Objections are a key part of a salesperson’s profession and sales prospecting. A client that has zero objections is often a client that isn’t interested in what you’re offering.
Many salespeople fear them and try to avoid them. To be able to convince your prospect you must above all respond to his/her doubts and objections. Here is an efficient sales technique in 6 steps to deal with objections to avoid them becoming obstacles but even more so a rather efficient way of moving your client-salesperson relationship forward.
1. Acknowledge and understand
An objection shouldn’t be construed as an attack but a sign of misunderstanding of what the salesperson has said.
It can take the form of:
- A question
- An opposing view
- Refusal to buy
It’s important to tell your client that you understand their objection. For example a few simple words such as, “I understand, I agree with you, you’re right (to raise the issue).”
You must never criticise your client’s position or reject their objection out of hand. Also try, at all costs, to avoid the words “yes, but” because they strengthen the position of the person that has raised the objection.
Show that you are empathetic and understanding of your client’s doubts.
An effective sales prospecting must go through this stage.
2. Identify the nature of the objection
Some objections are not really genuine and can be understood as the client wanting to end the relationship whilst sparing your pride and emotions. This often happens in sales prospecting. Beware, as it can be a sign that you’re wasting your time with a prospect. Despite your will to sell, it is necessary to always be lucid to make use of your time in the most profitable way possible. Perhaps this prospect isn’t for you right now…
Authentic objections clearly demonstrate the client’s doubt with regards to the product. These can be justified or not.
- Justified = an objective question about the product.
- Unjustified = unfounded claim about the product.
You must always investigate and ask your client questions to be able to understand their objections and identify them, leaving no corner unturned.
If there is more than one objection I advise you to proceed as such:
- Take note of and organise your client’s objections
- With your client prioritise them
- Organise them by theme/area: product, after-sales service, price and logistics etc.
- Highlight those which are preventing a sale
3. Isolate each Objection
One objection can often hide another. Therefore, it is important to identify them. To isolate is to ask a question to be sure that the client’s objection is unique. We can ask questions like, “Is this the only thing preventing you from buying” or, “do you have any other doubts?”
4. Engage your client
Get your client to commit in order to avoid working for nothing, ensuring that the energy you use to deal with the objection serves to favour the eventual sale.
You can say things like: “If we manage to resolve your doubts, will you place an order?”, “If you’re convinced that the difference between… and (my solution) is largely compensated by...will I have the pleasure of being able to call you a client?”
Avoid saying: “If I show you, if I prove…”, you risk strengthening their resistance.
5. Respond to objections
It is time to respond to the client’s objections. You must be careful not to be too triumphant to avoid making the client feel like he/she is being manipulated.
If an objection surprises you, ask a question as a way to identify the nature of the objection or to be sure that you have properly understood it. Both these approaches give you the time to reflect and understand exactly what the problem is.
If you haven’t got the answer to the question, don’t be downhearted. Take a step back, take note of the question and engage with the client to be able to give him/her an answer as soon as possible.
Don’t be evasive when questions are posed, respond according to your strengths, and be sure to get back to the client with an answer to his/her question.
Make sure you are always straightforward, honest and genuine.
6. Confirm your answer with the client
This is a question you should ask to confirm that the objection no longer exists to allow you to continue discussions without a shadow hanging over them.
You progressively engage the client in a buying process by repeatedly saying yes. This sales technique is well known, but do not overuse it!
If it seems like there are no further objections try closing: “If I can satisfactorily resolve your problem would you be willing to commit with us right now?”
By Olivier Piscart, CEO of Salezeo, the first free European crowdsourced database with contact details of 1.8 million B2B decision makers. 20,000 salespeople exchange business contacts on the platform thus updating the database in real time. The contacts are verified and enriched by powerful search engines which collect available business information from the web.