OK, you are in a sales role. Sales objections are going to come up.
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It is one of the unfortunate ironies that you will get more sales objections when you first start selling than at any other time in your career. The reason that happens is that when you first start selling you don’t have the experience to accurately qualify your prospects or to present to them in a way that will cover what they want to know before you ask for an order.
Sales objections should not be feared.
That’s easy to say for me or any other experienced sales person but maybe not so easy to grasp if you’re new to this game.
So below I’m going to offer some advice about handling sales objections.
Five steps to handle sales objections for newbies:
- Breathe – Don’t panic.
Many an inexperienced salesperson when they get an objection has been kno
wn to react with fear or the appearance of being stunned (you know, standing there with mouth open but no words coming out).
Worse still, some salespeople try to argue with their prospects.
The thing you need to get is the attitude that objections are likely to come up and its important not to overreact to them.
- Acknowledge your prospect’s sales objection.
The objection may seem unusual to you it may even seem irrelevant but it is not to your prospect. Your prospect needs to know that you hear his sales objection, that you sympathize with their concerns.
By acknowledging the objection you start to build a relationship between yourself and the prospect and that will help you later in the sales call.
You may say something like, “I appreciate your concerns about the….”
- You need to ask questions about their objection.
This serves two purposes.
Firstly you are uncovering the details of what their objection really is and secondly by asking more questions you are showing that you are interested
Believe me; you’ll get a lot further in sales by being interested than by trying to be interesting. I firmly believe that curiosity is one of the most important traits of a salesperson.
Don’t start attempting deal with the objection until you fully understand what it is.
During this getting process your prospect may well enter her own objection.
Sales professionals know that there is more to answering an objection than the “answer.” They know the client is the key to the solution.
- Feedback their sales objection to them.
When you finally think you’ve got it you need to check with your prospect that you can really understand what their objection is. That way you are both on the same page and there is a chance for meaningful communication.
It often a good idea to feedback their objection to them in the form of question because as a salesperson you can answer a question.
- Qualify it as the only true objection.
When overcoming sales objections you need to qualify it as a true objection.
You may choose to say, “You mean that’s the only reason you’re not buying?”
Now he can either say yes or no. This smokes out the real objection. If it’s a fake objection the prospect will say “No.” then you can ask what are his or her other concerns. If he says “yes, that’s the only reason why I’m not buying” you now know the real objection and you can start to answer it.
The most important part in all of the above is to keep the dialogue going. The worst thing that can happen is stony silence from you when you get an objection.
By acknowledging the objection it gives you a chance to start gathering your thoughts on coming up with questions. Feeding back the sales objection further builds the rapport you have gained by acknowledging them. Finally by qualifying this is the true objection you are not wasting your time chasing phantoms.
Answering the objection will then happen as part of the dialogue between you and the prospect. Your success will depend upon your product knowledge, the fit of your product or service to their needs and your ability to communicate effectively with them (words are the most powerful drug known to mankind).
Following these guidelines will help you, but there is a lot more to handling sales objections.
Just ran across this article which gives some useful information.
- cold calling: how to answer, “what is this in regards to?” – question of the week. “when i ask to speak to the owner of the company, the gatekeeper asks in some form or another, ‘what is this in regards to?’ my question is how do you answer that question?” answer. just answer the question. …
- sales education: can sales be taught in the classroom? – that’s the question i put to my linkedin network, and the range of answers i got was illuminating. when i’ve talked about this in the past with sales pros, including some of our veteran account managers here at hoover’s and sales …
Some more interesting articles on sales objections are listed below:
- The 8 Objections – Just Sell®… it’s all about sales® – Objections are a requirement to a successful sales day. In fact, without them, you’re likely not engaging your prospects and customers. It’s the introduction of an objection that can spark a flow of information that can help you further qualify a sales opportunity and better understand the needs and current environment of your prospects.
