Objections are a natural part of the selling process. They are simply the manner in which prospects communicate their status in the buying process. They come in forms of challenges, opportunities, problems, requests for more information, cries for help to better understand, stalls, value shortcomings, and more.
The high performance salesperson recognizes and appreciates objections.
If there are no objections, it could mean that the prospect is apathetic. But when there are objections, the key to overcoming them is to turn negative to positive.
While objections obviously present you with barriers to actually finalizing transactions, viewing these objections and tough questions in a positive light can only help you make more sales.
Objections can be seen as challenging aspects of your sales job and mastering objections can lead to an improvement in your sales performance as well as your income. Objections may also be seen as road maps that point you in the right direction toward the successful completion of the sale.
I know salespeople who get concerned when there aren't any objections! They want them to come out, get handled, get overcome, and close the sale with them. If you don't know what's keeping you from a sale, how will you ever know how to overcome it?
In conquering objections, remember that, "practice does make perfect." Please read and re-read this part until you've got a full understanding and are well versed in objection handling.
The Objection Sequence
Listen to the objection. Hear the prospect out completely. Don't anticipate what he is saying and finish the sentence for him/her. Don't interrupt. If appropriate, close your book to take the tension off him/her.
Explain the objection as you understand it for clarity – "I can appreciate that, so what you are saying is (objection)." Isolate the objection and lock it down.
OR question the objection – "That's very interesting. Just for my own information, why do you feel (objection)?" Again, isolate and lock down the objection.
Confirm that you have answered the objection – "I guess we've made that clear?" Or, "Does that make sense now?" Or, "I'm glad you brought up that point, because our most informed customers always become our most satisfied customers. Are you comfortable that we have addressed that 100% to your satisfaction?" Get past it before moving on!
Go toward the close. This must only be done after answering each objection this prospect raises.
The 5 Most Common Objections
The first thing you must understand is that almost all prospects' objections during the course of a sale begin because of a failure to identify objections up-front.
That being said, it is absolutely critical to qualify the prospect by asking them a set of qualifying questions.
Objections can take on many forms or phrases and sometimes are even used as masks to hide other issues or concerns. Sometimes one objection will masquerade to conceal the true objection.
However, no matter what the objection, it can usually be distilled down to one of the five most common objections, which will be covered in detail after this brief description:
- Balks at the price: “Your price is too high.” “Just tell me the price now.” “That’s more than I wanted to spend.” “It’s not in our budget.”
- Not convinced: “Let me think it over.” “We don't rush into decisions like this.” “We’re not making this decision today.” “We need to talk to some people before we can make a decision.”
- Compares your product or service to your competitors’: “I need to get other bids.” “We need to continue looking (get other bids) before we can decide.”
- Unfamiliar with the product or service: “I’ve never heard of that brand.” “I don’t know your company.” “Send me literature.” “Just leave me this stuff to read over.”
- Unsure of product performance: “I think I’ll keep what I’ve got.” “We’re fine with what we have.” “I’ll just fix what I’ve got.” “I've tried it, and it doesn't do what I need.”
All of these have unique responses that are designed to effectively overcome the objection.
We’ll get into the details of each type of objection and offer ways to address them successfully in the next edition of this series.