How do you deal with the “I need to speak to some references” objection? Do you cave in and happily send your prospect two or three clients who are satisfied with your product or service? And if you do, have you ever found that some of those prospects never call you back?
As you already know, when someone asks for references there is usually something they are not sold on. They are either not convinced that your product or service will work in their environment, or they might feel they don’t need everything you’re offering, or the price may just be too high. Or this stall could just be a smokescreen hiding the real reason which is they just don’t want to tell you “no.”
Either way, just handing over references without digging a little deeper and finding out what is hiding behind this smokescreen is almost always the wrong thing to do. What you need are different approaches that get your prospect to open up and tell you what their real concerns are. And the way you do that is by using a best practice script.
In my new book, Power Phone Scripts, 500 Word-For-Word Questions, Phrases, and Conversations To Open and Close More Sales, I give you a ton of new responses for the objections, stalls and other situations you get into, and in today’s blog, I’m going to take a page out of that book and give you four scripts that will help you deal with the references stall.
These four responses will range from the stronger approach of “Do you think I’d give you a bad reference?” to the softer approach of, “Let me know what areas of concern you have so I can match you up with the right client to speak to.” Like all the scripts and techniques I teach, it is up to you to choose the approach you feel most comfortable with, and then personalize it so you don’t sound like a robot.
But the bottom line is that once you have scripted out a best practice approach to handling the objections, stalls, and resistance statements you get – day in and day out – the better your results will be (meaning you’ll make more money.)
Give these responses a try the next time you get, “I want to speak to some references”:
Stall: “Do you have some references I could call?”
“Absolutely. As you can imagine, I have a folder filled with happy and satisfied clients. But _________, let me ask you – do you think I would give you a bad reference?”
[Let them respond]
“Of course not. I’m only going to give you clients who love us and what we do for them. So what that tells me is that there is something you’re either not convinced will work for you yet, or that you don’t think this is quite the fit you’re looking for. So, while you have me on the phone, please, level with me – what’s the real issue that’s holding you back?”
“I’d be happy to provide you with a reference or two, and let me ask you: if after you speak with them you hear what you need to hear, are you going to move forward with us and put us to work for you?”
“Great! Then hang on just a moment and let me get a client on the phone, and I’ll conference you in. After you’re done with your conversation, we can get you signed up…”
“_________, when someone asks you for a reference for your company or service, have you ever found that some people never even call the references?”
[Let them respond]
“And don’t you get the feeling that there is just something that’s holding them back and they just aren’t quite sold on your company yet?”
[Let them respond]
“Well, since you’ve got me on the phone right now, why don’t you tell me what’s holding you back or what you’re concerned with, and I’ll see if I can answer it for you.”
“I’d be happy to. Now ________, as you might imagine, I’ve got all different kinds of clients using this, so do me a favor: let me know the things that are concerning you, and I’ll then match you up with the right reference who can address those things for you.”
As you can see – when someone asks you for a reference, the most important thing you can do is isolate this stall and get your prospect to reveal what the real concern is. Unless you find out what that is, not only will your prospect not call your reference, but they may never call you back again either.