Handling Objections Using the Feel-Felt-Found Method
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.— Maya Angelou
Develop a "Clients First" Attitude
When I coach sales agents about selling, I explain to them that the most important part of selling is that they genuinely care about the client. In fact, my company slogan is, “The broker with the Client First standard!”
Before you begin the selling process, you need to listen to the client so that you can discover what the client's problem or need is and whether or not what you have to offer solves their problem or satisfies their need.
Clients need to know you care about them and the way you show you care about them is to show them that you understand their situation.
Once you feel you have a true solution, you have an opportunity to offer your product or service to them. The feel-felt-found method is a technique that you can use after you have presented your solution and the client further presents valid objections. If you feel you can overcome the objections by providing a bona fide solution, only then should you proceed with the feel-felt-found method of overcoming objections.
The feel-felt-found method means using language that suggests that you understand how the client feels, you and/or others have felt that way too, and what they found was the following solution.
The feel-felt-found statement is summarized as such: “I understand how you feel, others have felt the same way too, but here is what they have found.”
Let’s break down each component of the feel-felt-found method using the following real life scenario. The names have been changed to protect the privacy of the actual individuals.
Scenario: Janice is a real estate sales agent. Janice’s client, Melissa, is a single mom with an 8-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son.
Janice finds a house with the right price, floor plan, and neighborhood style that satisfies all the items on Melissa’s wish list. Melissa’s main criterion is that the house is located in a cul-de-sac and Janice manages to find a house in the only neighborhood that has a cul-de-sac. Melissa really likes the house and wants to buy the house, but Melissa hesitates to write the purchase agreement.
Melissa’s objection: Melissa’s only objection to making the decision to purchase the house is that the house is located in Palisades Heights, which is five miles away from the nearest elementary school. This distance is too far for her children to walk to and from school.
Janice’s solution: Janice’s solution is that there is a free bus service available to pick children up and drop them off at a bus stop near their house each day. There is also a daycare service on the school grounds. The daycare service offers before and after school care.
Let’s see how the feel-felt-found method works in this scenario.
I understand how you feel…
When you say you understand how the client feels, you are letting them know that you have been listening to them. You understand their problem and concerns.
Janice says: I understand how you feel about the house being in Palisades Heights. It is five miles away from the school and that is too far for your children to walk to and from school each day. I know you work and you might be able to drive the children to school in the morning, but you would not be able to drive them home in the afternoon.
I/we/other people have felt the same way too…
People tend to feel comforted knowing they are not the only person who feels the same way as they do. When you tell the client that other people have felt the same way too, you are confirming and validating their feelings on the matter.
Janice continues by saying: When the Palisades Heights community was first built, like you, buyers felt that the community was too far from the school.
But, here is what I/we/other people have found…
This is when you offer a possible solution to the problem that you have identified.
Janice finishes by saying: But, here is what they found. There is a free school bus service that specifically serves the Palisades Heights neighborhood. Children are picked up in the morning and dropped off in the afternoon. There is also a Kids’ Country Daycare service that allows parents to drop off their children as early as two hours before school starts and three hours after school ends. This is great for parents who have to work and don’t want to leave their children home alone. Parents can drop their children off at the daycare center in the morning and then pick them up in the evening.
In the scenario above, Janice listened to Melissa and then showed that she understood Melissa’s concern about how her children would get to and from school. Because Janice offered solutions that could solve Melissa’s problem, Melissa felt comfortable purchasing the house in Palisades Heights.
Be a Salesperson That Cares
Maya Angelo’s famous quote outlines an important quality of a salesperson that cares. Listening and asking questions to understand the client’s need before making a recommendation for the product or service you offer shows you care about the client and that you care about their need more than you care about the sale.
Putting your client’s need first will lead to a satisfied client. A satisfied client is likely to buy from you again and is likely to refer other clients to you for future business.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Marlene Bertrand