Feel, Felt, Found: 3 F’s of Objection Handling

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

Written by Eric Petersen, CIC

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. For three ideas on how to dig deeper during a sales call, check out a past article here.

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!

What is Risk Management?

What is Risk Management?

If you’ve been following ArboRisk for any amount of time, you know that we believe in using a “risk management approach” to ensure our clients survive an unexpected event. But what does that really mean? 

Technically, a risk management approach focuses on identifying, analyzing and controlling exposures that could have a negative impact on the business. That means a tree service must be intentional and honest when looking at their business to first gain an understanding of what could go wrong and then be open minded enough to find ways to minimize the impact of those exposures on their business. 

To us here at ArboRisk, the risk management approach starts with having the simple attitude of; always seeking to improve

All too often in the tree care industry, we hear or see the “that won’t happen to me” or “we already do everything we can” attitudes from business owners. These viewpoints block all attempts at proper risk management by closing the business owner’s mind to helpful exposure reducing ideas. Unfortunately, those attitudes are not the only dangerous mindsets we see. We have presented on 7 Deadly Sins of Work Comp at numerous national and local tree care conferences to help tree services avoid common pitfalls and implement a risk management approach. 

Once the tree care company embraces an open mind, then and only then can they identify and assess the risks that their company faces and make a plan on what to do with those risks. It’s also very important to remember that purchasing insurance doesn’t mean you are practicing risk management. While insurance coverage is important it is only one part of risk management. For more on that concept, please read this article (Why Insurance is NOT Risk Management).

If you’re looking to institute a risk management approach within your business, reach out to an ArboRisk team member today. 

Written by: Eric Petersen

Knowledge Transfer to Better Your Business

Knowledge Transfer to Better your Business

According to a study from the Work Institute, the estimated costs of employee turnover ranges from 33% to as much as 200% of the departing employee’s salary. Costs include lost revenue from reduced human resource levels, project delays, accidents, recruiting, training and on-boarding new personnel. The range of cost is affected by the skills and experience (knowledge) lost with the employee. Consider the difference between losing a seasonal employee to the cost of replacing a long-term retiring employee with advanced skills and years of experience with the company and the profession. With the later, the loss to the company is not only an employee but the knowledge that employee provided to the success of the operation.

Understanding that knowledge loss is the major casualty of employee turnover is the first step towards better employee management.

Researchers began studying the impacts of knowledge loss in the early 1990’s. The concern was related to one generation retiring and the knowledge lost as retirements increased. From that research the concept of knowledge transfer developed. Knowledge transfer is a method of sharing information, abilities, and ideas across different areas of your business. It helps capture the knowledge before it leaves the organization and is then used to train replacements, expand service offering and or cross train employees to increase efficiency.

One of the major benefits of a structured knowledge transfer process is uncovering the ‘special sauce’. People who have mastered their job have skills and experience that make them more successful. In addition to having the knowledge, they know when, where, and how to use that knowledge to work effectively…the special sauce.

Googling ‘knowledge transfer’ will give you a whole host of resources, however, the Knowledge Maverick is a free web resource which can assist you with understanding the concept of knowledge transfer and how to implement it within your company. They have developed a series of questions to get you started. The questions were developed to be answered in a conversation between the person with the knowledge, and the person interested in receiving the knowledge. The conversations will help develop more questions and productive discussion. They are also a good framework for employee mentors.

Lastly, there are knowledge transfer professionals that can assist you in developing a transfer system. Because the loss of knowledge within your company represents a large risk to the health of the organization, ArboRisk has created a Knowledge Transfer portion of Thrive to lower this exposure. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the ArboRisk team to learn more.

Written by: Jim Skiera

Easily Increase Your Social Media Engagement

Easily Increase Your Social Media Engagement

The number one question I am asked when consulting with different tree care companies is, “How do I increase engagement across our social media platforms?” It can be incredibly frustrating to work so hard to produce quality content and have your followers scroll past without taking the time to even LIKE your post. Fortunately, there are some quick and fairly simple ways to help your engagement increase across your platforms.

Tip #1: Earn engagement

The top piece of advice I can give to help increase your engagement is to earn it. What do you do on a daily basis to encourage your audience to engage with you? Are you commenting and engaging on their posts? Are you posting content beyond sales pitches? Are people seeing #BTS (Behind the Scenes) of your life and business?

In order to see your engagement increase, you need to be an ACTIVE participant on your social media.

Tip #2: Create a trackable strategy

First and foremost, you should have a strategy when it comes to your social media accounts. Second of all, you should be able to track it in a way that makes sense to you. Take the time each month to analyze what you are doing. Which posts received the most likes? Which posts were saved the most? How many people viewed a particular story? How many DMs did you receive regarding your content? Which hashtags increased your exposure?

In order to up your engagement, use these numbers and create new content around what has already worked for you.

