You’ve done it. You’ve found the perfect prospect. You’ve nailed your pitch. And now the buyer is putty in your hands… but wait… they’re hesitating. It’s not a “no,” but they’ve got concerns.
One of the biggest obstacles for salespeople is objections. No matter how much research you’ve done, how confident you are in your product or service, or how tight your pitch is, you will come up against objections. To become a great salesperson, you need to figure out how to discover what these objections are and then overcome them.
What is Objection Handling?
Objection handling is when a potential buyer raises concerns about a product or service, and the salesperson addresses them to satisfy any concerns, allowing the purchase to move forward.
What objection handling is not: brush-offs. A brush-off is just an excuse not to talk to you. An objection comes from a place of concern and critical thinking.
Types of Sales Objections
There are four major forms of sales objections you’ll encounter from buyers. Of course things would run much more smoothly without objections, but dealing with objections will be easier when you know how to spot them. In fact, when a customer gives you objections, this gives you valuable insight into both their needs and concerns.
The first and one of the most common objections you will face is surrounding price. Whether it’s the cost of your product, the buyer’s budget, or concerns about ROI, there are many factors that can affect price objections. There also may be risk factors to consider, particularly depending on the client’s previous marketing history. If the buyer has spent unwisely in the past, they are likely to be much more cautious about future purchases. To combat price objections, you need to show value. Have studies showing the ROI on your product, along with case studies showing how your product has helped specific companies grow.
2. Quality of service
The second objection you’ll come up against is the quality of your product or service. It could be about the product itself, the support your team can provide, or the compatibility. If the objection is about product, show a case study to prove its effectiveness. If they have doubts about the qualifications of your team, take the opportunity to introduce the team, laying out their qualifications for helping your prospect. You should also take ownership of what you, as a salesperson, can do for them and why you’re qualified to help. Show them why you are the authority on helping their business succeed.
Another common objection you’ll come up against is distrust, concerning either you, your product, your company, or some combination of the three. Your buyer might have questions about the legitimacy of your product and company. If you find you’re coming up against this objection often, you need to slow your roll. This means you’ve been too rushed getting the deal through the pipeline. Take a step back, build better rapport, make them understand that you know what you are talking about, and let them know you are here to help them find an effective solution to their problems.
4. The Stall
The last sales objection is the worst one you can come up against. The stall occurs when you’ve done all you can, but the buyer still won’t give you an answer or set a follow-up meeting. You don’t get a reason or a straight answer.
What a maybe gives you is nothing. A maybe is a dark hole and what it does is maybe sucks up all your time and you have got this pipeline built up and you have all these maybes.
In his Conquer Local podcast on How to Handle Objections, George goes onto say that by keeping these “maybes” around for months or even years, what you end up doing is wasting a lot of time. To help reduce the time you waste, using a CRM tool like Vendasta’s Sales & Success Centre can help you keep track of all the clients, both current and potential, in your pipeline. It’s hard to give up on a prospect that once seemed promising, but sometimes the best thing you can do is let it go and move your energy somewhere else.
Throughout the week, jot down the objections you hear on sales calls. At the end of the week, look back at the objections you received and how you handled them. Which did you handle well? Which did you struggle with? Take note and practice. Try roleplaying with your team and figure out how to handle those objections more effectively. For many salespeople, handling objections is not second nature, though it needs to be.
How to Handle Sales Objections
Handling objections in sales can be tricky, especially for new salespeople. Your best strategy is to loop the focus back around to the logical reasons it makes sense to buy. They have a solution that needs solving and you can fix it. Remind them of this.
Think about how you behave when you’re about to make a big purchase. There’s always questions you ask yourself: Do I really need this? Is there a more affordable alternative? Does this have all the features I want? Is it worth the price? Your buyer is going through the same motions. It’s your job to reassure them that your product or service is the best fit for them.
The best way to go about this is to use a strategy called reframing. Put things into the bigger picture and focus in on why it makes sense. Now’s the time to show how features outweigh deficiencies or clarify any misunderstandings about your product or service.
- Dig at their reasons. Put on your journalist hat. Now is the time to ask a lot of questions. Say their objection is about the price—they think it costs too much. Ask why they feel this way, what other products they are comparing it to, and whether they’re looking at the overall impact on their costs.
2. Break down their needs analysis and minimize their concerns. After listening closely to their answers from all of your questions, reframe it to show how your custom solution alleviates their concerns.
3. Push them back to the outcome. Acknowledge their concerns, but further emphasize the benefits of your custom solution for them. Show your value.
4. Keep asking questions that will lead to answers of acceptance. Questions like “Will this custom solution help? Will it provide value for your team and your customers? Let them say yes. Move them across the line to that final yes.
Not only should you be reframing objections for your prospect, but you can reframe them for yourself as well. Objections shouldn’t be seen as a challenge, but as a chance to grow your relationship and build trust with potential clients.
I find that objections are the secret sauce to selling and the ability to find them, deal with them,and pivot them to show the value in your products and services.
Additionally, you should be dealing with sales objections as early on in the process if possible, so that negative ideas don’t have time to sink in to the buyer’s brain.
How to Not Handle Objections
1. Don’t Respond Before you’re Ready
The first major don’t when it comes to handling sales objections is to respond before you’re sure you understand what they are. Sometimes you will not get the full story behind the objection because the buyer themselves isn’t fully sure what it is either. You have to dig in and help them realize what their objections are, and also hone in on what the most important objection is.
2. Don’t Rush
Figure that out first. Then you need to build trust, show them how their objection can be dealt with, and confirm that you have satisfied it. Since you want to position yourself as the expert who is here to help, you need to be confident in offering your suggestions. If you need to clarify something, it’s best to ask.
3. Don’t Get Defensive
When a buyer starts objecting, you might have another inclination to get defensive. However, being too defensive makes you seem weak, like you can’t handle criticism. Don’t get argumentative. You’ll only get the buyer’s walls up and they will harden in their stance, or they will lose trust in you. Either way, they won’t want to work with you. It’s better to help the buyer figure out why the product is a good fit.
It’s easy to think of objections as a roadblock to your success as a salesperson. But when you start thinking of handling objections as opportunities to build your relationship with the buyer, as well as to grow their trust in you, you’ll feel much more confident in dealing with sales objections.
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