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Have it Your Way

Want a formula for overcoming objections? The key is to ask the right questions.

This story appears in the March 2008 issue of Start Up.

One of the biggest challenges you face as a new entrepreneur is overcoming objections. In fact, sometimes it may seem as though the word you hear most often is no. But an objection is really the starting point for meaningful dialogue, not the end. The key to transforming no into yes is to uncover the problem at the root of a prospect's objections and pose reasonable, beneficial solutions.

Questions are the most useful tool for overcoming objections. There are two types:

  • Closed-ended questions can be answered with yes, no or a fact. "Who is your present supplier?" is an example of a closed-ended question.
  • Open-ended questions reveal the emotion behind the answers. These are thinking, feeling and finding questions. "What do you like best about your present supplier?" is an example of a question that might help a prospect open up.

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