Sales Secret #137: Use Evidence To Defeat Objections And Win Sales

Defeat your objections by using supporting evidence.In the Dale Carnegie Course and the Sales Advantage Course, we have a formula for remembering the types of evidence that participants can use to support their position in a discussion or a sales presentation.

When we are engaged in expressing our opinions, or selling our products, services and ideas, we encounter less resistance when we can supply some additional information that supports our claims. In the Dale Carnegie Course, participants have an opportunity to practice a method for supplying the various forms of evidence in making their case more persuasive. In that process, we use multiple forms of evidence which can be remembered by using the acronym DEFEATS.

The various forms of evidence are as follows:

Demonstrations: Show the operation of the product you are promoting.
Exhibits: A physical representation for your audience to focus on.
Facts: Something about your product that is measurable.
Examples: A situation where your service performed well.
Analogies: Compare your idea to something that is easily understood.
Testimonials: Written or spoken support from one of your clients.
Statistics: Numbers gathered about your product's performance in certain circumstances.

In explaining the various forms, I like what one of our sales instructors said in class when the discussion turned to selling hi-tech equipment.

Often, when selling technical equipment, we carried a small, portable machine to show the potential client, giving them a chance to touch and feel the unit. In this particular class, we were discussing the different forms of evidence and how to use the different forms when engaging a technical audience. One participant asked, “How can we tell the difference between an exhibit and a demonstration?”

The instructor said, “If I hold my demo unit up high for all to see, it’s an exhibit. If I start to turn knobs and press buttons, then it’s a demonstration. If I talk about how other clients are using it, it’s an example. If I let the client talk about it themselves, either through a letter or a recording, then it’s a testimonial.”

When considering evidence, remember that certain audiences will relate to some forms better than others. Technical people love to see things in action, so a hands-on demonstration will probably go over well with this crowd. Executives, on the other hand, prefer to see the big picture and the want to know about other executives who are taking advantage of your offer. They may relate better to examples and testimonials. Money people, like the CFO and the accountant, are typically more detailed oriented. So, statistics and facts will probably be more useful with those audiences.

As always, these are generalizations. Do your research on your target audience before going in so you can tailor the presentation and the supporting evidence to make the best case for your product, service or idea.

When you’re out there making your sales presentations, always keep some forms of evidence with you. It will make your sales process and your life a lot easier.

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