By Stacey O’Byrne, Pivot Point Advantage
By understanding the common types of sales objections, or how about their buying concerns you can recognize the real issues sooner. This understanding will allow you to quickly apply a strategy to understand, address, discuss, and ultimately overcome sales objections – getting you closing more deals before you know it.
Remember if you consider a different mindset that looks at “objections” as “concerns,” you too may find that they can turn into gateways instead of roadblocks.
How to Handle Objections in Six Easy Steps
- Listen to the Objection.Don’t jump all over the prospect as soon as he says “But what about-.” Give him a chance to explain exactly what’s bothering him. Don’t just tune him out, either – listen.
- Say it Back to the Prospect.When you’re absolutely sure the prospect is done talking, look thoughtful for a moment and then repeat back the gist of what he’s said. Something like “I see, you’re concerned about maintenance costs” is fine. This both shows that you were listening and gives him a chance to clarify.
- Explore the Reasoning.Sometimes the first objections aren’t the prospect’s real concern. For example, many prospect don’t want to admit that they don’t have enough money to buy your product, so they’ll raise a host of other objections instead. Before you launch into answering an objection, ask a few exploratory questions, like “Is product downtime a particular issue? Have you had trouble with it before?”
- Answer the Objection.Once you understand the objection completely, you can answer it. When a customer raises an objection, they’re actually expressing fear. Your task at this point is to relieve their fears.
- Check Back with the Prospect.Take a moment to confirm that you’ve answered the prospect’s objection fully. Usually this is as simple as saying, “Does that make sense?” or “Have I answered your concern?”
- Redirect the Conversation.Bring the prospect back into the flow of the appointment. If you’re in the middle of your presentation when the prospect raises his objection, then once you’ve answered it quickly summarize what you’d been talking about before you move on. If you’ve finished your pitch, check if the prospect has any other objections, and then start closing the sale.
Step 7 – Ask for Order/Continue Discussions
This step ensures you move discussions forward, for example, “Are you ready to go ahead now?” or “Shall I go ahead and prepare the paperwork?” If your prospect says “No” then you’ve either not handled their objection to their satisfaction or they have another objection.
It’s also a valid point to remember that resistance from a prospect is usually a sign of insufficient rapport. Therefore, check that you are matching or mirroring the prospect and go back to Step 6. If they are satisfied with your handling of their objection, then ask “So, what’s preventing you from moving forward with this?”