You’ve done everything within your power to win that sale and yet your prospect still has reservations. So that’s a no then? Not quite.
Handling objections is a process of incremental stages starting from basic to advanced and all designed to help you win back those seemingly lost sales. Some points you may already know, some may be new to you. Google for more information – or better still learn more on a Sales Commando sales training course.
1. Make it small, not big
Well, that’s simple enough. It’s a fact that the easiest and quickest way to overcome an objection is to first briefly acknowledge it, then brush it aside as if it was small and nothing to worry about. It’s also a fact that most objections aren’t really objections at all, at least not to begin with. However, the minute you pay more attention than you should to any kind of objection, the bigger that objection becomes. The trick is to avoid throwing out ill-thought through rebuttals. Or, basically, keep shtum.
2. Note the objection for later
I call this cuffing and if the brush off (point 1) didn’t work then try this next. First, define the severity of the objection then repeat back to the customer the points they have questioned. Often, by effectively emphasising or over-dramatizing the right words you can make the objection sound as though there was nothing to be concerned about in the first place. You must always go back to it and reaffirm it is dealt with at a later date, once the full force of your presentation and meeting has eclipsed and cured the issue.
3. Tackle the objection head on
This takes a little tenacity. By tackling the objection full on you’re going into full battle. First, define the level of severity of the objection and then invite the prospect to explain their concerns in finer detail. You want to (or to be seen to) understand your prospect’s point of view which will give you a chance to kill the objection stone dead.
4. The categorisation technique
Objections can be cantankerous creatures and at some stage you’ll meet an objection that refuses to role over and die. Time to bring on the psychology – also known as the categorisation technique. This is a technique that enables choices to be made more easily by setting out small steps that will lead your customer towards making the decision you desire. Three things to note:
4a. Small steps. Place your prospect in one of two categories – those who are not sufficiently motivated to say yes or make the next step and those who don’t fully understand what you’re proposing. Now you can clearly see how you need to encourage your prospect to make the right decision.
4b. Keep it simple. The art of the categorisation technique in selling is to steer your prospect towards more general choices before drilling down to detail. Always be aware that even the best of us can be drawn into a micro view. Keep the general view.
4C. The power of choice. Categorisation selling is based on retail psychology and relies on the ability to perceive differences between options and then make choices. These choices will result from easy-to-understand options you’ll put in front of your prospects to form a path along which you can guide them to make the right decision.
5. Challenge resistance to change
Next up on our progressive list of handling objections is another psychological technique – challenging resistance to change. What’s interesting about resistance to change is that in the majority of cases it is not connected to the facts you are presenting but instead it’s based on the irrational fear of something new. If you’ve identified this in your prospect it could be down to the fact that you haven’t provided enough information – which is easily resolved.
6. Find out which half of the brain your prospect uses
You’ll have heard the question: “Are you left brained or right brained?” This is based on the science that our brain is divided into two, each side being dominant in different people. Left brained, your prospect will be more analytical, fact driven and linear. Right brained, they’re more likely to be emotional, free spirited and open to change. Determining which side of the brain influences your prospect is sales gold.
7. Neuro-linguistic programming – NLP
This last technique for turning no into Yes! is the daddy of them all. NLP is based on an understanding of how people organise their thinking, feeling, language and behaviour to get things done. NLP is a vast subject but in essence it focuses on the fact that each of us forms a unique map of the world around us via our five senses. Understand this and you’ll unlock a powerful ability to stamp out even the most resistant objection. It’s a technique well worth researching.
By Doug Tucker, Managing Director, Sales Commando. More sales techniques, advice and tips can be found in Doug Tucker’s book ‘Sales Commando, Unleash Your Potential’. The book gets straight to the heart of issues, complexities and opportunities and encourages and accelerates personal growth and sales success.