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Feel, Felt, Found: The 3 F’s of Objections Handling

Written by Malcolm Jeffris, CTSP

Unfortunately, part of being in sales entails hearing objections from your prospective customers.  While many times the objection can be demoralizing to you, the sales person, it really is simply a statement by your prospect that they don’t yet see the value in what you have to offer. The key word is ‘yet.’ It is your job as the sales professional to find a way to overcome that objection and show the value to your prospect so they purchase from you. 

Think about the rejections you often encounter in the tree care industry – “Your price is too expensive,” “We just don’t need it right now,” or “I’ll just let the tree die and plant something else.” Each of those statements give you a glimpse into what matters to the prospect and where you missed in delivering that value to the prospect on the initial presentation.

After years of sales experience, participating in sales courses, and shadowing some very successful insurance agents, I want to share what I’ve seen as the best way of handling objections: the Feel, Felt, Found method.

1. Feel: “I understand how you feel.”

Letting people know you’re listening is one of the most important pieces of the sales process. The premise of “feel” is letting your prospect know that you understand how they feel about the product or service you’re trying to sell them. For example, if they tell you they feel your estimate is too expensive, let them know you understand they think your price is too high. Simply acknowledging their main concern is the first step in working towards a solution. 

 2. Felt: “I’ve felt that way before.”

Felt is your opportunity as a salesperson to let your prospect know that either you, or someone in the past, has been in the same position. With the price example, you simply state “others have felt that way before.” This puts your prospect on the same level as their peers. People crave a sense of belonging and informing them that they are not alone with their feelings brings a bit of humanity to the sale. 

 3. Found: “But what we’ve found is…”

Once you’ve set the foundation in letting your prospect know you understand them and informing them they are not alone, it is now your chance to explain why they should consider moving beyond their initial objection. This is your opportunity to explain to your prospect how you may not be the cheapest tree service in the area but the benefits of them choosing your company more than make up the difference in cost. Use real life examples such as, “we’ve found that companies without a Certified Arborist are two times more likely to damage your property” or “we’ve found our higher price to be worth it as our high end equipment ensures the job will be done on time and in a safe manner.”

 

The magic recipe is “I understand how you feel, others/I have felt the same way, but I’ve found that…” 

It is important for you and your team to recognize that the feel, felt, found method is not efficient unless you have a good understanding of why the prospect is objecting. If you don’t understand why they are objecting, it will be much more difficult to close the sale.

During your next sales meeting, I’d encourage you to brainstorm with your team about common pain points your prospective customers have. Then write down the ways your company can solve those issues and the common objections you hear for those solutions. Lastly, discuss previous customers who have given you similar objections and still purchased your product or service. This will give you and your team the building blocks you need to start feeling comfortable handling objections, and ultimately closing more sales.

For additional help with objection handling and one-on-one sales training, check out ArboRisk’s Thrive Sales & Marketing Package! Our team of industry experts has the skills and knowledge to help you take your tree care company to new heights. Click here to learn more!