Hot Buttons and Objections – Politicians

My Chinese partner, Michael Chen, CEO of Zest Learning in China, has asked to write a series of blogs on what is the key hot button for each of the seven components and what are the likely objections such individuals are likely to provide during a sales call. Of all the seven components, decision makers are more likely to have the Politician or P component so I will start with them.

High Ps are driven by the desire to win and love making decisions. So the worst thing you can ever do when presenting to a P is telling them what they can or cannot do. Instead what you need to do is present your proposal a series of choices or what are known as minor point closes. For example, do you want it in pink or blue? Do you want a manual or automatic?

There are three objections that High Ps typically make. The first is Bad Past Experience with your company. Ps have very long memories and never forget either a failure or a slight. If this objection arises, ask them for more information and then ask them what they would have done if the positions were reversed. The usual answer is they would terminate someone’s employment. Then say that is what happened in this case. If you cannot say that the best strategy is probably to move on to another prospect. Ps are dogged and once they have formed an opinion will steadfastly maintain it.

The second common objection is I do not like your company. This is the problem that start-ups businesses face. High Ps prefer to deal with well-known established companies that have a good reputation and if given the choice between a start-up and a multinational will choose the latter every time. Unfortunately most decision makers have a high P component which means it is curtains for the start-up. Instead start-ups need to focus on prospects with either high E or A temperament components. (The Enthusiasts and Visionaries in Crossing The Chasm.) Again if in that situation the best strategy is to move on.

The third common objection is I do not like you. This is more common than people realise and Ps make up their mind more quickly than most. They believe their intuition and people skills are better than most. So how do you overcome this objection? One trick that I used to use when I was selling was to have two business cards. The first just had my name and title:

Chris Golis – Salesman

The second would have my qualifications:

Christopher C Golis MA (Cambridge) MBA (London)


If I was dealing with a P prospect (they are very easy to spot) I would immediately use the second card. The first thing Ps do when they meet you is try and establish your status. They would look at my card and say something what college did you go to at Cambridge? I would answer and then ask if they had ever been there? With luck the prospect would come to the conclusion that he or she was talking to a winner and rapport would be built.


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