Reading tons of books and being in the selling field, I have been trying to find that secret way to overcome the prospects concerns or objections to the sale. There are no sure fire ways to do this other than following these 5 basic steps.
2) Get back in the game
3) Turn it around
4) Press Forward
5) Close the Sale
The prospect has voiced a “no” or “not now” concern. This is what is called the prospects defensive position or push-back. The best example I have heard concerning this is like catching a water balloon. You don’t aggressively catch the balloon lest it breaks under pressure. You must defuse the situation. Immediately responding can sometimes come off as argumentative. Listen graciously as the word says, “quick to listen but slow to speak.” A pause with empathy or sympathy will usually help.
Then you got to get back in the game. A prospect will usually look for the door as soon as the price is given. You want to try and re establish your conversation with them. After you have listened to the prospect and understood his concern, next you want to “turn it around”. Turn the prospect focus back to the positives about your product/service and off the negative. I heard someone say a sale is like getting married, you are not waiting for a perfect woman but a good one. It is important to ask questions (or repeat former statements by the prospect) to lay again the foundation for the sale and by affirming their interest and/or confirming needs.
I use to be a volleyball coach and the greatest pressure someone felt when battling the last few points is a need to be perfect. This pressure to be perfect to win or get the sale is unreasonable. You just have to do your best and try to be a little better than before. I would always say to the kids, “Remember, you don’t have to be perfect for your competition is not perfect either.”
Then, “press forward!!!” I liken it to a football game and it is the first down on the opponent’s 2nd yard line. This is where resistance becomes the greatest. You must press forward, you are almost there! You can press forward by putting their concerns in a proper perspective and pointing out additional value to their unique situation. You will want to get the prospect involved by getting verbal confirmations throughout the sale.
Lastly, immediately after your “touchdown” statement, ask for the sale. It is like spiking the ball down after you cross the goal line. Otherwise, if you remain quiet after your answer to their objection you are inviting them to respond defensively by challenging your statement rather than responding to a close.
On a side note-
I have noticed that if a seller has done a good and through job in their presentation he will not have as many hurdles to overcome in the objection stage. Now remember, every product or service has a flaw (otherwise their would be a monopoly and a sales person would nothing more than an order-taker). There is a lot of emphasis put the objection stage of clarifying, qualifying, isolating the objection. But, if a salesperson has done a through job the objection will most likely be something that he will not be able to overcome, like a week point in your product/ service or perceived value compared to cost.
What then? There are a few instances where an objection is stated that the company can address and fix but if it was a common objection this should have been stated and overcome in the presentation. If, you do run into an objection that is uncommon but believe you have an answer to it, then the best thing to do is a “if…then…” type of statement. Have them pre-commit.
I liken objection handling to a guy asking the prom queen out for the first time. She will more-than-likely state an objection (true or not) to be able to put him down nicely. Now if that boy tried to get further clarity on her objection it would more than likely get nowhere or the girl would be forced dig her heals in a little further in her stated objection. And this doesn’t make for a good professional sales career. But how do you know when she is telling the truth or not? And how can you overcome if the objection is not clear? I admit it will take some practice and discernment.
Example: The teenage boy says, “would you like to go out with me this friday?” And she responds, “Gee, you seem like a nice guy but I have to do my hair/ go out with the girls/ do something else…” If he responds, “Humm, I understand, can you tell me a little more about that?” She will more than likely have to dig her heals a little deeper in her original objection. But if the boy instead responded, “Humm, I understand how that can be something to look forward to but if you don’t mind going out with a nice guy this one time, I have front row tickets to the big concert Friday, do you think you could do your hair another day, it would sure mean a lot to me?” By recognizing the objection with merit, reminding them of anything they said, adding value, using reason and logic with persistence, he would probably get a better response. Adding additional value to an offer will in most cases end more favorably than not.
What I heard before, that if a prospect has a real objection it will come out more like a story and if it is false it will more than likely be hasty, short, nice and polite. A true objection with an interested buyer may sound something more like this from the prom queen, “I have to go out with the girls on Friday, we have been planning this trip all summer long and I have been looking forward to this for weeks.”