Disarming Decoys To Close More Sales

In today’s Game Changer, you will learn how to identify when your client is giving you a decoy and exactly what to say to move past it, so that you can close more sales and make more money.

It is easy to romanticize sales work. We love the idea of unlimited income and we always assume people will be receptive to our proposal especially if they requested information about our product or service. Reality however is different. People are suspicious, busy, and broke. Well, at least that is what many communicate when we present our products or services. As Zach has said many times on the podcast, people do not like to be sold. So, when a stranger makes contact with them about a product or a service their defenses automatically go up.

The decoys they present to us generally sound something like this:

  • “Before we go any further, you need to know that I cannot afford anything.”
  • “You need to know that we are not going to sign anything today.”
  • “We’re not buying anything from you today.”
  • “We tried this before, and it didn’t work out.”
  • “I’m already talking to my friend who sells insurance.”

Prospects bring emotional baggage into sales conversations that have built up over a lifetime of dealing with poor salespeople. They are suspicious of your motivations and don’t trust you and don’t want to be manipulated.

As a sales representative you should plan on prospects throwing out defensive decoys to thwart the conversation in the first place.

If you are expecting these responses and are prepared for them, it will save you from being caught off guard and committing one of these three common sales killers when presented with a decoy:

  • Becoming agitated and argumentative
  • Becoming impatient and talking over your prospective client
  • Skipping sales steps in the sales process

These unprofessional responses can escalate quickly and blow up your sale. High performing salespeople see decoys for what they really are…buying signals. Prospects put up these defenses because they know what average sales people do not, they are buyers. Decoys are their only defense to prevent them from purchasing something, whether they may actually need it not.

It will feel counterintuitive, but if you can leverage a simple but powerful influence framework then you will have an excellent opportunity to navigate past the decoy and close the sale. One way to do this is to employ a non-complementary response. Your prospective client is expecting you to respond the same way that everyone who is selling something responds. They want you to get defensive and argumentative. A non-complementary response allows you to disarm and defuse the decoy and move forward with your sales process.

If your prospect throws out a decoy, simply:

  • Respond in a relaxed tone
  • Acknowledge the issue
  • Take control of the situation

Here’s A Couple Examples:

Decoy: “Before we go any further, you need to know that I cannot afford anything.”

Response: “Mrs. Smith, I understand that you are on a limited budget. Everybody that I speak to about this is on a fixed income so I guess you could say that we are experts at helping people in your situation. Before I go over this information with you, who would you want to protect with this benefit and how would you want them to use it?”

Decoy:  “We tried this before, and it didn’t work out.”

Response:  “Mr. Jones, I am so sorry that you had a negative experience. We have helped many people who felt the same way find a way to protect their families. One of the reasons that I do this for a living is to help people who love their families take care of them the right way. Now before I go over this information with you, who were you trying to protect when you were looking into coverage?”

A non-complementary response will disrupt the tone of the prospective client and give you the control that you need to address the need and complete your sale. 

One last word of encouragement, it takes lots and lots of practice in order to be successful at this.  Do not try and wing this. Emotions can run hot and if you are not prepared, it is easy to engage in a way that will not benefit you or the prospective client. If you want to close more sales then you need to practice your non-complementary responses to disarm decoys. If you can do this you will close more sales. 

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