The right handling of objections
Welcome back to our blog! This week, we would like to talk about things that do not satisfy the prospective customer about a product, which can occur during a sales meeting. It is important for the salesperson to handle these objections so that the deal can still be successfully closed. The first thing we need to understand is that objections in themselves are not a bad thing, because at least they show us that the customer is interested enough to communicate. Objections are the opportunity to make a first push in the sales process and win the customer back. At the same time, they give us the opportunity to better understand their needs and find new ways of communicating with them. A good preparation of responses can help to face the customer’s doubts in the right way.
Types of Objections
Objections can be related to different aspects during the meeting. Need-related objections will occur when the customer is not sure, if the product is required urgently. If the product doesn’t satisfy the customer, he will raise complaints that question the quality or the features of the product. Objections related to the source of the products regard the company that produces them. The customer could have trust issues that can be resolved by adding clarity.
Also, time is another aspect, which is sometimes questioned by customers, but it is independent of the product. If the product is seemingly too expensive, the customer could object the price. There are some more possible objections a salesperson could have to face, like bureaucracy or the demand situation.
So how do we deal with objections? First, of course, we must be prepared for them. Thinking about objections in advance helps enormously. When a customer raises an objection, it means that he or she is initially closed off to the product. His mind goes into a so-called rejection state – the art is now to bring the customer out of this rejection state into an open state, in which he again has an open ear for the product. The key here is not to talk the customer down for a long time, but to make it clear to him in a noticeably short period of time that you really understand him and to respond to his objections, thereby demonstrating the added value of the product very briefly and succinctly. Depending on the customer’s setting, a decision must then be made as to whether a new appointment should be made (for example, if the customer does not have time at the moment) or whether the customer can be convinced in this meeting.
For many salespeople, objections are a horror, but this also shows that they have not prepared themselves well enough.
How to resolve them
The main comprehension all salespeople should realise is that objections are merely evaluations. They can be statements or questions posed by a potential client who indicates that they have not been convinced to purchase the product or service just yet. The ability to effectively resolve objections in sales is a critical and essential skill for all sellers.
- Really listen to the objections, a quick answer is not the best. A convenient answer is a thoughtful one that addresses what the customer said and what they really meant by it.
- Ask clarifying questions: listening to the client and drilling down to get to the true motivation behind the objection enables sellers to better craft a relevant and powerful response to the objection.
- Focus on the biggest objections and prepare a response that is related to the product and shows the customer added value.
- Do not sink into talking! Stay on the ball and keep the answer short. If you talk the customer down, he loses interest and gets the feeling that you just want to sell him something.
- Stay honest! Do not make false promises, because this will increase the buyer’s distrust.
- Empathise and acknowledge the client’s objections to connect with them and demonstrate an understanding of the customer’s needs and concerns.
- Position a concise and targeted response. Being able to supply a succinct response indicates that the seller understands the issue and has the ability to offer a simple solution,
- Check for feedback to confirm an understanding and that the response addresses the customer’s concerns as well as answer their needs. Asking how the buyer feels is also very powerful and allows us to better understand and respond to them.
- Are prepared! One tip is to have a document ready that lists the 25 biggest objections related to a particular product and a suitable response to them.
- Repeat the process until the client’s concerns have been adequately addressed.
Overall, objections should be seen as feedback from the customer that also show the interest in the product. With them the salesperson has the opportunity to deepen the customer’s knowledge. It can be more difficult to deal with customers that do not show concerns and tell their objections. A positive mindset towards any objection and respecting them can let the customer voice problems.
Authors: Nguyet Huynh, Heinrich Herwig, Lee Sauer (exchange students of Turku UAS)