- Requirements, Trade-offs and Sales Objections :: Medical Connectivity – This is another installment of a series on selling connectivity. You can read the first installment, with links to subsequent posts, here. There is no one product that best fits every customer’s requirements, yet the goal of product …
- Six Major Sales Objections and a Plan on How to Overcome Them … – You are an expert complex sales professional and you know how to use prospecting to your advantage. Before you even make a cold call you have already done …
- 4 Tips for the Non-Salesperson on Overcoming Sales Objections – In my previous post, we covered sales objections and some of the most common reasons why a potential client may be hesitant to do business with you. Once you know where that objection is rooted, you can start to work on helping the …
- I Object! How to Identify Sales Objections That Are Costing You … – In a perfect world, we would be able to just do the work we’re passionate about without having to worry about selling our services. But the reality is that we need a steady flow of business to keep our businesses afloat. …
- Overcoming Sales Objections the Easy Way | Chris Garrett on New Media – Overcoming objections is an essential part of the sales process, but it seems one that people I speak to either neglect or are fearful of. Really it can be very easy to counter objections, but before we get into that, I should describe what I mean by objections and what I mean by overcoming. Objections are anything that stops a customer from buying from you.
I am a strong believer in a sales person knowing what sales objetions they typically get.
I believe this is important for two reasons:
- it highlights what you are not doing / covering earlier in a sales call
- it gives you specific targets to practice your objection handling skills.
Now there are sales trainers out there who would tell you to take your regular objections. Work out answers for them. Try those answers in the field. Then memorise the ones that work for each specific objection.
I do not agree with those rote learning approaches !
If it was that simple you could train a robot / computer to sell for you !
I favour teaching your mind how to generate responses to objections on the fly.
Because each customer is different and each buying scenario is likely to have unique characteristics.
That’s what I teach in my sales coaching.
For an article about the rote approach click this link
Like most everything else in life sales objections are about how we frame them more than they are about reality.
Everything that happens to us is coloured by our perception of it.
Our perceptions are governed by our values, past experiences, our intentions and our current mood.
So, what about objections ?
Maybe some of what we think are objections are not and maybe they are not buying signals either maybe they are just someone trying to understand what we are offering and how much benefit it could be for them.
That’s what the following article from Paul McCord states quite well.
Time and time again sales objections come up about price.
And sales people are always after sales coaching on handling objections.
Well the truth is if you had built enough value earlier in the call that there would likely be no objections coming up.
And price objections would be the first ones to fall by the wayside.
Value is a funny thing too, it is perceived and perceptions are emotional.
The follwoing post tells a story that highlights that very point in a most unusual way.
Overcoming Price Objections by Charlie Cook.
I do not agree with all that is said in this video but some of it certainly makes good sales objections handling sense.
I certainly do not agree with delaying dealing with objections till the end of a meeting as it tends to show disrespect for the prospect.
Have a look and tell me what you think.
It has been a strongly held belief that sales objections are buying signals.
Well they can be and sometimes they are not.
Sometimes they are an example of sloppy saleswork being done early in the sales process.
Sometimes they are just a manifestation of good ole procrastination.
Obviosly, you need to know how to deal with sales objections as that ability is your insurance policy. Otherwise once you get an objection, for whatever reason, the sale has ended. I am available for sales coaching on how to handle YOUR sales objections
The article below asks the question are sales objections buying signals.
In terms of answering sales objections sometimes it’s good to use contrast to your advantage.
On my website I have some pages relating to Robert Cialdini’s influence patterns from his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. (A great book and a MUST read if you are serious about being a sales person)
Cialdini discusses the Contrast Principle at some length in his book.
The contrast principle can be used when you are dealing with price objections to make the cost of your offer look smaller. The idea is to compare your price to something larger so it doesn’t look so expensive. You may compare your price to the extra profit the client will make or to your competitors or to the much larger costs inherent in the client’s business.
Let’s explain the contrast principle and see how it works.
The contrast principle affects the way we see the difference between two things that are presented one after another.
Simply put, if the second item is fairly different from the first, we will tend to see it as more different than it actually is.
