Stalls and objections are always best handled up-front before you ever go for the close.

Sometimes though, there are leaks in your system, and a prospect throws an objection at you that you’ve never heard before.

I thought I had heard most objections by now in my career, but my friend Sean told me a new one Friday night over drinks.

He was selling installed flooring systems to homeowners at their houses.

A common objection for in-home sales people is "I can’t decide now, I gotta check with my husband/wife".

But that is easy to handle up-front. A good in-home sales person knows how to get agreement that both the husband and wife will be there for the appointment.

This objection Sean told me about was different.

He said that for the part of the country where he was making calls at, he commonly would hear when going for the close "We will have to pray on this."

And that was it.

Sales call over – no order that night.

Sean said he had heard this more than once. It was somewhat common in the homes in the South that he was calling on.

Somewhat common there maybe, but boy that sure was a new one for me.

I mean hey, I live in California. There aren’t many places out here where I would hear that one.

So Sean went on to tell me that he had a very experienced old sales manager at the time. And one evening over beers he challenged his manager to show him how he would handle it.

The old veteran said "That’s easy. When the folks say ‘We’ll have to pray on this.’ I just put both my hands on top of all four of their hands and clasp ours all together, put my head down, and I shut up. I keep my head down silently until they say something. I close ’em every time with this."

If you start seeing an objection that stumps you coming up frequently, you gotta have a plan to handle it.

Better yet still, you should have a plan to avoid it from coming up in the first place.

This can  be done by making sure that everyone who needs to be consulted in the decision is there for the sales call (or if you are in business, securing commitments for access to those who will be involved in your decision).

In the case of "We have to pray on this", the prospect is introducing a new decision-maker into the process: God. That’s an unusual twist, but one that could be handled nonetheless asking for and gaining a strong up-front commitment from the prospect to make a decision at the end of the meeting.

If you don’t know how to get good commitments up-front, you better skedaddle on over and get yourself the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program. In it I show you the emotional leverage technique for avoid objections and stalls altogether.

Thanks goes to Sean F. today for sharing this war story with me.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus