Almost every prospect has objections – & most have several. It’s difficult enough to change someone’s mind when money isn’t on the table, so doing so when the outcome has a financial impact is really tough.
If you’re not a skilled objection-handler, your ability to move deals across the goal line pays the price. You might suspect you’re not good at resolving objections – but why? Here are five of the most common reasons.
- You think you can “win” an objection
When your prospect starts a sentence with “But,” do you immediately go into “fight” mode? It’s tempting. It’s easy to think of every objection as an obstacle you have to defeat before getting to the end. But, this aggressive approach won’t do you any favors. Prospects don’t want to argue with you or feel like they’re being persuaded against their will. Remember, you can’t convince people of anything – they buy for their reasons, not yours. Most of the time, you’ll actually end up convincing them they’re right. Even if they do back down in the moment, their objection will bubble up again at the crucial closing stage. Flip your mind-set on objections – think of them as an opportunity to correct any misinformation your prospect has or simply give them new details they’re not aware of. If you work with them instead of against them, you’ll actually have a shot of resolving their concerns.
- You treat every objection equally
Some objections are legitimate blockers. Others are brush-offs disguised as objections. It’s your job to differentiate them so you know how to respond. That’s harder than it sounds, because an excuse given early in the sales process might be a real objection when it’s voiced a little later.
For example, if your prospect says on an initial call, “We don’t have the budget for this right now,” they may be blowing you off. But if you’re later discussing pricing & they say, “I love the product, but our budget is being cut in half & my director says we can’t buy anything over X amount,” you’re probably dealing with a real objection. The latter deserves a real response. If you can’t find a solution, you should walk away. But if you’re hit with a brush-off, find a way to continue the conversation so you can prove to the buyer the value of your product.
- You don’t prepare for objections
Face it: You hear the same objections over & over, right? You should know in advance which potential objections you’ll hear before every sales call. Not only that, you should have responses ready to go. Doing this in advance means you won’t be lost for words when the actual call rolls around. How do you know which objections you’ll likely hear? Keep a list of the common ones. Review your CRM notes to see which objections have come up with those prospects. To take it one step further, note which responses you used & whether you closed those deals.
- You don’t proactively address objections (Potential Deal Killers)
It’s never a good idea to let your prospect stew over their objections for days, weeks, or even months. If you address their objection when it comes up, you’ll have a much better shot of handling it. The longer you wait, the stronger that concern becomes in their mind.
For that reason, ask for objections at every step of the sales process. Doing so is simple – just use any of these questions:
- “Is there anything you see standing in the way of us being able to help you?”
- “What do you see as potential obstacles to this (partnership, agreement, purchase?”)
- “Which concerns, if any, do you have at this point?”
- “You seem to have some reservations about (price, use, functionality, etc.) Can we talk about it?”
This is how you build credibility. Not only will you get valuable insight into your prospect’s decision making criteria, but you’ll also earn their trust & respect by being direct.
- You’re not honest
One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make around objection-handling: Fudging the truth. It might be tempting to gloss over a buyer’s concerns with an answer that’s slightly untrue – for example, if your prospect says,“I don’t think the solution can help us with X,” you might say, “Our engineers are actually working on a feature for that right now.”
Your prospect ends up buying. You get the commission. What’s the problem?
Well, when the months go by & the promised feature doesn’t show up – or they discover the product doesn’t do what you said, or it’s less powerful than you implied, etc. You immediately lose credibility. They are pissed-off at you. DON’T DO IT. EVER. Pissed-off customers cancel, they don’t re-new & they tell others. Nothing good comes from not being truthful.
This is about Getting to Reality Quickly. If an objection comes up & still exists at the end, will you make a sale?
No. It takes work. It takes discipline. It may even take a little bit of guts.
- Don’t treat objections like a “fight”
- Don’t treat the all the same
- Don’t “wing it” & fail to prepare for objections
- Don’t shy away & wimp out (be pro-active with objections)
- And by all means, don’t lie!