What do you, as a sales representative, do when your prospect says, “Looks great, but the price is too high.” “I want to talk it over with X,” or, “Looks great, call me in a few weeks?” You must understand when selling, managing objections requires you to skillfully isolate the real objection and create a bridge that keeps your conversation alive even when the prospect throws the curveball in the form of an objection. From Sales 101 training, you know the first objection is rarely the real one, so if you are trying to answer the first objection, you are probably taking your sale, right to “the graveyard of dead sales.” Objections should be welcomed as they are a way to allow the potential customer to share valid input and concerns. Objections are just a higher level version of two-way conversations.
It is natural for the intended buyers to offer objections. A great example is when you go to the store, do you instantly send the helpful sales clerk away with “just looking” rather than allowing them to help your find the perfect solution to the reason you came to their store in the first place? Everyone seems to be conditioned to do that so they are not rushed into a decision.
So before you, as a sales representative, get caught up in how to overcome an objection, there is a sales step you must do to make sure it is a genuine objection. Before you go down the path of answering that first objection, recognize that the first objection is rarely the real one. You need to keep control and respond with transition statements and open-ended questions to get to the real issue. Transition statements and questions might sound something like these two samples.
1. “Obviously you have a reason for feeling that way, can you share some details about your experiences with me?”
2. “Just suppose that were not an issue, would what I have been talking about be something you might use?”
A great sales person will identify objections and concerns early in the sales process. If you are getting objections at the close of the deal or after you ask your prospect to buy then there is a good chance, you missed a step in your sales process. A sales representative must have the ability not only to capture the prospects information in a way that is interesting to them. This is done by asking thought provoking questions that create a mental image of what might occur versus telling them about their problems and pains. If you tell people what their problems are so you can present your solution, they may not believe you. If you ask questions in a way that get them to think about their situation plus share their opinions and experiences, you are more likely to get out objections very early on in the sales process. That is the time to manage objections, not when trying to close the deal.
When you are looking for the objections of your desired customer, do not argue with them as this will immediately turn them off. Remember your words do make a difference and there are words that connect with your prospect and other words that may turn them off. There are two words that can put you right in the heart of a fight with your prospect. Those two fighting words to avoid are “but” and “however.” Too often sellers use these words when someone has an objection, concern, or complaint.
How can bad word choice happen so often? The customer states their possible objection, you feel you know they are not right or your idea is much better so you respond quickly. You do not mean to get on the customer’s wrong side. Yet without thinking and instead of transitioning correctly, you might wrongfully say something like “I understand how you feel, but… ” Once you say “but,” it is at this point that all your customer hears is “you are wrong” followed by pushy “blah, blah, blah.”
So remember not to put your customer in a fighting situation by using the wrong words. Before pushing your product or service as their best solution, allow the prospect to have input into your sales process. Instead of always presenting, you need to manage their objections to closing the deal by being more persuasive and learning to really understand their need.