, and sometimes they uncover things in a similar fashion.

Pamela (17:33):
I also really like the question, “If there was a downside to doing this work, what would it be?” I find that asking questions, asking these questions from a real state of curiosity is your friend. You can almost never go wrong in a sales conversation by asking.

Gene (17:49):
And I think that the word that you used right there, Pamela is the really key word “curiosity.” Because when I show up in a curious state, because that’s what a sales conversation is, I’m curious about you, I’m curious about your goals, I’m curious about how I can be helpful. And if I’m showing up in the state of curiosity where I’m just trying to understand all of that pressure internally of me feeling like I have to be this salesy person goes away. One of my favorite kind of marketing truisms is, “the best marketer in any room is not the most interesting person; the best marketer is the most interested person.” And being in a circumstance where you’re showing up with that curiosity makes it so much easier for people to show up more fully and engage in that particular conversation.

Pamela (18:39):
So, those are the hidden objections to look for. “I’m afraid it won’t work for me.” “Who will I be if this succeeds?” Or “what’s the downside of success in this area?” “What do you think might happen if all of this works out?” And remember to ask or to pre-frame it with, this might sound a little unusual, but I’m going to ask the question anyway, or this might be a squirrely question, but let’s just see what comes up.

Gene (19:06):
So as you’ve heard this conversation today, if you’re in a circumstance where you’re still struggling a little bit, to be able to uncover these hidden objections, when you’re having sales conversations, we would love for you to have an opportunity to talk to one of our coaches, to help you get squared away and be more effective at this. All you need to do is go to BookMyBreakthroughCall.com. That’s BookMyBreakthroughCall.com. And you can sign up for a free conversation with one of our coaches so they can get you on the right track. So you are more authentic and you’re more useful, and you’re more effective in your selling process.

Gene (19:42):
If you know someone in your life who is a healer, a transformational entrepreneur, someone who’s creating content and they’re sharing it online, and they would really benefit from a conversation like this. Please be our ambassadors, pass this along. You might know one or two people in your life who could really use this conversation. And the only way that they’re going to find their way to it is if you share it with them, if you haven’t done so already, please Subscribe to the podcast. In podcasting Subscribe is always free. You can Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Audible, basically everywhere you get audio. All you need to do is search ‘A Profitable Impact,’ click Follow, click Subscribe, turn on the notifications so every single week as we’re sharing new content, you know about it right away. If you have a question or a comment or a topic that you’d like Pamela and I to wrestle with and talk about in a future episode, please let us know. If you go to AttractClientsOnline.com, click on that Contact link, drop us a note. We’d love to hear from you. For ‘A Profitable Impact,’ I’m Gene Monterastelli. And until next time, I hope you have an impactful week.


Pamela Bruner - Attract Clients Online Blueprint

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