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Handling Objections: A Primer

October 2, 2018

Fraternal Twins – Rejection & Objection

 

 

 

 

They’re different problems, but the feeling is the same.

 

Everything is going well, when you start to feel a change in the energy.

To everyone else in the room it’s just a regular interaction.

But you can see it coming from a mile away.

His face starts to scrunch up, arms get crossed. 

He starts to look away, or to close off. 

 

Then you hear it.

 

 

                 “That’s too expensive.”

                                                       “But what are you gonna do for me?”

“I don’t go to the back.”

 

 

Fuckin’ A…right?

 

If you’re getting frustrated over and over by these common complaints, I’ll be willing to bet you one thing: you don’t have a concrete plan for handling the objections of your customers. 

 

I’m also willing to bet you another thing: the objections that are frustrating you are getting repeated at you day after day.  You’re battling the same problem without a clear strategy to counter it, and you’re probably not even aware of it.   

 

Reframing Objections: The Beginning of Rejection or a Call for Help?

 

How is it that we can face the same problems without creating solutions?

 

It comes down to how we perceive and feel objections.  To put it bluntly, objections make it easy for us to shut down.  And often, that’s what we’ll do.  Because when we hear an objection, we’ve taught ourselves that it’s the precursor to no.

 

We’re trained to follow through on the easy sales: the customer asks us for the dance or to go to the back.  They’re ready to spend money.  They don’t ask how much it costs, or put up resistance to the sale.

 

However, for many entertainers the slightest hint of pushback can feel like the end of the sale.  Instead of pushing through, providing solutions to the customer’s problem, and encouraging a sale, most dancers mentally give up on the sale before they’ve presented a pitch, or even walk away physically before encountering the rejection. 

 

To be clear, not every objection can end in a sale. 

Sometimes customers do have a limited budget. 

Sometimes they’re not interested in buying dances or intimacy and they really do want to buy more than a given entertainer may be willing to offer.  Sometimes they really don’t go to the back.

 

But the way that you know that isn’t by giving up on the sale.

And in the long run, giving up on these sales before you’ve gotten started is costing you untold amounts of income. 

 

 

So, Why Are You Giving Up?

Emotion, Logic, and Preparation

 

 

Our interactions with customers can rise from an emotional or from a logical place.

 

On this website you won’t find any blanket criticism of coming from a place of emotion.  It’s a part of our job to provide closeness and honesty; and our emotional world can often help navigate interactions that would flounder and fail if we treated them as a rational, analytical problem to be solved. 

 

 

 

However. 

 

 

 

 

In order to provide that emotional connection from an authentic place, you have to create a logical map for how to negotiate objections with customers.

 

The more you practice handling objections in different ways when you’re not in a tense and emotionally charged situation, the easier it is to make your responses seem and feel honest, realistic, and helpful.

 

We’re going to break down how you can go from treating objections as failures, and start using them as opportunities to guide and inform your customers, solve their problems, and encourage them to buy from you.

 

Mapping, scripting, and practicing are essential to smooth transitions from objections to sales, and in the rest of this chapter we’re going how you can manage and master those steps on your own. 

 

 

Part I: Mapping Objections

 

What are they saying?

Pay Attention

 

 

If you’ve never kept track of what customers have to say about the club, you may be surprised to know that they’re not actually telling you that much. 

 

Just like the small talk items you go through at a club get repetitive night after night (“where are you from? What about the weather? Local sports team!”), the objections that customers are voicing usually fall into very few categories- and getting a sense of these may make all the difference.

 

But before we get into it, I’m going to need one thing from you: Don’t trust anything I say here.

 

I want you to go out and confirm this on your own. 

 

Do not take my word for it. 

 

Go out, talk to customers, and keep track of their objections.

 

Whether you’re writing them down as your night goes on, at the end of the night, or in your phone or a notebook in real time, your job is to get a sense of what customers are telling you.  What are their concerns to closing a sale with you?

 

 

The Usual Suspects: A Limited Set

 

What you’ll find is that customer objections are not all over the place.  While you’ll hear many different iterations, you’re going to come across the same objections over and over again.  Here are some examples of these:

 

Price point objections- these are the most common one you may hear at work.  They revolve solely around the price point, but in the next section we’ll use these as an example of why going deep on the motivations of your customers can uncover alternate explanations for their complaints.  Here’s a few:

 

“Why is it so expensive?”

“$20/40/60? For a dance? That’s way too much!”

“at X club I got three times that for half the price!”

“No way I’m paying that!”

 

 

Time objections- these are (rarely true) objections based around some imagined “deadline” that supposedly marks the end of your customer’s night.  If you’ve ever seen one of these Cinderellas stay long after their “I’m leaving in five minutes” spiel, you know what a crock of horses**t these can be.  Some more in this category:

 

“I have a meeting in the morning, I can’t afford to stay out”

“My flight leaves early, I have to leave after this song”

“I’m just waiting for my buddy, he’s in the back”

“I’m just finishing my beer, I already spent all my money”

 

 

Quality objections- these usually come from customers that are looking to be catered to, and who have found their experience less than special.  They might be nitpicky, but often creating a positive experience for them can overcome their objections and make them very grateful for your time.  Here’s some of their favorites:

 

“Hard to get a drink around here, huh?”

“There’s not even a _______ in the private rooms?” (insert: stage, free bottle of champagne, closed door, self chosen music, etc.)

