Anyone who owns or operates a business is in sales.
Sales objections are unavoidable. In fact, regardless of our profession, we all deal with objections in life with co-workers, business partners, spouses, and family.
The good news is that there are ways to get around those objections. All it takes is a little preparation.
The first consideration is that when you sell, whatever you sell, you should never be surprised by objections. In fact, every objection is an opportunity. It is an indication of what your prospect has in mind. Thinking of it this way makes it a positive.
Objections Can Teach You A Lot
When an objection is presented, listen carefully completely; pause, and make sure you understand the situation. When you respond, the most effective responses are generally framed as a question.
- Objection: "Your price is too high"
Reply: “I understand your concern, what were you planning to spend?”
- Objection: "I want to think about it."
Reply: “That’s a fair statement, so what are the specific items you want to think about?'
Dig deeper. You want your prospective buyer to open up and tell you more about what is keeping them from making a decision. During this exchange, be real, be sincere, be understanding and be positive. Honest, heartfelt questions will normally get prospects to open up. And, you must answer the objection to the satisfaction of your client, before moving forward in your process.
Never argue or debate with your prospective client: nothing stalls or even kills a negotiation faster. Never speak poorly of your competition. If an objection forces you to compare your product or service against a competitor, use factual information only. Hearsay and rumors do not lead to long-term success.
What's The Silver Bullet to Eliminate Objections?
Objections are part of the selling process and they will never totally be eliminated. However, they can be greatly reduced.
How? By spending more time qualifying your prospect and finding out his or her needs and expectations are before you do your presentation. You need to ask a lot of questions. And then, listen to the answers. You can defuse many objections by clarifying the expectations before you start your presentation.
Example: At the end of a perfect presentation the potential buyer announces they need to consult with another person before they can make a decision. How could this objection be avoided? Ask up front if all decision makers are present and make sure that everyone who needed to be there would in fact be there for the presentation. If not, abort and reschedule. This issue could have been prevented completely by simply asking the right question up front.
Try this short exercise to improve your handling of objections:
Write your top five most common objections on one side of a piece of paper. On the other side, for each objections list 2-4 clear responses (framed as questions) that will address the objection and keep you engaging with your prospect.
Your top priority in the discussion is to truly understand the needs of your prospect. His or her objections will help you figure those out. Review your list regularly and get comfortable with the concept that every objection is an opportunity.
Remember that every objection is an opportunity.