Personal Selling 4Handling Objections How to use objections to your advantage in a sales presentation
Listen Before Responding • Resist the temptation to respond immediately. • Ask them to talk about it in more detail • You can uncover all of their thoughts, both positive and negative, their hot buttons. • Gives you something to work with. • Now you can address all of their concerns. • Encourage prospect to talk. • Listen, Isolate, Clarify, Confirm. • Then DISARM.
DISARM • Remove negative attitudes and feelings • May need to start early • Prospect won’t listen until objection resolved • Avoid arguments and confrontations • Keep discussion upbeat and positive • “I can understand why you feel that way…” • Maintain professional tone • If you don’t completely understand the objection, ask customer to expound • Like a minefield: locate, uncover, remove
Anticipation • Before the meeting • Put yourself in customer’s shoes • Think about why they wouldn’t want to buy • Prepare responses to each objection • You can’t anticipate them all, but you can figure out almost all.
Understanding • What is the reason behind the objection? • Is it real or just a tactic? • If real, is it something that you can address? • Is it objection or rejection?
Don’t Handle Non-Objections • A negative comment might not be an objection. (Volvos are boring.) • No need to rise to deal with. • Just “low-key” it. (Safety is boring. Or We have great engineers, not stylists.) • Don’t create objections by talking too long, and not closing on cue. • Know when to shut up.
Classify the Objection • Function of customer’s perception. • A valid objection is content based. • Factual, logical, may be in error • Others are visceral, or relationship based. • Emotional, not rational • Visceral objections are often smokescreens, excuses, or red herrings. • Hard to deal with the visceral objections with logic. They keep on objecting.
Dealing with Visceral Objections • DON’T! • They are negative, no-win. • Shift conversation away from relationship and toward facts and content. • Try to address any loose ends (that may cause this reaction) at start of meeting. Don’t start with a dissatisfied customer. • Feel/Felt/Found Response • won’t work in extreme cases
Turn Visceral Objection Around • Shift focus to facts • Address need • I have no time to see you. • That’s why you need to see me. I can save you time (an hour a day). • Be careful of hidden visceral objections. Customer may say they prefer competitor for rational reason, but really prefer them because they’ve been working with them.
Dealing with Valid Objections: Denial NASA Photo of Da Nile
Valid Objections: Deny/Refute • Usually straight-forward, factual, logical • Move right into close from the objection • Deny/Refute • Introduce new facts • Recast the facts in different light • Careful not to prove customer wrong • Just let them be more right • If you can’t deny or refute, then yield
Valid Objections: Yield • Make a disarming statement, and then yield • Quickly acknowledge the customer’s objection and then immediately move on • Cite compensating benefits • Offset their objection with something more valuable • Don’t get hung up on objection
Objection Close • Whether using denial (not de riva in Egypt), or yielding, use it as an opportunity to move directly to closing • Once you have adequately addressed their issues, there is nothing in the way of them buying from you. • “Yes, BiffCo does offer a lower sale price, but the lower maintenance costs of the BobCo makes it a better buy in the long run, doesn’t it? (Getting customer agreement!)
Move On • After handling objections, move on with the presentation. • Don’t get sidetracked. • Don’t lose your momentum. • Get on to the close, or at least get the presentation back on track. • Let objections help to steer your presentation, but don’t let them derail you.