No matter whether in marketing, sales or a completely different field, you will have to face objections in your professional life. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some tactics at hand on how to respond to these objections? In this article we will look at some techniques that you can put in your ‘overcoming objections toolbox.’ It is written from the perspective of a salesperson but is also useful for any other profession. Just continue reading and see for yourself.
Get to it first
The first few times you present your product or service to customers, you won’t necessarily know what objections you will receive. But by the time you’ve been presenting awhile, you’re going to get a feel for what the common objections are.
When you do receive them, be sure to write them down. Then you can adapt your presentation to include your responses to those common objections. In fact, include them several times if you can. Then by the time you get to the closing part of your presentation, you will be much less likely to hear that objection from the prospect.
This tactic can also be useful if you have to present to a ‘front-line’ person before getting to the final decision-maker. If you feel the person you are working with is ‘sold’ on your product or service, ask them if they can see any areas of the proposition where their superior might object. Then you can include your responses to those objections when it’s time for your presentation to the true decision-maker.
Silence is golden
Next time you are in a sales presentation, when an objection is made, pay attention to how quickly you respond. Chances are it’s immediately. But you can often actually let the customer resolve his or her own objection if you will simply do one thing: pause.
This is difficult, especially when we are so attuned to what customers ask and what they want. You can let the person know that you are listening by your facial expression, but try to remain silent for at least five seconds. Why? Because sometimes what you hear as an objection is actually just the customer thinking out loud. They may continue and answer their own thoughts, or they might somehow rephrase the objection for you.
When a customer makes an objection, they are actually sharing their point of view with you. The worst thing that you can do to anyone who is sharing their point of view is to negate it or get defensive. Would you rather win an argument or a sale? Thanking the customer for making their point will set the tone for the rest of the discussion as collaborative instead of defensive. It does several other things as well. It:
- Shows that you are listening and appreciate the customer’s input
- Let’s you leverage a bit of authority as the expert on the issue
- Gives you a moment to gather your thoughts and prepare your answer
Everyone likes to feel that others understand and empathize with them when they speak their mind. One of the most enduring and popular ways for you to demonstrate this to your customers is to use something called the ‘feel, felt, found’ technique.
You use it by using a three-part response to an objection. For the following example, let’s imagine that your customer has objected to your proposal because they are afraid that the transition would be too disruptive to their workplace. Using this method, you might say:
- I understand how you feel.
- Others have felt the same way…
- Until they tried the Widget 2010 and found how easy it was to implement. Take a look at this information from Company XYZ. They installed it last year in just two days.
You don’t have to complete the ‘found’ step with an example from another organization, but if you can provide any additional data, information, or evidence, this is the time to do it. Depending on the objection you might point to your customer service satisfaction surveys or awards, your rate of customer retention, your average response times, the return on investment that your product will generate, or any other means of supporting your ‘feel, felt, found’ statement.
If you would like to get more free sales tips, take a look at “Negotiating Sales” written by MTD Training.
You can download “Negotiating Sales” right now