We are often asked by salespeople on our sales courses the best way to overcome objections. How should we deal with the price objection is a big one; also, what should we do if the customer is buying from the competition is another.
The old sales process is still being followed by companies, even though the buyers we used to use them on have faded and gone away long ago.
We used to hear ‘the first objection isn’t the real one, so dig deep to find the real reason for the ‘no’’. Also, ‘a ‘no’ gets you closer to a ‘yes’. And of course, ‘don’t give up until you’ve uncovered three to five objections’.
All these hark back to the days of pressure sales and ‘the gift-of-the-gab’ salespeople, who used to try and talk their way into a sale.
So, try to remember why objections actually occur in the first place. The real reason is that the value has not been built up for the product or service that outweighs the negative consequences incurred by making the decision.
If you’re able to build this value before the decision is made, you’re more likely to reduce or stop objections from even coming up. Therefore, instead of trying to overcome objections, ask questions to bring them up!
This may seem obtuse, puzzling and lacking in intelligence to start with; but bear with me.
First, write down all the reasons why prospects don’t want to go with your solution. Come on, you must have quite a few of those!
They could include things like the hassle of changes suppliers, the budget limitations, bad timing, pricing levels, quality…you know the drill.
Now, when would be the most effective time to find out these objections? Would it be before or after your presentation or proposal?
Naturally, it’s before. But most salespeople we deal with only encounter objections after they have presented. So, get the prospect to bring them up before you ask for decisions to be made.
You can say things like:
“John, I’m sure you’ve heard our products are more expensive than the competitors’ products you are currently using. Can I explain about this upfront?”
“Jean, I’m not sure if this is an issue for you, but I know you’ve been looking at larger firms for a solution here. Do you have any concerns about our capacity to deliver the same quality of work, considering we are a smaller company?”
“Jerry, you mentioned earlier that delivery issues have affected our partnership with you recently. Before we think about next year’s contract, can I just cover what we have been doing to rectify the situation?”
You’ll see that in each of those examples, bringing up the possible objection first has enabled the salesperson to eradicate any concerns before they become bigger issues in the customer’s mind.
Proactively mentioning them as potential concerns means they are covered before any proposal or presentation is delivered. That way, the level of objections after you have recommended solutions will become less or be eliminated altogether.
Yes, it’s slightly risky, as you may bring up issues the prospect hadn’t been thinking about before, but it’s always better to get most things out in the open before they raise themselves at a time when it might be more sensitive or force bigger, more unexpected changes in the proposal than you had anticipated.
This article was written by Sean McPheat, Managing Director of MTD Sales Training.