Feel, Felt, Found - Objection Handling
The Feel, Felt, Found method is one of the most familiar objection handling techniques available to the modern day salesperson.
Although it has been around for years and some buyers are wary of it, we feel that it is still a highly effective means of handling objections in most selling situations.
Here is how you can make it work for you…
First, empathise with the prospect’s objection. Let them know that you understand how they feel.
“I understand that you feel that way about [[the high price]], Mr. Smith.”
“I know exactly how you feel about [[the level of service]], Ms. Jones.”
This should enable you to build rapport with the client as you will be seen to be harmonising with their objection.
Second, tell the prospect about another client that (initially) felt the same way.
“I spoke to a client last week who felt exactly the same way as you do about [[the high price]].”
“Many of our clients have felt that way about [[the level of service]].”
By providing the prospect with an example of another client who has felt the same way as they do, you should further convince them that you understand their objection. This should enable you to build trust with the prospect.
By demonstrating to the prospect that other clients have felt the same, you should also make the prospect feel as if their objection is completely natural. This should make the prospect feel more comfortable as they may no longer think that they are not alone in their objection.
Finally, tell the prospect about how this other client found that he or she actually had a positive experience from buying your product or service, despite their initial reservations.
“But when she started using our [[widgets]], she actually found that she [[reduced her labour and maintenance costs]].”
“But when they went ahead with the deal, they found that they [[received a much better level of service than they had with their previous suppliers]].”
By showing the prospect how somebody else has been able to overcome a similar concern, you should make the prospect feel much more confident that they can overcome the objection themselves. Since the prospect should feel as though they are part of a group of individuals that have overcome the objection, they may well change their own mind accordingly.
But be careful…
The Feel, Felt, Found method is great in most situations. But be careful. If used too early, it may fail to address the real objection. This may lead to you comparing the prospect’s situation to clients that are in a completely different situation to the prospect. In turn, this may create further, more complex objections rather than defeating the real objection.
To make this objection handling technique work for you, make sure that you have fully probed the prospect’s objection and understand their concerns first. Ask open questions and carefully listen to the prospect’s response in order to find out as much about the prospect’s objection a possible before clarifying it with the customer.
Then, and only then, should you be in a position to apply the Feel, Felt, Found method in a manner that effectively aligns the objections of others with that held by the prospect.
By demonstrating that you clearly understand the way the prospect feels, providing the prospect with an example of a client that has felt exactly the same way as they have, and showing them how this client has experienced positive benefits despite their concerns, you should put yourself in a far greater position to overcome the prospect’s real objection.
But still be aware… this is an objection handling technique that has been around for years. Many buyers will be highly wary of the Feel, Felt, Found method an on the lookout for salespeople who implement it.
To make it work, try to use this technique as naturally as possible and, preferably, when dealing with prospects that have not been “sold to death” by many salespeople in the past. If selling to savvy buyers that encounter salespeople on a daily basis it is probably best to use this method with caution.
Written by: Steve Eungblut, Managing Director of Sterling Chase