The Final Objection
2 min read
You’re in a shop. Vendor tries to sell you on a product.
You say no, as is the rational response to any sales person.
The vendor asks why?
You say it’s too expensive
The vendor asks that if they were to lower the price, would this be a product that you’d be interested in purchasing?
If you say no, you appear inconsistent and at conflict with yourself. Why would you be at conflict with yourself, you idiot?
This conflict is called cognitive dissonance. A phrase we’ve all encountered before but never really understood, something to which we’ve nodded along whilst all the smart people have fun.
Cognitive Dissonance is the holding of two mutually-exclusive or conflicting beliefs. Our little monkey brains don’t like this, so we look for ways of resolution. Which in this case, would be the action of purchasing the product.
Overcoming the final objection is hugely important for salespeople. In fact, Salesforce – literally a force of sales – published a guideline for how to tell customers that they’re not thinking straight:
- Budget: Demonstrate the unique value of your product
- Authority: Identify the customer's concern and address that specific issue
- Need: Take the extra time to describe the overarching problem or opportunity
- Timeliness: Demonstrate why it's best to make the purchase now
- Value: Introduce specific perks, guarantees, or return policies
What could be discussed as a great selling technique could quite easily be shown to be psychological manipulation, or even coercion.
This may explain why the author of this post currently holds two separate gym subscriptions. The conversation went something like this:
“I’d like to cancel my membership please”
“Of course, I’ll sort that out for you right away.”
“Can I just ask why you’d like to cancel your subscription? It’s just for our records.”
“It’s just a bit too expensive at the moment, I don’t think I’m getting value for money.”
“Oh, that’s a shame… but, if the gym were to include a sauna and steam room – would that provide greater value for your money?”
“Yes, I suppose so…”
“Well actually, we’re just in the process of reburbishing the entire gym. We’ll have a sauna and steam room by the end of the month. Would you like me to cancel the cancellation?”
And just like that they’ve got me. I want value. I’ve determined what value means to me. They offered me value. If I don’t agree with the gym, then I don’t agree with myself. And what kind of person is so contrarian that they can’t even agree with themselves?
So as I sit here, in a lonely gym sauna, I come to realise that everything I’ve written so far could be used as a guideline for how to
manipulate convince your customers into purchasing products and services that they don’t need, or necessarily want. Rather, I hoped to make aware some of the tricks of the trade so that you, poor reader, can hope to avoid being led down the same path.