C of L.A.C.E. —
In my last article, I shared with you the A step in my L.A.C.E. process for handling questions and concerns. In this article, I’ll share with you the C step.
The C is a common step in many objection handling processes. It is to Clarify Their Question or Concern. As a reminder, we’re viewing these as questions or concerns versus objections. Our goal is to try and get to a place that works for both parties.
Once your customer or client shares all of their questions or concerns, you want to clarify what you’ve heard. Your goal is to make sure you’ve captured all of their questions and concerns, and fully understand what they mean by each of them.
You want to be sure you know what they meant by their question or concern versus how you understood it through your filter. It doesn’t mean you to need to clarify all. If for example one of their questions is “Does your product come in blue?” you don’t need to say “So you want to know if our product comes in blue.” If they ask something like “I’m concerned about your pricing” you are going to want to gain clarity as to what they mean.
You are going to want to ask open-ended questions to find out their interpretation. For example, you may want to ask, “Can you share what about our pricing concerns you?” Make sure you don’t provide them options. You want their words. For example you don’t want to ask “What about our pricing concerns you? Do you think it’s too high?” If they think it’s too high, you want them to tell you without you leading them. Let the question be completely open-ended. You don’t want to make it a multiple choice, either.
Clarifying is an important step because if you start answering and have misinterpreted their question, you can irritate them, and they can feel as though they weren’t heard. Plus you may end up sharing information that at best is irrelevant and at worst can hurt you.
It can be an easy step to miss as we may think we do understand what they meant yet in their mind their question or concern was completely different.
An associate of mine and I were teaching a workshop, and one of the attendees asked my associate a question. It seemed fairly straightforward and she spent a couple of minutes answering it. At the end, she did the right thing and asked, “Does that answer your question?” They said no. She smiled as she realized she hadn’t fully clarified their question before responding.
Upon completion of the C stage of L.A.C.E., you should have all of their questions and concerns on the table, and have clear understanding of those questions and concerns. Then, and only then, can you proceed to the E step. We’ll cover that step in the next article.
You now have 3 of the steps in my process for Overcoming Objections, questions and concerns, and not only closing more sales but closing more profitable sales, through my collaborative selling philosophy.
About the Author: Michael Levin is President and CEO of Custom Solutions Inc. He shares his unique and high impact philosophies and processes in the areas of Sales and Leadership along with Presentation Skills. His clients include Pepsi Cola, Oracle, Olympus, DuPont, UBM, and more. He is the author of several books, including Sitting on the Same Side of the Table: The Art of Collaborative Selling, and a co-author of Jack Canfield’s (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul) The Road to Success. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.michaeljlevin.com/.