LAER Bonding Process is Timeless, Essential for Effective Selling

 

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In Dimensions of Professional Selling, the LAER Bonding Process is presented as a means to handle objections, defuse anger and build relationships.  LAER most intrigues DPS participants for its application in handling objections – because objections create some of the most uncomfortable and challenging situations for sales professionals and the LAER Bonding Process is tremendously effective in improving the dynamic when objections arise.  But we shouldn’t overlook the continual need for the LAER Bonding Process in our day-to-day sales life.  While we are not always handling objections or defusing anger, we are continually building relationships, and in that regard, the LAER Bonding Process is an ongoing, universal necessity for effective selling.  Here’s a recap of LAER essentials:

Listen

We revisited the importance of Listening to Understand in detail in a recent blog (read it here).

  • Shows interest, encouragement and respect
  • Requires silence and patience on the part of the sales professional
  • Avoid interrupting or prematurely reacting
  • If you are already formulating a response while the customer is talking, you aren’t listening

Acknowledge

  • Often happens simultaneously with, and affirms listening
  • Demonstrates concern, empathy, support
  • Can be non-verbal (head nod) or verbal (“yes,” “I see what you mean,” etc.)
  • Is not the same as agreement

Explore

  • To confirm and extend understanding
  • Least natural of four LAER behaviors
  • Purpose is to gather more information, restate, verify to clarify
  • Is NOT probing or interrogating
  • Gets you into the customer’s “Odds Are”

Respond

  • Only when you have a clear understanding of customer’s situation or concern
  • May need to run through L-A-E cycle several times to attain clarity needed to Respond
  • Includes recommended solution, corrective action and/or next step

LAERThe benefits of the LAER Bonding Process go well beyond handling objections.  It is a communication strategy to improve understanding, common ground and, ultimately, the quality of the customer relationship.

 
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