The 4 Steps to Get Past Sales Objections
The last word in the English language that any salesperson wants to hear is “no.” But first-rate salespeople don’t pack their bags and leave the call or meeting when they hear that word. They interpret “no” as an opportunity. This is the mentality that any salesperson should have.
What is an objection? It’s a mere expression that a prospect has put up a barrier between the rep and the sale getting made. It’s now up to the rep to determine what that barrier is so that it can get broken down. Also, it’s a positive sign that the prospect’s engaged. This is a lot better than dealing with an apathetic potential buyer.
Never take “no” for an answer. At least, not at first. Instead, view it as the next step in the selling process. How? By using the following four steps. These will assist you in overcoming objections and increasing your sales numbers.
Step One: Listen to the entire objection.
It’s human nature for the salesperson to want to interrupt the objection. It’s likely it’s an objection you’ve heard before and you already know what you want to say. But it’s best for you to keep your mouth shut until the prospect finishes talking. You’ve got to keep your cool and listen to what he or she is telling you. It’s likely you’ll get pointed in the right direction toward identifying the barrier. Quick reactions sometimes lead to salespeople making assumptions.
No matter what is being said, never get defensive. This is the case even if you feel you’re getting attacked. You’ve got to do all you can to do away with your negative emotions. They never lead to anything worthwhile taking place. Focus on two things:
Do your best to understand the prospect’s concerns. This means you’ve got to try to take your bias out of the equation. Do all you can to provide verbal confirmations that you’re listening. The prospect will appreciate that you’re hearing him or her out.
Step Two: Have a full understanding of the objection.
Salespeople can’t take objections at face value. Why? Because many initial objections are only clues to what the real objection is. Some prospects have trouble communicating what their primary objections are. Others would rather not tell you at first. This is why you’ve got to treat all initial objections with a grain of salt. Your responsibility is to get to the real objection. Once you do, you then must do your best to understand it.
This may mean you have little choice but to ask the prospect for permission to have a brief discussion. Let him or her know that you’d like to understand what’s going on. Do so in a manner that conveys to the prospect that you care about his or her problems. Next, the prospect should agree to have an open dialogue with you. During the conversation, reiterate your concerns. Allow the prospect to learn how you understand his or her situation. Restating the objection should make the prospect see things from an altered perspective. That perspective should be different than what you heard during the initial objection. Ask plenty of “why?” questions to make sure everything you’re unsure about gets clarified. The prospect’s answers should spell out what the real barrier is. You’re now closer to moving the process forward.
Step Three: Offer thoughtful responses.
You’ve now done all you can to get to the root cause of the objection. It’s now time to address the objection. If there’s more than one objection, begin by addressing the biggest one. Once the most difficult objection gets dealt with, the prospect might concede. He or she may realize that the smaller objections no longer matter.
You’ve got to resolve the barrier as fast as possible. Never say you need time to think things over. Doing so will decrease your odds of getting a sale. Only stop the phone call if there’s something you must look up that will take a long time. Otherwise, keep your responses to the prospect clear and concise.
Step Four: Ensure you’ve satisfied the objection.
You’ve responded to the main objections. It’s now time to make sure you’ve satisfied the worries and fears of your prospect. If he or she didn’t question your response, that doesn’t mean that the objection has vanished. Be direct. Ask the prospect if he or she’s satisfied with your proposed solution. Explain the solution some more if you need to. Many objections need a lot of dialogue to get overcome. Don’t try to force the prospect into an agreement. Let it go for now if you can tell that he or she isn’t ready. Also, listen to the prospect’s tone of voice. Some will say “yes” in an unenthusiastic way. Why? Because they’ll say whatever they can to get off the phone. When this happens, it usually means that the objection still exists.
Bonus: The Most Common Objectives to Overcome
Example: “That product is way too expensive. I can go to X and get it for way less money.”
This is when you need to justify why there’s a difference in cost. The key here is to offer value. You’ve got to convince the prospect that the value justifies the cost. This is why knowing about your competitors is so important. It allows you to say this. “Unfortunately, their product is inferior. This is due to not having a Y . There’s also poor performance on a regular basis.” This will establish that what you’re selling’s superior to what other companies offer. If you haven’t already analyzed your competitors, the time to do so is right now.
-A complacent prospect:
Example: “You know what? I’m cool with how things are now.”
This is when you need to inject a healthy dose of fear into the conversation. Why? So the prospect will begin to consider the possibility of making a change. Again, this is why knowing your competition is so important. You can scare the prospect into realizing that no one but your organization is looking out for him or her. Fear is a prime motivator that leads to action.
-Refusing to change:
Example: “Our organization has done it this way for two decades. We’re afraid things will change for the worst if we screw this up.”
The fear of change prevents many companies from making purchases. The best way to reduce the fear? Discuss past examples of customers who also feared change. Convey how they benefitted from the product or service. One startegy is to tell prospects how their industries have changed in the last decade. This shouldn’t be difficult to do, thanks to tons of technological advancements. This will reduce the fear. Next thing you know, your confidence will have rubbed off onto the prospect. Say the objection concerns having to change office equipment. This means you must work with the prospect to find creative ways to make that change painless.
-Not trusting the salesperson:
Example: “You’re telling me you know what you’re doing. That’s fine. But how can I trust that you have enough experience to help me out?”
Trust is never won in one day. It takes time to earn. The main things you can do are always be honest, consistent, and show that you care. That’s how you overcome this objection. Provide as much relevant information a you can to show that you have done your homework. The more knowledge you have, the more likely it is that the prospect will trust you. The more the prospect talks to you, the more confident he or she will be in your abilities.
-The prospect would rather deal with his or her family or friends:
Example: “I promised my brother-in-law that I’d use his company later this year.“
This is often one of the hardest objections to crack. Why? Well, blood is thicker than water. You might not be able to convince someone to stop doing business with his or her family. But you can at least position your company to get next in line. Show the prospect the advantages of your company compared to others. The key here is to prove that you’ll save the prospect money.
-The prospect isn’t the decision-maker:
Example: “I’ve got to run this by my husband/the CEO/my manager before we can proceed.“
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a prospect has to run it by someone or if it’s a smokescreen. You’ll have to use your best judgment. The key here is to keep the process going. Offer to do a joint Zoom/Skype session between the prospect and his or her superiors. Why? So you can provide answers to any questions that the decision-makers have.
If you dread objections, you must adjust your attitude as soon as possible. Don’t be negative and assume an objection means there won’t be a sale. The top salespeople in the world love getting objections. Why? Because they’re always prepared for them. They know how to use objections to their advantage. Use the steps in this article to convert objections into sales. For more articles and videos about objections, please continue to browse BillionsInTheBank.com.