I was sat here thinking what to write about on my next blog when a flyer plopped through my letter box, promoting a local gym – something, like everyone – I have been meaning to sort for ages. The flyer promised a good monthly membership and a free trial so it prompted me to finally take action and give them a call.

The call started out quite positively I thought, with the girl who answered, being polite and building rapport with me (apparently there is a female rugby player out there also called Becky Leach! Who knew!? I can categorically tell you it is not me and anybody who knows me can tell you I am definitely not built for rugby!!). I was then put through to Mr Gym Membership guy.

I was asked ‘What do you want to achieve from your membership? Nice open ended question I thought, so explained that I wanted to get fitter. At this stage another probing, open ended question probably wouldn’t have gone amiss, such as ‘Explain to me what you mean by fitter?’ but instead I was then just given the sales spiel. Wow! amazing this guy could read my mind (not!) and know what I wanted without even asking. Clearly wasted in gym membership sales and better off on Britain’s Got Talent!

To cut a long and boring sales script short, when he got to the bit about the contract I was like Whoa!! 18 months!, I don’t think so, I don’t want to be tied into a contract for that long! Mr Gym membership guy then immediately negotiated with me and said what about 12 months? No, What about 6 months? No. I thought this is great if I just keep saying no I will eventually get what I want. (Notice the closed ended questions he asked too!) Sadly, he didn’t and eventually, I said thanks for your time and ended the call. Basically, he had lost the business at my very first objection.

How many times do you fall at the first objection hurdle?

So what could Mr Gym membership guy have done better?

Well there are many things he could have done, but following on from my last blog, what about a nice high gain or open ended question for starters?

Something like:

Describe to me your perfect gym membership?

If he had done this he would have discovered that I wanted to use it off peak, with my kids occasionally, I don’t want to be tied into a contract and the reason was because I had been burnt in the past when I could no longer use a membership due to ill health at the very same establishment. He might have been able to offer me a different, off peak package or offered me reassurances that past mistakes would not have been repeated, instead he lost a hot sales lead just like that because he couldn’t be bothered to uncover my ‘real’ need and objectives.

So don’t fall at the very first hurdle. Instead, make like Jessica Ennis and clear those hurdles the first time by using techniques such as High Gain Questions and Objection Handling

Need inspiration?

For more information on how People Buy People can help you with your Objection Handling techniques, please get in touch via email or give me a call on 07711 999 123.