Most people who present a product or a service don’t like objections. After all, objections are a form of “no” or “not yet.” I was one of those people for many years, until I understood what an objection is and how to overcome it.
What is an objection? It is a stall, an attempt to put off the sales decision. It is a temporary decision not to make a decision. When prospects give you objections, they are looking to justify why they feel they cannot get started today.
Most people want our product or service but have challenges deciding. The inner conflict that creates objections is rooted in the fear of making a bad decision. Essentially, the objecting person is saying, “I want to buy, but you have not shown me enough value to decide now.” In the mind of the prospect, little doubts create questions and big doubts create objections. A sincere objection can be a form of disagreement, but most often it is a question in disguise.
Learn to Master Objections
When someone gives us an objection, it is up to us to find out what the underlying hesitation is. Rarely, if ever, is the stated objection the real reason for not buying. Our role as salespeople is to get to the point so we can help the prospect reach a decision.
You can’t master sales unless you master objections. Here are a few simple rules and philosophies I have found helpful.
- Objections are clues to the way your prospects think. Listen and be fully present. If you are thinking about what you want to say, you have checked out and cannot hear what they mean—you hear only what they say.
- While objections appear logical to those who use them, they are almost always emotional. Listen with compassion but never get emotionally involved in the objection itself.
- Many objections are caused by the salesperson, not by the prospect. Objections occur when we fail to create interest, which is done by provoking curiosity and painting pictures. Leading people into their imagination prevents objections.
- Objections are not permanent and don’t mean your prospect doesn’t want to buy. Ask for the sale; you can never lose what you do not have. Ask and you shall receive.
- People buy benefits, not neutralized objections. Focus your presentation on the benefits of your service and how they apply to the person in front of you.
- Objections are better prevented than answered. Look for the clues along the way to know which objections your prospect will most likely give and address them before they use them. For example, ask, “Is there anyone else, like a spouse or friend, whom you need to talk to before you can get started with me today?” (This can also be a great trial close.) If your prospect answers no, then he is less likely to use the “I have to run it by my spouse” objection later. If he does, you can say, “Correct me if I am wrong, but earlier you said you did not have to talk to anyone.”
- Objections represent opportunities to create a decision and close the deal. Be spontaneous, but don’t get rattled or attached to the outcome. The sales process is a game; if you want to win, you have to make the sale in your head before you sell it to your customer.
- If you keep hearing an objection over and over, it may be because you “own” that objection. What do you believe? Do you believe your product is worth its cost? Do you believe you can deliver the value you are promising? Your unstated beliefs are reflected on the outside through your words and actions. It’s called “lyrics and music”: people hear your lyrics but they feel your music.
Responding to Common Objections
Before giving a sales presentation, learn and practice four or five different ways to respond to the most common objections. Unanswered objections always create more objections. Your answers to objections must be short (less than thirty seconds) and concise.
Most objections are best answered in the form of questions. For one thing, this way you get the prospect to talk, which can help to flush out the underlying concern. Another reason for converting your answer into a question is that it helps you keep control of the conversation; if you are on the defensive you lose your power. Once you ask a question, be silent.
Here are some great ways to neutralize the money objection. When your prospect says, “I don’t have the money,” ask:
- What are you going to do about that situation so you no longer have to create that statement?
- How does it feel to make that statement even though you know this is a great opportunity?
- How long have you been saying that? What are you going to do about that?
- I can appreciate that, but if money were not the issue, would you get started right now?
- I can appreciate that, but can you see yourself attracting that kind of money in the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours?
- When will you have the money?
- That is the exact reason you deserve to get started today. How would you like to pay for that?
- I can appreciate that; however, can I ask you why you came here today?
- What did you expect it to cost? What can you afford?
- How long are you going to allow that to continue?
- Can you say more about that?
- What are you really saying?
Mastering objections is a sales skill that will serve you well beyond the sales process. It is an intricate part of the art of persuasion. Look at it as helping people decide and moving them to action. Before you know it, you too will grow to love objections.
JEFFREY ST. LAURENT is the founder of True You Inc.
and an internationally recognized author, speaker and success coach.
Jeff specializes in assisting entrepreneurs improve the results in
their business and life by focusing on the health of their bodies and minds.