The Difference between Questions, Objections and Smokescreens

One of the most challenging aspects of selling, and sales training, is handling objections. I’ve aimed to simplify this concept as much as I can over the years, and I think we’re nearing the zenith of how clear we can make it.

The first thing people need to recognise is the difference between a Question, a Smokescreen and an Objection.

For the purposes of this post, let’s assume you are speaking to someone about a product or service you offer. After presenting the product, your prospect raises the issue of price.

This might sound like: “How much does this cost?” This is an example of a question or a request for information. It’s important to realise that this is not an objection. The person may simply want to know the price of an object. They don’t necessarily have an opinion about it yet.

You simply need to answer the question with a balanced and concise answer. That may sound simple, but giving consistent, balanced and concise answers requires identification and practice.

Now let’s say that your prospect responds to your balanced and concise answer by saying “I will need to think about it.” This is an example of a smokescreen. The reason I call this a smokescreen is that it may or may not be an unspoken objection, masked by a statement that sounds plausible.

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

Your job here is to clarify that ambiguous statement with something like: “It sounds like you have some concerns about the price, would you mind sharing them with me?”

After clarifying the objection, your prospect may then reply with “It’s too expensive.” This is an example of an objection. An objection is a statement made by a prospect that they are placing in between themselves and saying yes to the commitment you are asking for.That commitment might be an appointment or a transaction.

Once you’ve determined that you have an objection in front of you, you need to understand what type of objection it is. There are two main type of objections, which for lack of better terms at the moment, I’ll refer to Emotional and Rational. I’ll get into the difference, in my next post.

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people through vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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Rod Solar

Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people with vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK