If you Google "Feel/Felt/Found" you'll get a whole list of blogs that teach selling techniques telling you how to use this popular sales approach. Just in case you've never heard of this method, the concept is that you use the "feel/felt/found" approach to let the person believe that you "understand how they feel, others have felt the same way, and once they've made a change, they've found something different to be the case."
Here's the thing. While it may seem impossible to make this approach about you (if you're the sales person), you'd be surprised. As I read through several blog posts on this topic today, I noticed something. Most of them have got it all wrong. Although I know their intention is to teach me to make customers feel that I've got empathy for them, they've still managed to make it about me (the salesperson).
Here's an example:
Your prospect says something like:
"I'd love to use your service but we just can't afford it."
A brief example of answering sales objections using "feel-felt-found" would be something like this:
"Strange you should say that.
I can certainly understand how you could feel that way.
Mr Jones over at Allied Inc felt the same way for a long time.
Then after he started using our service he found that the added cost
was minimal and was far outweighed by the benefits of our premium service."
See what I mean. It just feels "smarmy" and makes me want to run, if I'm the prospect. Like a gimmick or a line someone is using on me.
So how about making it about what you feel, what you've felt, and what you've found, and letting the other person apply that in their own way? Something like:
Your prospect says:
"I'm interested but I'm just not sure I could actually stand in front of people and do this."
Here's a better answer, (in my opinion):
"I completely understand how you feel. I distinctly remember the first time I stepped in front of a group of party-goers, and it was frankly terrifying. I felt like I was going to throw up, and I never thought I'd get it. What I've found over the past year, though, is that it's gotten easier with practice."
I'm not asking someone to put themselves into the shoes of a satisfied customer or some other third party person. In fact, I'm not asking them to put themselves into anyone's shoes. I'm simply sharing my experience, which allows them to relate to me. This approach works with potential customers, sponsoring leads, and your team when you're dealing with objections.
So, the next time you face an objection, consider using the "feel/felt/found" technique. Just keep it all about you.
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Julie Anne Jones is a direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.