Objections are a part of selling. All salespeople come face to face with objections regularly throughout their careers, yet they define them in multiple of ways.
In a seminar I delivered recently, I asked the audience what the word, ‘objection’ meant to them. Here’s what I heard in response:
1. It means “No.”
2. It’s an excuse.
3. It’s a smokescreen.
4. It’s a concern.
5. It’s a sign of interest.
6. It means “Get out. I’m not interested.”
While I’m a firm believer of the fourth and fifth definition above, salespeople still continually fall into the trap of creating objections themselves; the very obstacles they are looking to avoid in the first place. After all, if the prospect is not saying flat out “No” (and they’re being honest and upfront), then there’s a concern that you have not addressed and defused in a way that provides them with the confidence and peace of mind to move ahead and buy from you.
So, in the end, developing a greater sensitivity around the obstacles and objections that you create during your selling process will assist you in eliminating certain roadblocks that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Valid Concerns and Shotguns
However, what about the valid concerns that you hear from your customers and prospects? You know, the objections that sound like, “Your price is too high,” “I need to shop around,” “Let me think about it,” “Now’s not the right time,” “It’s not in the budget,” “We’re happy with our current vender, service provider, etc.” and so on. How adept are you in responding and actually defusing these common obstacles to the sale?
Here’s an exercise I would encourage you to do. List all of the objections you typically hear. Then, write down how you respond to each of them. If you find that your rebuttals are not effective enough to defuse these objections and create new possibilities for a sale, then it’s time to give them an overhaul. Take the time to create a more effective response for each objection you hear.
Remember, salespeople don’t overcome objections, your customers and prospects do. (After all, when was the last time you actually ‘convinced’ someone to do something that they really didn’t want to do?) So, your response to each objection will contain questions to better understand exactly where the prospect stands, rather than a defensive statement that simply creates an adversarial posture between you and the prospect.
Once you’ve developed the appropriate language to handle each objection, take them out for a test drive and gauge your results. Remember, if you don’t define it, you can’t refine it. How else can you determine what works and what doesn’t? Put your shotgun away. Shooting from the hip is a dead strategy. Developing a conscious process for handling each objection gives you the power to continually reinforce best practices that have been proven to work which will ultimately lead to more sales.
Photo Credit: thecrazyfilmgirl