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How to deal with signs of apprehension and objection

In the body language module, we learnt that when closed or negative body language is being displayed by a customer that you should ask further questions, provide further options and reassurance as needed to try and work out what their hidden apprehension or objection is. We also learnt that the simple act of handing your customer a flip flop to hold can get the in a more open posture which will mean that they will be more open and receptive to what you are doing and saying. Below are the common apprehensions and objections that you will encounter when selling the flip flops and the exact phrases we have found to be very helpful to educate and ease the concerns of the customer.

If your patient says that they do not wear flip flops, then you should always ask:

Why don’t you wear flip flops?’ Very often you will find that Archies Flip Flops solves many of the common problems why people do not wear flip flops and your patients will thank you for pointing out how Archies solves many of these problems!

Objections when introducing the flip flops to a new customer:

The most common reasons people do not wear flip flops and what to say: 

1.  The thing that goes between your toes irritates me: ‘Most of the straps and toe poles of normal flip flops are made out of hard plastic, however, as Archies are all moulded as one and are made out of a really soft foam, it doesn’t really irritate. We have had an enormous amount of people that normally cannot wear flip flops due to that reason wear these without any irritation…If you have a pair in the office with you can say. ‘Have a feel how soft they are there.’
2.  They have no support:  ‘Well Archies have the same amount of support that you get from an off the shelf orthotic, which helps to support and more evenly distribute the load and pressure across the foot. They also have a much tighter strap which causes the flip flop to stick to your feet which reduces toe clawing (great to demonstrate clawing action with your hand) and enables you to walk with a much more natural walking pattern than in normal flip flops.’

3.  I get sore when I wear flip flops: ‘Due to the arch support and the tighter strap found in Archies Flip Flops and their positive influence on promoting a more natural walking pastern, while I cannot say for sure that it will be the same for you, many people who normally get sore wearing typical flip flop are often able to wear Archies Flip Flops without pain’. 

4.  I just don’t wear flip flops: Many people that don’t normally wear flip flops just use Archies as an in and around the house as slipper which enables them to still get some great support while giving their feet a break from shoes and likely some much needed fresh air. The soft foam material is great to help take some of the stress on the joints from being on hard tiles and floor boards!’ 

    Common apprehensions that a customer may have once they have tried the flip flops on:

    If the negative body language continues once a customer has tried the flip flops on then you need to try and uncover the reason for their hidden objection by asking further questions, providing more information and/or reassurance as needed.

    The Five most common reasons for apprehension once the flip flops have been tried on:

    1. Arch Profile:  It is very important that you ALWAYS ask the customer how the Arch Profile feels. Too much or not enough support (more common for it to be too much support) are the main reasons. If you sense any form of apprehension in the customer in the model of flip flop that you have just given them to try on, it is important to remind them the following:

    “They can take a bit to get used to just like wearing orthotics or other supportive footwear. However, after a couple of days of wear, they will mould to your feet and become much more comfortable you will not want to take them off!”

    2.  Strap too tight: It is very important that you ALWAYS ask the customer how the strap feels. In the instance that the customer states that the strap feels too tight, it is important let the customer know the following:

    "You will probably feel that the strap is a bit tight. A tight strap is important, as normally when we walk our toes are supposed to bend upwards which activates the arch of the foot, providing protection and support to the vital structures of the feet. However, in typical flip flops with a loose strap, the toes claw down to try and keep the flip flop on the feet. This means that the arch does not activate correctly, which means you do not get the protective support from the arch like you are supposed to. The tighter strap found in Archies causes the flip flop to stick to your feet allowing you to walk with a more natural gait cycle.

    The strap is tight but it will stretch and mould to the shape of the foot after a few days of wear, however, if it is too tight, I can stretch it for you right now. Would you like me to give it a quick stretch for you now?”

    3.  They do not like the colour: A common source of apprehension in a customer is choosing the right colour and at times it can be incredibly frustrating to deal with! When a customer is clearly indecisive about choosing a colour it’s important that you are decisive and provide them with genuine reassurance as that’s often all that they are seeking:

    "I think that colour looks great on you’ or ‘I would definitely go with the X colour".

    4.  The customer thinks that the flip flops are too narrow: In terms of width, Archies Flip Flops are a designed to be a reasonably narrow fitting flip flop and a ‘snug’ fit is best. The flip flops being narrow fitting tends not to be a problem in younger people as it’s fashionable to wear the flip flops with a ‘snug’ fit, however, older people generally need a bit more education as they often can be quite concerned if there is any overhang.

    It is very common when a customer tries on a pair of Archies Flip Flops, that a portion of the potential customer’s foot will hang over the edge of the flip flop. E.g. The outside edge of a person’s foot will hang over the side, or it may be that the big toe is slightly off the edge of the flip flop.

    In this case, it is important to let the customer know that:

    "Archies are a reasonably narrow fitting flip flop and some overhang is not a concern as almost ALL people overhang a bit!  The most important thing is that the flip flop is comfortable and the orthotic sits in the correct position on the foot. As we are catering for people with wide feet, narrow feet and so on, this shape has been tested to be the best shape for the majority of people and some overhang is completely normal."

    5. The customer thinks that the length is not right:  In terms of length, a snug fit is also best. Many people are used to wearing flip flops that are far too big for them. If the customer gets a flip flop that is too big for them then the orthotic will not sit in the correct spot and they will be prone to tripping. As a result, it is extremely common that you will need to spend some time educating your customers that in order to get the orthotic sitting in the correct position, a “snug” fit with “less flip flop” is best. If the customer thinks that the flip flop is too big when in your opinion it is not, it is important to let the customer know the following:

    “I actually think that the fit is perfect as a snug fit is best. This is because if you go too big in terms of length, the orthotic does not sit in the correct position on the foot and there will be too much space in front of the toes which can cause you to trip.”

    It is always then great to get down on your knees and point to the spot you are talking about and add the following:

    “See the heel sits perfectly in the heel cup and the arch starts in the right position and finishes in the right position, if you go much bigger, the orthotic won’t sit in the correct position on the foot and there will be too much space in front of the toes.”

    In terms of getting the right fit, it is important that you aim for as minimal as possible space between the end of the toes and the end of the flip flop and that the back of the heel is in flush / in line with the back of the heel cup.

    Provide your expert opinion and reassurance, however if the customer is resistant to your advice, just be agreeable:

    If someone is displaying negative body language, it often because they are insecure about their decision and they often need some positive reinforcement, from you, the health and style professional. Hehe! For example, if you think the colour really suits your customer but you sense through their body language that they are insecure or unsure about it, then go on and re-assure them and say “I this colour looks great on you!”. Or if you think that the fit is perfect, then give them your professional fitting advice and let them know this and let them know why. However, while it’s great to provide reassurance to an apprehensive customer, once a customer’s mind is clearly made up, you should never disagree with a customer or try to persuade them to your way of thinking. In this case, leave it at that and agree with them and say something like, “Look, I take that back, I think you are right”. Once a customer’s mind is made up, we have found that there is just no point going on with it, after all, they have to be happy with their buying decision.

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