In the online marketing space, we’re taught to think of everything as an objection to be busted. When someone asks a question, your job isn’t to answer the question but to bust the objection, whatever it might be.
For instance, when you sign up for a high-ticket program, it will often include a bonus that’s all about objection-busting. They will have training about how to bust the different objections, such as money and time objections.
Is time always an objection or is it sometimes a reason? Is money always an objection or is money sometimes a reason?
I think these are questions we need to be asking.
Don’t Treat All Valid Reasons as Objections to be Busted
The internet marketing gurus are making you into a salesperson to bust objections rather than encouraging you to have an open and honest discussion. Many would tell you that if you’re selling on the phone, then you should never let someone get off the phone without committing. Otherwise, they won’t come back.
What’s the big deal? What’s the problem if you’re busting things that maybe are legitimate reasons?
It’s a big deal for me because I’ve seen the fallout from people purchasing courses that are $1,000 to $2,000 up and get little to no value from them.
In the online course industry, the completion rate is only around 15 to 20%. This number is about the same for memberships. The reality is that a lot of people don’t participate or do anything with the courses they purchase or the memberships they join.
What about the success rate? It’s usually even lower than the completion rate, maybe 10% to 20%.
Think about that for a second… That means 80% of people aren’t going to get results. In fact, most won’t even recoup what they paid for the program.
Maybe, just maybe, a big part of that is because we’ve been trained to treat valid reasons why people shouldn’t join as objections to be busted.
Don’t Say This Will Work With No Audience Or List
One thing that frustrates me in the online marketing space is when people say their program will work even if you have no list and no audience.
These are programs about helping people create a product. So it’s complete BS to say that it will work without following. Are there people who have no list but succeeded? Sure. Maybe 0.05%.
What people need to do is find and build their audience first and then sign up for your program on building a digital product. If you don’t know your audience, you don’t know what kind of product you should create.
I believe it’s unethical to tell people this will work without a list or following. Now, other people may disagree with me. I realize my view may ruffle some feathers, but it’s something that I believe to my core.
Is It Possible For The Majority To Succeed With This Objection?
One of the ethical norms for the American Marketing Association is “Do no harm.”
That means it’s not okay if 10% of your people that have a particular objection can succeed but the other 90% are going to be screwed over by signing up for your program.
I can’t be sure that 100% of people with an objection will be able to benefit, but it’s got to be something where I can feel that the majority of people with this objection can succeed.
Going back to the no list, no following example. I don’t think you should ever try to bust that one. If someone asks if it will work, I think you should say that it’s possible but be honest that most people aren’t going to succeed because the first step is to build an audience.
If you want to be an ethical marketer, you have to honestly ask the question, “Will most people with this reason not to buy be able to succeed in my program?” And if you cannot confidently say yes, ask yourself, if you treat that as an objection to be busted, are you violating this notion of doing no harm?
You Need to Balance the Needs of the Buyer and the Interests of the Seller
Another value for the American Marketing Association is fairness, which means to balance justly the needs of the buyer with the interests of the seller.
Are you giving legitimate concern to their interests? Or are you wanting to treat this as an objection to serve your interests of getting more people to buy your product no matter whether it serves their interest or not?
If you want to be an ethical marketer, I think you need to be willing to ask yourself that hard question of “Is this really about me?”
Are You Over Promising?
Are you exaggerating the outcome your product will give? Or are you saying that everybody’s going to get great results, but there’s a range of results people get? And then you allow people to make decisions.
If you’re absolutely clear that it’s going to be hard and you give your people all the information, and then they’re asking questions, you answer them. But if you’re not having those hard conversations, and you’re busting objections, it becomes problematic.
Are you thinking of legitimate questions as objections to be busted partly because you don’t want to take responsibility for the decisions that you’ve made in your marketing strategy?
It’s important to always be thinking of the best interest of your audience. You need to be transparent about the other things they need to make decisions. That means asking yourself: Is this the best way to serve my audience or is it about making more money?
These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself about the way you build your business, at least if you want to be an ethical marketer.
Moving Beyond Objections
Money oftentimes isn’t an objection. It’s a valid reason. Lack of time isn’t always an objection. It’s often a valid reason too. And I’m going to tell you again that if they don’t have the prerequisite skills, a list, or an audience, that’s not an objection. That’s a valid reason. Where is the line for you?
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