A practical guide to handling objections in business
|Always focus on creating value
Happy Saturday to everyone…I hope you are having a nice and relaxing weekend where ever you are. I was asked by one of my blog readers to write about Objections. As always I never refuse an opportunity to talk about business even on the weekend. so I thought to try to address the subject in this short blog. Knowing that Objection in Life in general or in sales/business can be traumatizing for many of us, but it is not hopeless situation, I look at objections as an opportunity. Let us dive into the subject of objection
How do you handle objections? Let’s say you just talked with your client on a fairly large project and they suggest to you that you are not in the ballpark on the deal. What do you say and how did you get to this point in the first place? I also have difficulty when someone asks me about objections. I know it is important and each time this happens, I have to reach back into my memory and think about how I’ve handled objections in the past. I remember the sales training early in my career regarding objections. What do you do when you get an objection? Is there a certain set of questions you should ask as you work with the client to assist them? Then it hit me! I know why I don’t get very may objections.
If you were to phone the most experienced and successful business people you know, how would they answer the question? Would they give you good advice? Chances are they would have the same problem we sometimes have with giving good advice on old issues. As strange as it may seem, most successful business people don’t handle too many objections. Don’t get me wrong, they used to, particularly in their early their career years. But after learning and working a business/sales process, they no longer encounter many opportunities with objections.
How Successful business people deals Objections?
The primary reason professional business people don’t get objections is because they eliminated them along the way. It is almost as if a professional business person gets advance warning that the client may have an objection. Before the client has a chance to voice their concern, the business person identifies it, supports it with information and overcomes the objection. This happens before the client has a chance to fully think the issue through. They know the right questions to ask and they listen to the answers. Yes, they listen carefully to what the prospect has to say.
Always building your: Experience, Confidence and Knowledge
There is a difference that experience, confidence and knowledge brings. Often, it can’t be quantified or qualified, but it does exist. And, it can exist only in the mind of the business person. One word to describe this is attitude. Confidence plays a big role in this too. Sometimes, the expectation that the call will be a success and the business is yours is all that is needed. Although we don’t want you to lean on this alone, confidence and attitude play a role. Selling yourself is part of the whole process of selling your product and company.
Possible ways of handling an objection
If you find yourself getting objections, you must first realize that the objection is really a question. The basis of almost every objection is how you can justify what you are telling me. In many cases the prospect needs to believe what you are saying is true. They may offer an objection to test you. When you haven’t provided enough support for your solution, an objection will develop. Objections occur more often with new and inexperienced business people.
An objection is often subtle and you must listen carefully to hear them. Sometimes the hint of an objection is only a facial expression. Look for it, identify it and eliminate it with a support statement. Honesty and openness are great sales tools and you should use them. Ask the client if they have a concern. Invite their issues to be placed on the table. After all, you are a professional and can support your proposal regarding all aspects of the sale. These might include quality, service and price. If you haven’t eliminated all their issues, you aren’t ready for the close.
Here are few tips that you should keep in mind:
1. Always try and ANTICIPATE objections in your presentation and COUNTER-OBJECT before the prospect gets the chance to use them. Too many business/sales people wait until objections come along. This makes more hard work that is often not necessary with efficient script planning.
2. Never rush your response to an objection. STOP and REFLECT. Show the customer you are listening! Sales people often respond too quickly in these situations. This will often create friction with the client which could also be avoided.
3. Repeat the objection back to the customer. This will buy you time and it will also show that you are interested in what they have to say. It’s a good idea to say the same thing but with slightly different wording. It just sounds a bit more natural and less construed.
4. Remember that objections are often a “BUYING SIGNAL” because the customer is questioning your offer. If they had no interest, why would they still be talking to you? Watch out for an objection that is followed by another question! This is another sign that the customer is interested even though their “tone” may not make it that obvious.
5. Ask the customer if they are interested if you think that their objection is just a SMOKESCREEN. Smokescreen objections can be a real time waster for sales people and unfortunately even the more seasoned professionals can fall into this trap. Some clients can feel overpowered by a confident sales person and there only escape is to create a “false objection” A simple way to eradicate this type of problem is by further probing in order to make sure that the objection is genuine.
6. Remember that statistically speaking 3 OBJECTIONS are needed before a person will buy. How many sales people give up after the first or second objection without realizing that this person would have bought if they had persisted a little more? This can be particularly the case when a sales person is experiencing a “Bad Patch”
7. Objections are part and parcel of the Sales Process. Don’t let them stop you from reaching your goals. Yes it’s true that objections can be a form of unwelcome distraction but the true professional doesn’t let them ever get in the way of end goals.
8. LISTEN carefully to objections. They often hold valuable clues about the client’s needs and PAIN. An objection can often reveal important information that is often worth noting because even if the customer doesn’t buy on this occasion you may know what buttons to press the next time you speak to them.
9. The better you explain your offer, the less objections you will hear! It’s important to articulate your presentation in a way that the prospect clearly understands what you’re on about. This will help to avoid objections that arise from not clearly understanding what you have said.
10. Wouldn’t selling be boring if people never objected? This may appear strange at first but I actually think some customers enjoy the “bartering element” of buying and business people should be fully aware of this. In my career I’ve often been congratulated for my persistence. I sometimes imagined that the client hated me by the time we were closing the deal. The reality was often very different in that they actually complimented my stamina and will to overcome all the obstacles that stood in the way.
Remember that attitude plays a huge part when handling objections. It’s never about winning a battle of minds. “Think solution and use an agreeing tone rather than a contrasting one!”
I wish everyone happy selling, and may your fortune multiply successfully
Until next time