How To Handle Objections Like A Pro
I used to fear sales as much as I feared spiders.
And I know I’m not the only one. Many have admitted to me, that despite positive initial meetings, they struggle to close their clients.
Imagine this: You’ve been working hard on a pitch and it’s the morning of. You put on your new, ASOS dress, nude power heels and catch your reflection in the mirror on your way out to the meeting– lookin’ good, feeling good.
You catch an Uber, arrive bang on time, shake hands with your potential client, build rapport (he likes soccer too!) and ace your pitch. He looks impressed, opens his mouth and says...
“….I don’t think I could use your product.”
What?! Nothing defeats an inexperienced salesperson faster than an unexpected objection. Most people will invest hours perfecting their pitch without a second thought as to what will come afterwards. But even your perfect pitch may be ruined by poor objection handling.
In my career, I think I’ve heard every objection under the sun – “It’s too expensive” “I need to get sign off” “Call me back in the summer” -- especially, when I worked in recruitment. With a tight feeling across my chest, I would wait for it to come, be choked into silence, say a quick “OK," and hang up the phone or run. Giving an enthusiastic wave goodbye to my deal.
When I started to change my mindset, my business started to increase – both in corporate and as an entrepreneur. I realised that objections weren’t something to fear – in fact, they were windows of OPPORTUNITY to further convey the value of your product or service. By learning and using strategies, you have the power to change a client’s mind or elevate any concerns.
You can turn even your most 'deadest deals' around.
Here are ten ways to overcome client objections.
Change your mindset.
Stop looking at objections negatively and embrace them. Bring. Them. On! They show your prospect is interested – they are merely expressing a concern. Remember that for some people, their default answer is just, "No."
Speak directly to the decision maker.
In business, you aren’t always speaking to the decision maker so don’t shoot the messenger. Ask them, who has the authority to sign off? If they have to relay what you say to someone else they are not able to communicate the message as effectively.
Be Sherlock Holmes.
After thanking them for being honest with you and bringing the objection to your attention, repeat their objection back to them but as a question. For instance, "...Too expensive?”
Pause. Give them time to clarify and expand on what they meant as often people will hide what they really think. Ask further open-ended questions: experts suggest that it may take up to four layers of questions to uncover their true thoughts! If you get stuck, just do what three-year-olds do and ask a simple, “Why?”
Finally, restate what you heard again in your own words and ask them to reconfirm that you’ve correctly understood.
Always show them the value.
To keep a customer with you for the long haul, they must see the value in your product or service. Understand what’s important to them and any pain points they are currently experiencing. How much is this pain costing their business in lost revenue, wasted time, customer satisfaction etc? What impact does this have on THEM – maybe they have to stay in the office late and miss out on quality time with their family?
By taking this pain, further probing and expanding on it, you encourage your prospect to quantify the problem and convince them that your product/ service is worth the investment.
Develop your online presence.
Strategically building your online brand is another way to demonstrate your value. Produce free content in the form of blogs, video and social media updates that solve problems your target market faces and further showcases your expertise. We do this with our personal branding agency, Briar Prestidge.
Facts and figures.
Backing up your statements with facts, industry research, references or customer success stories will just give more reasons for people to trust your business and will address any concerns they may have. What stories do you have that are relevant and describe their situation?
Never let an objection slide.
Letting an objection go unaddressed (even at the start of your sales cycle) is dangerous – it will come back to bite you in the bum in the final stages. The longer they hold onto an opinion, the harder it will be to convince them otherwise.
Tactic: The Conditional Close.
In some situations, it may be appropriate to offer an exchange to your customers - if you handle their objection, they will buy the product and close the deal. For instance, "If I give you 5% off will you buy it?"
Tactic: Feel, Felt, Found
This is a great word track that I learned in London – it shows you are listening and demonstrates that you care. After the client objects, say “thanks for letting me know – I know how you feel. A similar client I had to you also felt the same way. But what they found, is that by working with me they were able to market out their new book effectively through their personal brand”
Tactic: The Pull- Back
If you feel like your customer is resisting the sale, it’s important to step back and see what happens. You don’t want them to feel forced into a purchase and leave with a bad taste in their mouth. If you are serviced based and work on retainers, resistance early can be a tell-tale sign that they may drop out later.
According to Newton's third law, pulling back may make them want more as for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, if you want less objections, limit your reaction to them by agreeing with them - "I agree that you shouldn't make a purchase that isn't within your budget."
Objections in your sales cycle should be nothing to fear. View them as an opportunity to further build rapport and strengthen your relationship, convey the value of your product and understand what's important to your client. And of course, make more sales!
A task for you this week is to put some of these strategies into ACTION. Let me know how you get on! You can message me on Instagram (@deals_in_high_heels) or Facebook (Deals in High Heels) - I love to hear from you.
What are your tips to handle objections?
Until next time,
Briar Prestidge xx