How to Strategize to Overcome Objections during Your Innovative Presentation - dummies

How to Strategize to Overcome Objections during Your Innovative Presentation

By Ray Anthony, Barbara Boyd

There are essentially three fundamental strategies you need to know about to effectively deal with objections to your innovative presentations: prevention, analysis, and convincing your audience.

  • Preventing: Doing a meticulous audience analysis that identifies your audience’s key needs, wants, concerns, risk tolerances, priorities, and preferences goes a long way toward meeting your goals with little or no resistance. If possible, ask some of the people who are attending what they and others would absolutely want to hear about your topic and what areas of potential contention might be brought up.

    You can then develop and focus your compelling content in such a way as to better convince people, who might otherwise have reservations. Delivering an excellent, innovative presentation will significantly reduce the chance of problems. Planning and preparation for resistance is vital to success.

  • Analyzing: If you get an unexpected objection, your goal is to quickly and accurately identify and understand the underlying nature and cause of the resistance. Perhaps someone has had prior bad experiences with a program like yours. Find out why and to what extent someone hesitates or shuns your recommendations. Just because one person feels a certain way does not mean others do.

    Just like hostile questions, find out if others are aligned with the person who objected. Suppose someone says, “Let’s think about it some more.” Your response might be, “In your opinion, what specifically needs to be thought about and why?”

    Or what if a person says, “It’s not in the budget,” then you can counter, “Are you saying that you feel that the program I described is very worthwhile and if a budget was available, you would endorse and support it?” If the person says “yes,” you can logically say, “So why don’t we at least try to get it funded if you feel that positive about it?”

    These comebacks can smoke out any insincere answers by qualifying the objection, which is part of analysis. Empathic listening and smart probing are key.

  • Convincing: After you fully identify the real reasons behind the objection, you can answer in a sincere, realistic, and persuasive way to see if you can influence the person’s thinking or feeling.

    What if a person hits you with, “We don’t have enough time or resources to get it done” and you reply, “What if I showed you a draft plan and informal survey that says, in spite of the fact that people are overstretched, not only can we be creative with time and resource constraints, but about 72 percent of people polled are interested in this idea?”

    Imagine an audience member saying, “Your concept is too outrageous.” Come back with, “Sure this approach may initially seem far out. I understand. We have a real opportunity to slam-dunk an increase in market share with a new product like this. Let me quickly give you six incredible examples of bold, daring, and even outrageous ideas in our industry that created new fortunes for them over the last five years.”

    Being not just profoundly creative, but logically compelling with your answers will melt away resistance.

Never call an objection an “objection.” That gives it undue weight. Call it a question, an issue, an item, a point being raised.

Try one of the following tactics when dealing with objections:

  • Pre-answer: If you strongly suspect that several people in your group disagree with a specific part of your presentation or will bring up a point of contention or concern, it’s a good tactic to anticipate the problem by bringing it up yourself and answering it beforehand.

    From a psychological standpoint, it shows that you are not only aware of a potential feeling or concern but not in the least worried about it.

  • Use a metaphor: Aristotle said that one of the signs of genius was the use of metaphors. You often hear people using (muscle-developing) steroids as an example of metaphors such as: “This machine is productivity on steroids.” A software company advertising their presentation software, which focuses on visuals more than text says, “This will give the eyes of your audience something to scream about.”

  • Provide proof: A powerful way to counter an objection is to use various forms of proof, such as facts, statistics, video, demonstrations, examples, and anything else that provides concrete substance to back up your claims.