“The girls here are not attractive.”

“I went to X club in Vegas, and it was MUCH better”

 

 

Prior negative experience objections- These usually come from customers that already have been spending money but simply didn’t get what they were coming from at the club.  They range from the reasonable to the very unreasonable, and your responses should be very different in return.  Examples:

 

“I just spent an hour in the back, and I didn’t like it!”

“The bouncers/staff/waitresses/dancers/management here were rude.  I’m not spending another dollar here.” (hint: if they’re still in the club, what are their actions telling you to contradict their words?)

“I got a dance from ________ and it was awful.  She didn’t even let me ______.”

 

 

Negotiation Station- this is my fond name for those customers that view the club as their own personal negotiating practice session.  You often can’t tell if they’re there to purchase or if they’re actually just getting off on arguing with you.  Some examples of their best work:

 

“I’ll pay half as much, that’s my final offer”

“If I get three songs will you give me a discount?”

“Tell the floor guy I won’t do more than 200$ for the half hour”

 

 

So, let’s say that you start listening out for these.  Maybe you keep a running list for a few days, or a few weeks.  What do you do with that information?

 

You use it to craft responses with a specific response in mind: getting that customer to buy from you.

 

 

Part II: Drafting Answers

 

Drafting Answers to Objections

 

 

When you answer off the cuff to a customer objection, you may be coming from a variety of places.  You’re at work.  You’ve probably been dealing with a series of interactions, some good, some bad.  Maybe you’re full of energy.  Maybe you’re really tired.  In the heat of the moment, it’s going to be difficult to narrow down how you want to respond to a customer, and how to use your answer to produce a certain response.

 

But, what if you got ready in a different way?

 

What if you could figure out what the best answer to a customer when you’re at the top of your game?

 

This is the whole point of scripting and drilling responses.

 

Take yourself out of the club.  Go somewhere beautiful, safe, and comfortable.  Pick a spot that inspires you or reminds you of what you’re working so hard for.  Meditate. Do yoga.  Drink some coffee.  Do whatever gets you in a great mood.

 

And then, take out all those customer objections you wrote down.  And figure out ways to answer them one by one.

 

When you’re doing this, try to imagine being at the club.  Try to call back to the interaction when you heard the original objection in the first place.  If you were in your best place, and ready to push for the best result possible, what would you have said differently?  What would you have done differently?

 

Write it out.

 

Was there more than one way you could have responded to get the result you wanted? 

 

Write those out too.

 

The first time you sit down to dissect objections like this, you may only get through a few.  It may feel awkward and clunky to come up with answers and practice them at home.  But stick through it.

 

Bring that best self into the club, so that your mood or energy level isn’t what’s making the decisions for you.  When you’ve already thought through the plot, what guides your thinking is that long term goal you’ve already set out. 

 

 

Part III: Beyond Drafts: Using Your Responses

 

Here are some of the questions you may have in mind when using this strategy.  I know I did.

 

How do I know that my answer is the best one?

I can’t use the same answer for every customer.  How do I create variety?

Won’t customers know that I’m scripted?

 

Here’s the thing.  This strategy doesn’t end when you write down potential responses.  Think of this process as your first draft.

 

It’s incredibly useful.

It’s a fantastic first step.

But it’s just that. A first step.

 

You would never send a book to a publisher after writing one draft.

 

In the same way, your best responses, comebacks, and pitches will likely not show up the first time you jot down your ideas.

 

They’ll come from a process of trial and error. 

 

 

Part III: From Paper to Action

 

If you haven’t put your words to trial, you do not know if they’ll work.

If you haven’t put your actions to trial, you do not know if they will work.

If you haven’t put new habits to trial, you do not know if they will work.

 

Just like in the last section, don’t believe me when I tell you it works.

Only believe me after trying this strategy over and over.

 

I will tell you that it does work- but that doesn’t do anything for you. If you don’t actually go out there and use your notes to build a sales system that works for you, you will never find out how efficient of a tool this is. 

 

 

Here’s one way to practice:

 

Drill these into your head.  Whatever your answers are, you should have something to say to all of the common objections you hear at work. 

 

Doesn’t matter if the first answer you came up with is great or if it’s less than quality.

 

At this point it doesn’t really matter if it comes off genuine or drilled.

 

All that matters is that you’re getting to it.

 

 

Some of them are going to work.  Some of them will sort of work.  Some of them will fail spectacularly. 

 

When they work, remember them.  Keep a tracking system to manage what you’re using, and what’s working.

 

The ones that don’t work, take out of your line up.  Try something new to replace them, and keep tracking what’s working for you.

 

The ones that are in between, aim to fix.  Could you interact with the customer differently? Could you use a different tone or demeanor?

 

 

This strategy accomplishes two things:

 

The first, obvious one, is that it encourages you to get better and better at answering customer objections.

 

The second one is arguably even more valuable though.

 

The more you evaluate objections and responses from a place of curiosity and creativity, the less you’ll be feeling the emotional impact of them.

 

Instead of getting overwhelmed and frustrated, you’ll be looking for patterns and aiming to build on your win ratio. 

 

Another thing might happen. 

 

Instead of looking at the club just from your perspective, you may find yourself looking out for your customer first.  Figuring out why they might be offering certain objections and finding ways to problem solve for them, so that they feel that it’s taken care of.

 

 

Then, you’re really cooking with gas.

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