In sales, many people believe that receiving an objection is a bad sign. However, if you approach the objection in the right way, then it helps you realize that this is actually a good sign – or rather a great sign. When someone gives you an objection they are essentially saying “I am not convinced yet, but I’m giving you a chance to talk me around”.
Sometimes you have prospects sitting through your presentation, with their arms folded, not making any comments or proposing any objections, but right after you finish, they send you away. While on the other hand, many prospects make an effort and pick out objections that they would like you to address. You need to address their objection in the right and professional manner. However, if you are not able to do this, the sales process might not go any further.
No or Not yet
Nevertheless, we first need to understand the major difference between an objection and a “NO!” No is a point blank NO! When the prospect says “no”, it means there is no turning back and trying to convince them, as they are completely uninterested. However, what you can do is nicely accept their opinion and try to find out why. For instance, “Sure, I respect that, would you mind helping me with business improvement and share with me why you don’t wish to proceed?” If it’s about price or something which is missing from the mix, it’s something to take on board. If however, you didn’t do your job and say they mention “I was looking for training which will cover High Voltage” and you realise you forgot to mention this, then you can say “I’m so sorry, I forgot to tell you about…”
Check body language
Read the body language – either they will be looking like “Excellent, I’m interested again” or “I’m not impressed – you’re just telling me what I want to hear or you can’t do your job right”. However, if it’s a case of perceived value, or something is missing, thank them solidly for taking a moment to share that, perhaps saying it is great information that will definitely be taken on board.
When the prospect mentions that they are not convinced enough by the information you have provided. For instance, “Well, it sounds good, but are we big enough to justify this expense?” or “I’m just worried that it might not fit in with ….” or “It is just a little too expensive…” Yes, they may be fishing for a discount or are simply trying to address the fact that they are giving you a second chance to prove them that you are the best choice. In other words, “Please convince me!” When someone is sitting on the fence, or is undecided, or has an objection, they are giving us an opportunity to address that issue and close the sale.
Discount or Value add
If the objection is about price, it’s ideal to not discount. You can value add – that is, say you sell work boots “How about I throw in a pair of $9 socks?” It may be also that you haven’t demonstrated the value of the product that you are selling. Price is often about value, so always make sure to communicate value well and in a convincing manner, unless your competitor down the road has exactly the same product for $10 less. For this reason with retail, it’s important your staff know what your competitors are doing, in real time.
Let’s look at an example, if XYZ shop up the road had the same boots on special, for $10 less, but that sale finished three days ago, then you have your response “Yes, I know they had a sale up the road, but that finished last Saturday, they are back to full price now”. The buyer probably knew that but there is psychology involved – you have to give them something for them to feel like they have had a win, so possibly make an offer, if you buy two pairs I’ll knock $5 off each and throw in a pair of socks. To hand over their money, some people just feel like they need to have had a win. Alternatively, offer the socks anyway. Remember those $9 socks probably cost the business $4 so you are not actually giving away $9, even though the shopper perceives that.
Listen carefully and Answer objectively
Listening to the objection carefully is the foremost thing you need to do. Instead of jumping in and saying “But what about…” and so on, give them a chance to explain themselves fully without any kind of interruption. You can also pick up some very useful cues from the way your prospect puts forward his concerns. Another good way of ensuring that you are addressing precisely what the prospect has asked is by pulling a thoughtful look for a second and repeating what the prospect said. For instance, “Right, so you are concerned about the maintenance cost”. This shows that you were paying attention and listening to what they were saying and gives the prospect a chance to clarify if they need to.
Once you receive an objection, it is critical to answer well and address the prospect’s concerns appropriately. Be sure to maintain eye contact. Once you are done on your part, it is a good practice to get assurance from your prospect by simply asking them, “Does that make sense?” or “Have I answered your concern?” If you receive a positive response, then there is no need to explain further. If you feel like you haven’t received the right response, then try to convince them again by explaining it again.
Finally, don’t forget to use the strategy of pre-addressing typical objections, through things like information sheets, FAQ pages, and other information you send a prospect before you even meet them. It’s a concern that someone might be unsure if it’s a good option; however, a swag of testimonials (sent before the meeting) will help alleviate that concern. Consider even anticipating typing objections and addressing them in the meeting before they are even raised. “Yes I know we are not the cheapest option, however …. “
To encapsulate, you need to be able to differentiate between an objection and an outright ‘no’. Address the objections carefully and make sure that you convince them fully. Following the tips above can help you a great deal if you wish to generate high sales and gain more prospects in the future.
As a business coach I hold sales workshop for you and your team. Call me on 0411 622 666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.