Using 3rd party stories to handle sales objections

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One of the challenges when you move into sales management is that the tools you use to handle the objections are not the same as the ones you use in leadership. What worked for me as a top performing sales rep no longer works as a leader. Why is that? What has changed?

I had to take a look at my current career and realize there was one thing that I did as a field rep that I took for granted.  It felt very natural for me to use relevant 3rd party stories to handle prospect objections. It was a skill that I developed over the years, and I’ve always used 3rd party stories in my sales process. The mistake I made in teaching my team to handle objections was teaching them to use my stories to handle objections. That can work when a rep is new to the business, but ultimately I had to teach my reps to use their own stories. This caused a lot of challenges with my team. People were left to handle objections without being taught how to identify their own 3rd party stories.

Why people love 3rd party stories

Third party stories create familiarity and build confidence that the person selling actually has done this before. I strongly recommend that you have three to five 3rd party stories for every objection you will hear in your sales process.

The ideal 3rd party story will be a story that is factual and shows a positive outcome for the person in the story. It also helps if your prospect knows the person involved– maybe it’s a competitor or someone in the same field as them. This will help your prospect visualize themselves as your example of a positive outcome. If you’re just getting started in sales or with a company, you probably don’t have any 3rd party stories. That’s when you reach out to your managers, mentors and peers as a source of information for your 3rd party story. Managers, it is your job to teach your team how to use these. Give them plenty of examples of 3rd party stories so they can use them to their success.

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