When dealing with sales objections, the first thing you need to understand is that an objection is how a buyer communicates that a gap exists between their current situation and the clarity of the problem to be resolved before proceeding to buy.
Understanding what Sales Objections are.
So, a sales objection is communicated by a buyer that a barrier exists between the status quo and what needs to be satisfied before making a commitment to buy from you. Unlike concerns (examples include delivery or schedules), an objection arises because the buyer is not convinced or even predisposed, at this time, that your product or service can solve their problems. Remember that buying is a “change management project” so they will have a reluctance towards your offering, as they understand it. An objection is raised as a barrier to a purchase being made due to change, the size of change or the impact that change will have on them and their business.
Due to the fact that you as a salesperson, need to highlight pain, the cost of inaction and bring attention to unconsidered needs, sales objections must be viewed as a natural and necessary part of your sales process. Knowing that objections will arise allows you to plan even pre-empt for them. You can create a process for handling them, learn the discipline to show understanding and empathy while acquiring the sales skill to control your emotions as you dig deeper into the root cause of the objection.
The important thing for you to know is that all of these skills can be learned and developed.
The best way to handle objections is not to create any.
You can often create objections because you make assumptions, suggestions or comments which have no relevance to the buyer. You may also to be too quick to offer solutions which are unsuitable, impractical, or inappropriate. By truly following your sales process, having meaningful conversations that undertake a proper diagnosis to see if a problem exists and refrain from drawing conclusions before this has been achieved, you are unlikely to say the wrong thing and create objections. At any time if you are unsure of your customer’s situation, ask and clarify before suggesting anything. In this way you will minimize objections, because fewer will be created.
Maintain a Running List of Buyer Objections.
You will most certainly encounter lots of similar questions or concerns across your sales conversations. Group them into a running list of sales objections. Each time you hear a new one, add it to your list. Then write out your response to that objection and practice the dialogue exchange as you answer it. I recommend that you write out a couple of variations on the responses so that you are prepared for a buyer who needs a higher level of comfort.
View Objections as Opportunities.
As you now understand that sales objections are when buyers believe that there is a gap between their current situation and the motivation to change it now. Yes, handling these objections will require you to master this skill so you need to invest in learning the various techniques. Your sales mindset should always view objections as an opportunity to get commitments from the buyer that you can close this gap and in so progress towards an agreement. Any time the buyer raises a flag is your chance to establish and build credibility with them. The more credibility you build, the further over you will go towards securing the deal.
Sales Objections are NUT$.
Whether it is digital selling or traditional selling, most objections can be grouped into four types:
Need: Lack of need as buyer does not yet accept, or does not admit, the need to solve a problem
Urgency: Lack of Urgency as the Buyer does not yet see the impact and value of your solution
Trust: Lack of Trust as Buyer feels uncertainty about you, your solution, or your company
$: Lack of Money: Buyer tells you that there is no budget for your solution
OK, you now know that the four types of objections are not stumbling blocks but an integral part of your sales process. In an ideal world, you would never get any. By not creating objections and pre-handling the ones that may arise, you can minimize the number of objections occurring. However, there will always be times when you have to respond to any objection. If and when the buyer brings up a sales objection, do not panic, stay in control, pause and breath, keep your voice confident (as if you get these questions all the time), nod to show your understanding and then deploy the following four-step process for overcoming objections. These steps will work for you in most sales objections. The personalized and specific response to the buyers question will vary depending on which of the four objection types you are responding to.
The 4 step Sales Objections Handling Process.
Step 1: Listen Fully to the Objection
Your first reaction when you hear sales objections may be to jump right in and respond immediately. Resist this temptation. When you react too quickly, you risk making assumptions about the objection. Instead, take the time to listen to the objection fully.
Do not react defensively. Train yourself to ignore any negative emotions you might be feeling. Stay focused on what your client is saying and the business challenge you are helping to solve. Emotions are natural, but you cannot let them interfere with your buyer interactions.
Take a deep breath. Don’t allow yourself to sigh or tighten up. Keep breathing and stay focused.
Listen actively. Listen with the intent of fully understanding the buyer’s concerns without bias or anticipation. Allow your body language and verbal confirmations to communicate to the buyer that you are listening intently.
Step 2: Understand the Objection Completely
Many objections hide underlying issues that the buyer can’t or isn’t ready to articulate. Often the true issue is not what the buyer first tells you. It’s your job to get to the heart of the objection, and then fully understand it and its true source. Repeat back what you heard, in a concise version. The intent of repeating back is to ensure you completely understand what the objection actually is.
Ask permission to understand and explore the issue. Get permission and give yourself license to stay here and work on it.
Restate the concern as you understand it. Sometimes when you restate the objection, the buyer sees the issue more fully. As a result, you get closer to the true source of the objection.
Ask “What else?” and “Why” questions for clarification. Even after the buyer confirms you understand perfectly, ask some form of “What else?” You’ll get more information. When you ask why (e.g., “Why do you ask that? Why is that important? Or any other why-type question), you can get to the heart of the issue. Often buyers will elaborate, and that is very helpful to you both.
Often, it is the answer to that last “What else?” that contains the biggest barrier to moving the sale forward.
But unless you go through all of the other “What else?” replies, the real barrier continues to exist.
Step 3: Respond Properly
After you’re confident that you’ve uncovered all the sales objections, address the most important objection first. Once you work through the greatest barrier to moving forward, other concerns may no longer matter or feel as important to the buyer.
Choose your words carefully. As with all of your client interactions, do not respond defensively when selling. Be sure to address their specific concern…don’t be cagey.
Respond. Do your best to resolve the issue right away. When you face a more complex sales objection, your instinct may be to put the discussion on hold so you can research the matter further. The more you can resolve issues in real time, the greater chance you have of moving the sale forward. This is where your preparation and practice pays dividends. If you have to, however, you may need to look into something. If you do need more information, don’t wing it. Buyers can sense that. It creates distrust.
Minimize your words. Long-winded responses can sound insincere. Keep your responses clear and to the point.
Step 4: Confirm You’ve Satisfied the Objection
Once you’ve responded to the buyer’s sales objections, it’s time to check if you’ve satisfied all of their concerns. Just because they nodded during your response doesn’t mean they agreed with everything you said. Ask if the buyer is happy with your solution. You won’t know if you don’t ask.
Ask if you’ve satisfied the objection. Don’t assume anything about what the buyer is thinking. Ask if your response made sense and if there are any other concerns.
Explain your solution further if necessary. Depending on the situation, you may do this immediately or you may need to schedule another time. Some objections require a process to overcome, not a quick answer.
Forms of Asking “What Else?”
- “What else is bothering you?”
- “What else does that affect?”
- “What else is on your mind?”
- “What else is getting in the way of moving forward?”
Sales objections don’t have to stop you. Handling them is just one of the sales skills you can learn and develop. Developing this skill will bring more discipline in how you handle them, discipline leads to control which will bring a newfound confidence into every aspect of your selling.