Handling Objections: What Your Sales Team Needs to Know
Objections are one of the most common challenges every sales professional encounters. Even the most golden prospects probably have some kind of objection to something about the sale, so in order to close the deal, those objections will have to be dealt with, and dealt with well.
Here's how to help your sales team meet objections bravely, resolve them effectively, and come out victorious in the end.
Objections Are a Good Sign
It may not seem like it on the surface, but the fact that a prospect is willing to voice objections can actually be a very good sign that he or she may be interested. Someone thinking of reasons not to buy (objections) may also be thinking about reasons to buy. Your sales representatives' job is to help their prospects cross as many of those reasons not to buy off the list as possible, while adding to the list of reasons to buy. Teach your sales team not to be afraid of objections. Don't let them view objections as rejection; tell them to view objections as what they are: invitations to engage the prospect further in productive discussion.
Every Objection is an Extra Bit of Information
The objections that your sales representatives hear can tell them a lot about their customers and what is important to them, and in turn help them decide which benefits of the product are most important to play up for this particular customer. One potential client may worry about the price, another about the hassle of switching to a new product or service, and yet another about whether your brand is legitimate or well-known. All of these objections afford valuable insight into what the customer is seeking, and which parts of the sales presentation may need to be emphasized or tweaked.
Turn the Objection to Your Advantage
Objections might seem like negatives, but many of them can be turned into positives with a little skill and knowledge. An objection is often an opportunity for your sales representatives to point out a benefit of your product or service, or offer something special to the customer, such as an add-on product, a discount, or a more convenient payment plan. Spend time in your sales meetings helping your sales representatives to role play how they will respond to the typical objections they hear. Focus on helping them use the objections to identify the prospect's needs and interests, and then finding ways to resolve the objections by meeting those needs and interests.
Seek Out Objections Sooner Rather Than Later
Many sales representatives are tempted to avoid finding out what potential customers' objections are. However, whether they are spoken or unspoken, objections exist in the prospect's mind. If they aren't addressed, they're likely to crop up at the most inconvenient time, like right after a hard close. Teach your team to find out about objections on their terms, earlier in the process. A good soft close to teach is a question along the lines of, "Is there anything that would prevent you from signing up today?"
Objections Travel in Packs
Along the same lines, it's easy for sales representatives to imagine that once they've resolved an objection they're done, and can move on to better things. However, it's rare that a prospect has only one objection. Resolution of objections should continue until the sales representative has heard and responded to all the prospect's major objections.
When is an Objection NOT an Objection?
Sometimes an objection turns out to be just a desire to be heard and understood. So it's important to teach your team not to steamroll over a prospect's objections. Often half the battle is won by simply hearing someone out and restating the objection so that the prospect can see that the sales representative is interested in really helping, not just making the sale at any cost.
Some objections can also be simple deflections by prospects unwilling to say right out that they are completely uninterested. If a potential customer keeps coming back to vague objections, or if even simple objections seem consistently impossible to resolve, the objections may be code for an attempt at polite dismissal. Teach your sales representatives to distinguish between real prospects and people who are just wasting their time.
Be a Hero
A prospect should always feel that the sales representative is on his or her side. The process of resolving objections should feel like a team effort, not a battle or argument. Help your sales representatives to act like knowledgeable resources interested in helping the customer, rather than pushy adversaries. At the close of a sale, the customer should feel as if the sales representative has solved a major problem and helped him or her discover something that will make his or her life and business better. Learning to effectively resolve objections will make your team heroes to their customers and better, more consistent producers for your company.
If your sales team needs a little extra refinement, Netpique sales outsourcing offers sales training, either on-site or remote, and can also provide you with an outsourced sales team to launch your product or augment your existing sales efforts. Contact us today to talk about your sales needs and how we can meet them.