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Top producing salespeople not only expect objections during the sales process, they anticipate them. Believe it or not, objections are a good sign and you should actually look forward to them. If your prospect weren’t somewhat interested in your product or service, they wouldn’t be asking questions. (764 words)
Unfortunately, the first two orders many new salespeople receive are “get out and stay out!” It is human nature for your prospect to procrastinate when asked to make a decision involving money. Studies indicate that a prospect will say no on average five times before they actually buy. As a professional salesperson, it is important to remember that an objection is not a rejection of you personally. Simply put, an objection is nothing more than a request for additional information. As a general rule, prospects are hesitant to commit to purchasing a product or service until they have convinced themselves they need it and that they are getting it at a fair price. Top producing salespeople not only expect objections during the sales process, they anticipate them. Believe it or not, objections are a good sign and you should actually look forward to them. If your prospect weren’t somewhat interested in your product or service, they wouldn’t be asking questions. Typically, your prospect’s objections fall into four major categories; no money, no perceived need, no hurry, or no trust. If you haven’t built trust and rapport with your prospect, qualified them financially, and conducted a thorough needs analysis, you can expect them to use objections to derail the sales process.
When your prospect voices an objection, treat it with respect and hear them out. Interrupting when you should be listening is a significant factor in the loss of trust and rapport. Even though you may have heard that same objection many times, avoid the temptation to begin addressing their concerns prematurely. Before you begin your response, it is vitally important that you understand your prospect’s specific concerns. Otherwise, you run the risk of shooting yourself in the foot by voicing an objection they had not even considered. I recommend you restate and gain agreement on the specific objection prior to responding. This approach not only provides clarity, but it also builds rapport. When addressing an objection, don’t dump the whole bale of hay. The majority of salespeople have a tendency to overwhelm or bore their prospects by over-educating them. In an attempt to impress them with how knowledgeable they are, some salespeople lengthen the appointment and use up their valuable fallback positions. There are times when your prospect’s objection may be disruptive and therefore you might want to delay answering it until further along in your presentation. When you make the decision to delay your response, I recommend you write the question down and ask if it would be all right to address their concern later in your presentation. If the same objection comes up twice, you need to stop and address it immediately.
Steps for Addressing an Objection
Step 1 - Hear them out
Give your prospect your full attention and avoid the temptation to think about your response while they are speaking. Learn to be an active listener. An active listener is not only listening to what their prospect is saying, but is also trying to discover the meaning behind their words. Research indicates that 65% of our communication is nonverbal. Therefore, it is vitally important to pay attention to body language and listen for voice inflections. In addition to observing your prospect’s gestures, you must also learn to be mindful of your nonverbal signals.
Step 2 - Feed it back for clarification
By feeding the objection back in the form of a question it gives your prospect an opportunity to expand upon their concern. For example, if your prospect said they don’t have the money in their budget, you would feed it back saying, “You don’t have the money in your budget?” This technique reduces the perception of pressure. By having the opportunity to explain their position, your prospect will frequently answer their own objection. Another reason it is important to clarify the objection is to make sure you are addressing their exact concern and not creating a new one. Some objections are of greater importance to your prospect than others. After you clarify the objection, you need to ask your prospect how important that concern is to them.
Step 3 - Answer the objection
Take the following into consideration:
· Stay big picture, but be prepared to provide details as necessary.
· Use graphs, charts, or numbers if using the big picture approach isn’t effective.
· Verify the objection has been resolved.
Step 4 - Ask for the order
You may have to ask for the order several times before you get the sale, so make sure you vary your closing questions. Remain patient and be persistent without becoming argumentative.