In a contractor sales training a couple weeks ago, the section that got the participants the most engaged was on “Handling Objections”. I want to dissect that more, but for today, I’m going to limit this to offering a virtual role-play. Here’s the scene. We’re at a home, at the tail end of an assessment. Advisor (Mike) asks Homeowner (Anne) if she’s ready to move forward.
MIKE (Advisor): Now that we’ve figured out what’s going on and how to make sure your daughter’s room stays warm, would you like me to go ahead and write up the order so we can get a crew out here to fix things?
ANNE (Homeowner): I don’t think I’m ready.
MIKE: I understand. A project like this is a big undertaking. Is there something in particular that you unsure of?
ANNE: It just seems so involved. The insulation sounds complicated, and cutting open the wall to fix that duct is really going to make a mess.
MIKE: Yeah, there’s no doubt construction can be a bit disruptive. Fortunately, we’ve got a great handle on exactly what you need to make fix your daughter’s bedroom. Won’t that be a relief? Have you had to deal with construction mess before?
ANNE: Well, when we built the addition to make the family room bigger, it was a nightmare. It took so long, and it seemed like we were living in dust for months. And you know I work out of my home office, and I think the noise would just be too much.
MIKE: Wow, that doesn’t sound good. I can certainly understand not wanting to deal with that. It must have been hard working with the banging and sawing for that long.
ANNE: Yeah, and I had to replace the hallway runner after. It just seemed dirty and worn out will all the foot traffic.
MIKE: I certainly wouldn’t expect you to be too excited about going through that again. This project should only take 2 1/2 days. Can I tell you a bit more about the installation process we use?
MIKE: Fortunately most of the insulation work happens outside or up in the attic. At the end of the day, we rake the yard, and sweep out the garage and the driveway.
Cutting out that drywall is going to make some dust. But we cover everything in the room, and vacuum as we go to capture the dust. We actually hang plastic over the door, and use a fan to keep the dust out of the rest of the house.
When our crews get here, they put on the same booties I’m wearing, and they lay tarps down from the doorway all the way to the room—their shoes never touch your floor. That inside work should only one day to get the ductwork replaced and the wall closed back up and on the second day we’ll be back to get the wall paint-ready.
Now, can you help me understand how we can help with the noise?
ANNE: I’m on the phone throughout the day. And it just doesn’t sound professional if I’ve got the racket in the background. It’s distracting, too.
MIKE: That sure would be.
We have a no radio policy, so you don’t have to hear blaring music. The attic work shouldn’t be noisy—you won’t hear that in your office.
But the first day we’ll be drilling into the wall from the outside, and there will be some noise from cutting in the duct. It’s not continuous, but it is there. What if we set you up in our conference room for a day? High speed internet and phone? Just so you wouldn’t have to deal with the noise for the day?
ANNE: I actually go in to the office for the day every Wednesday.
MIKE: Oh, we can work with that. How about if we schedule the project to start on a Wednesday, we’ll get the noisy part out of the way then? And could we finish up on Thursday, with a perhaps few hours on Friday morning?
ANNE: That could work.
MIKE: Great. I’ll call the office so we can find the right date for you. And we’ll book the cleaning service for that Friday afternoon just to give you some extra peace of mind that by the time your daughter is home from school, everything is buttoned up and ready to go.
ANNE: OK, that sounds good.
OK, they’re not all that easy. But there are some important things going on here that we’ll revisit soon to outline an approach to handling objections.
Part 2: “Objection Handling” Overview
Part 3: Objection Handling Exercise