So if we lift a light object first and then lift a heavy object, we will estimate the second to be heavier than if we had lifted it without first trying the light object.
If we talking to a beautiful woman at a cocktail party and are then joined by an unattractive one, the second woman will strike us as less attractive than she actually is.
The point is that the same thing can be made to seem very different, depending on the nature of the event that precedes it.
Examples of The Contrast Principle in action include:
- Retail clothiers selling the expensive suit so it’s easier to seel you shirt and tie later.
- Car sales people selling relatively cheap accessories after you’ve agreed to purchase the much more expensive car.
- Real estate companies using “setup” properties where they take you to a couple of overpriced houses before they show you the house they think you will want.
- Warning your customers of an upcoming 10% price increase when you know the increase will only be 5%.
The great advantage of this principle is not only that it works but also that it is virtually undetectable. Those who employ it can cash in on its influence out any appearance of having structured the situation in their favour.
In relation to Objections the principle of contrast is often used when you run into a price objection.
Client says to you, “Your premium service would cost me an extra $1000/year.”
Using “contrast” you could reply, “That’s right for about $2.50 a day you could have all the advantages of the premium service.”
$2.50 a day seems much less than $1000, doesn’t it?
I’m sure that any of you that have been involved in sales for some time would have heard of the “Feel-Felt-Found” approach to dealing with a sales objection.
This is quite an effective tack for dealing with many objections.
You should consider practicing the use of it because you could use it in a number of situations.
I would be a bit concerned about using it when speaking to a professional buyer these days as the framwork has been around that long that you run the risk of the buyer noticing it and possibly thinking you are trying to manipulate them.
Just for a review (in case you don’t know the pattern) let’s go through an example.
Your prospect says something like, “I’d love to use your service but we just can’t afford it.” (Sound familiar?)
An example of your response, using “feel-felt-found”, would be something like the following.
“Strange you should say that. I can certainly understand how you could feel that way. Mr Jones over at Allied Inc felt the same way for a long time. Then after he started using our service he found that the added cost was minimal and was far outweighed by the benefits of our premium service.”
Prospect says, ”We’ve been with our current supplier for many years, I’m just not sure about moving my business to your company.”
You reply, “ I appreciate you feel that way. I would hope you would feel the same way if you’d been doing business with us for many years. In fact, a number of other companies that have switched to us in the last 18 months have felt the same way. That’s why it’s so gratifying that all of them have found the move to be such a good one for their company.”
I repeat, this “feel, felt, found” pattern can be used in MANY situations and should be part of your sales objections kit.
Just take care to make sure it sounds polished and don’t use it too often on professional buyers.
This is a wonderful last-ditch retort.
You’ve been consulting with your prospect or client for some time. No resolution, no sale. You’ve run out of things to say.
Then you say, “What’s the one question you could ask to be totally convinced that this is the product for you?”
This is a beautiful question because of the presupposition that is inherent in the question.
A presupposition is something, often not specifically stated in a sentence, that has to be true in order to make sense of the sentence.
For example if your partner asks you to pick up the laundry on the way home. Certain things have to be true. There has to be laundry, there has to be a place to pick it up from (laundromat) and you have to have a home to go to.
Now the presupposition in the question above is that there is a question that will cause your prospect to be totally sold on your offer. They don’t even have to answer the question!
Once your prospect asks a question his/her unconscious mind believes that this is the product for them.
It doesn’t make the sale but it’s a rung on the ladder because it starts them thinking about using your product.
Prospect says. “I can’t see your service working here.”
You reply, “That’s right you can’t see our service working here….yet… because you haven’t yet asked the one question that allow you to realise all the benefits you will have by using our service.”
This follows a pattern I recommended earlier. That is, you agree with the objection first and then try and redirect it. As a general rule meet them where they are and then take them where you want them to go.
Handling objections in a necessary skill for a sales person.
There is a certain mindset you need to have in order to handle an objection effectively.
There are certain things you need to practice and in a certain way.
Take a read of the attached post for some pointers.