Tip #3: Likes does not equal reach

You never know who you are influencing. Just because someone doesn’t take the time to hit that “LIKE” button (even though it is literally the easiest thing on the planet to do), doesn’t mean they are not watching you. Something you post may trigger a sale or outreach 2, 4, or 6 months down the line. Do not give up simply because you are not seeing the “Likes” come in like you want. By continuing to show up with quality content, you are positioning yourself as the expert in your industry.

Even when you think you are not, you are making connections that will someday positively impact your business.

All in all, increasing your engagement does not need to be frustrating or defeating. Take the time to look at your strategy and Keep. Showing. Up. The more times you show up authentically, the better your engagement will continue to be.


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!

Written by: Katie Petersen

4 Must’s of Effective Leadership

4 Must’s of Effective Leadership

isIn that last couple of decades, neuroscientists have shown that one of the most important aspects of effective leadership is emotional intelligence. A well-known leader in this research is author Daniel Goleman. Goleman states that one of the most important roles of a leader is helping employees engage in their work, ultimately leading to a satisfying work life balance. A key to unlocking that engagement is emotional intelligence.

Although leadership typically focuses on external pieces; such as employees or the direction of the organization, we first need to focus on ourselves, the leaders. In his book “Primal Leadership”, Goleman discusses the importance of leading your followers with emotional intelligence. Whether we like it or not, there is a direct correlation between the leader’s mood, employee’s moods, and performance. Below are 4 key pieces to effective leadership utilizing emotional intelligence:

1)Know Yourself

As a good leader, your employees will mirror your moods, work ethic, and even decision making. This means that the most important piece of being a good leader is being aware of yourself and your mood. If you, the leader, are upset and communicating poorly, what impact will that have on your employees?

Goleman mentions three things we can do to make sure our mood isn’t negatively impacting our followers.

1.Self-Awareness: What mood are we in? Why are we in this mood?
2.Pausing/Reflecting: What impact does this have on others? Is it beneficial or harmful?
3.Adjust: What mood do we need to be in to lead effectively? How do we adjust?

Though these sound simple and straight forward, building self-awareness into your everyday life will help with more than just building strong work environment.

2)Know Your Employees

Once you’ve got a hold of your own emotions, we can start looking out towards our employees. Think of morale, motivation, and optimism as three good measures for productive employees. Outside of work, how do you make people close to you feel like you understand them? An MIT article mentions 3 ways to help people feel understood:

1.Questions: Asking employees how they feel or what their thoughts are on certain topics is the best place to start.
2.Active Listening: Active listening is the idea of repeating what others say to you without inputting your own ideas to make them feel heard. Disregard your personal opinions at first to make sure you’re really understanding how they feel.
3.Perspective: It is important to understand where your employees are coming from in their perspective, not yours as the foreman, manager, or even owner. This will help you work towards a solution much more efficiently.

3)Know Your Organization

Organizations are constantly shifting, often times based on the needs and preferences of their employees. An effective leader should be able to adapt to the culture of the organization as it grows. One important distinction is understanding that there may be different cultures in different departments, each requiring a different style of leadership. I’d challenge you to assess your company culture as a whole, at a department level, and potentially at the level of each crew. This should help identify who your core leaders are, and what type of leadership they need to utilize in each role. Below are some questions to help you get started:

1.What is the organization most known for?
2.What is the organization best at?
3.Where is the organization headed?
4.Who is in charge of getting it there?

 If you need help addressing culture concerns, take ArboRisk’s culture assessment! This assessment can give you a baseline for where your culture is at and you will receive a FREE one page summary of your results!

4)Create a Vision

Effective leadership, and effective organizations for that matter, all require leaders and their employees to work towards a common vision. A clear vision. It is the leader’s responsibility to ensure everyone has a positive outlook on the organization’s vision, creating a positive work environment. The leader should be able to understand bottlenecks arising out of working towards the vision, listen to the employee concerns, and come up with creative ways to work around those issues ultimately keeping the organization on track. This is usually done with the following:

1.Delegating: This is where creativity can come in. Who is best at specific tasks? Who enjoys specific tasks to ensure they’ll be done proficiently?
2.Goal Setting: Visions are long term, goals are short term items that help work towards completing the vision. How can you utilize goals to help motivate your crews?
3.Coaching: “Success is in the journey, not the destination.” Utilize working towards the vision as a way to help your crews grow and learn.

The organization has its goal, but so does each employee. Most people want growth, some want money, others want education. Learn what drives your employees and build that into your overarching goal.

How important are leaders within your organization as it stands? I’d argue leaders are the engines that drive an organization towards its future goals.
A strong company recognizes the need for effective leadership within their organization and utilizes leadership to motivate employees to work harder, smarter, and more efficiently. I’d encourage you to check out some of Daniel Goleman’s work, but there are plenty of resources discussing effective leadership on YouTube as well. This process will hopefully help not only with achieving your company vision, but building a strong company culture along the way. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

Primal Leadership, Written by Daniel Goleman

Written by: Malcolm Jeffris, CTSP