It is easy to view objections in the sale process as a wall between you and the sale – a wall with no way over, under, around or through. However, if you understand that objections indicate interest and know how to deal with the situation accordingly, the impassable wall that would have been set in place becomes a standard picket fence – one with many gaps to fit through, or just a small walk to find the gate.
Not unlike a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle, salespeople may baulk at an objection until the situation is out of their control. Objections are usually requests for more information – why would a prospect bother objecting to something they weren’t interested in? For example, price objections could be the result of a need for rationalization – to be convinced that the investment is a wise and safe one. Knowing how to think on your feet and take quick, positive action, can make a world of difference to the outcome of a sale.
There’s a lesson to be learnt from professional athletes who spend hours everyday training, reviewing and studying to improve in every aspect of their trade. They often spend more time preparing than actually performing.
Knowing the right steps to dealing with objections, creating or replicating possible scenarios and practicing dealing with them as they come up will go a long way towards ensuring you don’t drop the ball during a sale.
Here are six easy steps for dealing with objections during a sale:
Make sure you hear the objection out. If you assume to know the question and, wishing to stomp out any uncertainty straight away, jump in with an answer before the prospect has finished speaking, (apart from interrupting and possibly irritating the buyer), you leave yourself open to appear pushy and unprofessional. And if the objection turns out to be different from what you’d originally thought, you’ve just doubled your work and now have two objections to deal with. By actually listening, you give yourself a much greater chance of overcoming whatever objection they may have.
Feeding the objection word for word back to the prospect in an inquisitive manner often helps them to answer their own question. Not only does this make the prospect feel important, it helps verify the objection. By putting a positive spin on the question you can help put the objection into perspective – for example “Just so I’m sure, Mr. Thompson, you say you’re excited and love everything else about this house, but you’re not too fond of the colour of the paint on the walls?” Through this process the objection can often be eliminated or considerably minimized, in which case you can push to move on; if not, try questioning the objection.
While avoiding any hint of impatience or sarcasm, asking the prospect to elaborate can provide you with more time to compose yourself and prepare the right answer. Use this opportunity to find out how important their objection is to them – for example a straight forward question such as “is this critically important to you?” To the prospect, this should seem like you’re taking your time to handle their concerns as if it were the first time you’d heard it expressed.
Even if you were clear in your mind, the prospect may not have heard or understood what you covered. Confirming questions such as “that’s the answer you’re looking for, isn’t it?” or “that solves your problem, doesn’t it?” will make sure both you and the prospect are at the same chapter on the same page.
If the objection has been dealt with sufficiently, keep the ball rolling – don’t wait around for it to pop back up. Whether proceeding with the demonstration or moving onto the close, using phrases like “wait until you see this”, “would you follow me?” or “by the way” will help keep things moving smoothly.
Objections help your customers to become more involved - knowing these six steps and being able to apply them to any situation will help you work through, and get a positive outcome from most objections thrown your way.