What do you do when you’re working through a sale and it’s going well, till suddenly your prospect interjects “I love this, but _______” and suddenly money or the need to have a conversation with a partner, or some kind of situation that wasn’t mentioned until now.
We all get objections. Some days, I get half a dozen before lunch!
But there is a process to handling objections that you can use too.
First, before you can even use the process, remember to not let the objection get under your skin or convince you that the sale is over.
In my case, I have always struggled with an instant sense of defensiveness and panic because I sense the sale might be threatened. They key to objection handling is to go the opposite direction.
The sale is not lost just because your prospect has questions (or objections). It means it’s time to start the four-step process!
Step #1: Acknowledge the Objection
The first step is to acknowledge the objection.
Hold on, don’t go closing that tab yet! Hear me out.
I’m not saying to tell them “You’re right!” necessarily. Instead, recognize that this is a real concern to them. If they tell you that they want time to think about it, recognize that they are taking this purchase seriously with a quick: “Hey, I admire you for taking this so seriously that you’re giving it a lot of thought.” In other words, you’re not telling them that their objection means they shouldn’t buy. You’re telling them that you understand where they are coming from.
Because, to them, their objection is a big deal!
Too often I see a sales person instantly try and downplay the validity of the objection. Think about that! You just shared information with someone, and they instantly demean your opinion!
It’s not inspiring to buy!
Step #2: Probe the Objection
The next step most sales reps try and jump into is solving the problem. The reality is, it’s far too soon for that.
Instead, dig a little deeper.
There are so many times when a prospect is either embarrassed to admit the real reason or doesn’t know it themselves.
Think about that! There are times when your prospect is embarrassed by something that is impacted their buying decision (maybe they made a bad decision in the past in a similar situation?) and before they get honest with you, they need to know that you aren’t going to dismiss them! Alternatively, sometimes, there is something feeling wrong in their gut, but they don’t understand what! Maybe they are missing information but they don’t know what information they need to feel comfortable.
Rather than trying to solve the first objection, instead take a minute to ask questions.
Prospect: This sounds great, but I really need to talk to my spouse…
Me: That’s perfect! I appreciate you wanting the second opinion of someone you obviously trust a lot! You obviously know your spouse pretty well, do you know what kinds of questions they may have when you talk about this with them?
Step #3: Solve the Objection
Once you’ve dug around a little, you’ll know when you uncover the real objection! Sometimes the original objection IS the real objection.
Now you can actually solve that problem!
Let’s pretend for a moment that this individual actually does need to speak with their spouse. They are spending spousal money to make the purchase because they don’t have any of their own money, so now they truly do need to have that conversation.
What I’ve often found is that, if I’ve listened and helped address the objections that the spouse will have, I can ask if they want to try and set up a time for me and their spouse to talk and coach them through what to say to their spouse to get them on the phone with me so that I have the opportunity to make the sale.
Or maybe they have a bad experience with someone in my industry. Once I know what caused that experience, I can take a few minutes to highlight how I am different.
Step #4: Close the Sale
Then it’s time to close again. It’s tempting to let them fall back on their first objection as an excuse to prolong the sale.
There’s a chance that they might need to have the conversation anyhow. But let them bring that back up. Instead, highlight how you’ve addressed the issue, and ask how they want to move forward with the purchase again.
If they have another objection or go back to the original objection, start the process over. Acknowledge. Probe. Solve. Close.
Eventually you will have to make the decision about whether you want to wrap the conversation and set a time to follow-up, but at the very least, get that time scheduled for the follow up right away!
One Last Tip
Stay sharp and involved in the conversation!
The whole process requires you to be mentally sharp and engaged with the conversation. I used to check out when I thought sales prospects weren’t interested, and I know from working with plenty of sales teams that many salespeople mentally check out of the conversation as soon as they hear an objection.
Don’t do that!
Objections are opportunities to show your prospect that you truly care about helping them and that this product could improve their life. It’s your opportunity to be engaging and show them that even when they’re pushing you away, you’re there for them! It’s that opportunity for you to make that emotional connection with them by taking them seriously and helping to resolve their true issue.
If you can handle objections in an engaging, helpful way, you’re already miles ahead of most salespeople!
Sometimes there are things hindering us in sales that we aren’t even aware of. Very few of us think about our demeanor and how we just happen to come across, and it can cost in sales. Cindy Ashton, and incredible performer and successful businesswoman, is going to be teaching on how to carry yourself and perfect your 60 second pitch at the GrowRetreat2020. If you’re interested in being in the room for that, check out the website and book your interview here!