“No, we can’t do that” Ugh, objections can be so frustrating! Unless…
Updated: May 8
Don't feel like reading? I've got you. Sit back and watch/listen as I read this blog post.
Sally and George have been working together at “ABC Business” for a few months. Sally is a newcomer to the business serving the role of the marketing manager. George is the manager of technology and has been there for a while. Sally wants to introduce various social media channels, as it is a mainstream form of communication for businesses. Therefore, she and her team need access to the social media channels to publish and manage content. The business has a policy, implemented by George, where social media access has been blocked company wide. As you can imagine, this creates significant issues for the marketing team to move ahead. It would be like trying to work on a computer without a keyboard – in other words almost impossible to get the work done.
How does Sally work with George in coming to terms with marketing team access to social media?
Objections come in many shapes and forms. A handful that come to mind as I write this, which I have heard over my career in marketing include: “No, there is risk in that”; “No, that’s too expensive”; “No, that’s not who we are”; “No, we’ve never done it that way”; “No, we had bad feedback on something like that before”; “No, we lost followers when we had done that”; “No, we don’t have time for that”…and the list goes on.
If we tug on the thread of commonality in all these objections, we’ll see that what it can come down to is understanding – on both sides. What is the source of the objection? Is there bias involved? Lack of understanding? Fear of change? Fear of the unknown?
Taking a page from our friends in sales, what do they do to get to the real heart of an objection? They stop presenting and find out why, and you should too. I get it, that can be easier said than done. Doing this may even feel magnified if you are intimidated by the person serving up the objection.
Here’s how I would handle an internal business objection (I would do this, regardless of the position they hold at the organization).
Take a breath. Center your thoughts. And get ready to dig deeper.
Re-state the objection to ensure you heard it properly. Confirm with them that your interpretation is correct.
Doing this makes sure that you are both on the same page.
Ask for permission to discuss so that you can get a better understanding of the reason why. Also share that this discussion will help you in better planning for future initiatives such as this.
By taking this step, you can help to alleviate a defense position the objector may take. This can put them in the frame of mind to help and educate – which is the mindset you want them to be.
Ask when a good time would be to chat. If now doesn’t work, you’ll want to get a time in your calendars right away. If you don’t do this, it won’t be a priority and could get pushed off or forgotten.
Doing this shows respect to their time and yours. It also shows that you are sincere in understanding and finding a solution and not just brushing it off.
If you meet later, refer to step #1.
Listen and understand the objection.
Listen carefully and try to get a sense of what the person is trying to communicate. Ask them to elaborate if necessary and make sure you fully understand the objection before moving forward.
Ask why. Once you've understood the objection, ask why. This can help get to the root of the problem and address it more effectively.
For example, Sally received an objection to having access to social media at work because it poses a risk to the business. She may ask why George feels there is a risk(s).
Ask why again (or what). The first ‘why’ might just scratch the surface.
Continue to ask “why” or “what” until you get to the root of the objection.
Through this process you can identify if there are gaps in knowledge, biases coming into play, fear of the unknown, fear of change, etc.
Summarize and confirm. Once you feel you’ve hit the heart of the objection, summarize what you heard to confirm that there are no misunderstandings. Ask for confirmation of this.
Doing this will give confidence to the person you are speaking with that they were heard as well as give you solid footing to address the concern.
Address and educate. Now that you have a firm understanding of the objection, you can address it, along with helping to educate on what you know and your position of the problem.
Ask if they have any questions for you.
This gives opportunity for 2-way communication and let’s them know they are an important part of the discussion.
Find a solution. Then ask if together you can work on finding a solution that will work.
By this point each of your mindsets should be in a place of being open-minded, educated and solution driven.
With a collaborative approach the solution can check off the boxes for the areas of responsibility that you both oversee.
Objections can be a frustrating and challenging hurdle that can prevent you from moving forward with your initiatives. However, addressing the objections to uncover solutions can make all the difference for you and your business.
Curious how Sally and George made out? George had legitimate concerns that Sally was able to take in and understand. And George learned more about why Sally was asking for this access. In the end, George was able to set Sally and her team up in a way that had significantly reduced risk and Sally was able to pursue her comprehensive digital marketing strategy. With understanding both sides, collaborating and brainstorming a solution, everyone came out on the winning side.
I hope this helps you when faced with a challenging objection.
Keep on being amazing,
With a drive to accomplish high-quality results, the marketing work Lyanne has spear-headed in business has been recognized and awarded nationally on several occasions. In addition to this, she proudly holds the Chartered Marketer designation through the Canadian Marketing Association.
After serving 28 years in corporate finance, she emboldened into new territory by striking up a business marketing consulting practice that exists to lighten the load of marketing leaders. Having been a leader in marketing, she appreciates the complexities of the job and the many demands that come with it.
Whether you are interested in learning more about how blue dragonfly can help your business, are interested in joining or learning more about Mastermind groups, would like to chat about a speaking engagement, or just want to meet with Lyanne, this is a great way to get started. Connect today.
Cheers to the beginning of a great relationship.