“I don’t have the budget”, “We don’t need it”, “Things are good as they are”, “I am too busy”, “There are other options better suited to our needs”, “I cannot make a decision right now”. All sales people have heard these objections, but in truth an objection is not a rejection; it is simply a request for more information or a barrier to be overcome.
In the words of Michael Jordan, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it”.
Objections are inevitable. To be a successful seller you need to master the art of handling them. Here’s how:
Face it – “Fortune favours the prepared”
Dig deep to find out exactly what they are objecting to and why:
- Leverage social content to help you understand the nature of their objection
- Use social listening skills and tools to discover what’s important to them, and uncover their pain points
- Ask questions of them, their peers, their network and yours, to delve deeper into what issues exist within their industry, what challenges they are facing, and what they have to gain
To be prepared is half the victory. Good discovery will set you on the path to overcoming objections. Build a clear picture about what really sits at the heart of their concerns, and anticipate what might get thrown up.
Tackle it – “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”
If what they really need is more information – give it to them. Start proactively addressing potential and real objections head on, and make sure that when you propose a solution your message does not fall on deaf ears.
Get ahead of potential objections you foresee and set the scene with buyer-centric engagement that helps you build trust and up-front value:
- Explain and educate through targeted content and data that challenges misconceptions
- Demonstrate positive outcomes by sharing how others are using your product or service
- Bring a third party to the table (your fans and advocates) and use them to validate what you’re saying
- Find and use influencers within their business, their industry, their network, supply chain or customer base. Get their voice behind you
- Become someone of value, with advice and opinion that makes you a resource within their network
Research suggests that 75% of deals are awarded to sales professionals who have first provided value and insight. Don’t underestimate the value of playing the long game. Taking small steps can lead to big results, and can even prevent an objection in the first place.
Solve it – “Nothing is impossible”
Once you have uncovered an objection, and started the process of convincing a buyer otherwise, then you need present a solution.
- Use your research to build a customised value proposition that aligns your product or service directly to their needs, and answers their concerns. Offer a clear, concise and convincing description of the benefits you can provide and results you can achieve
- Likewise, use the knowledge you’ve gathered from your research and interactions to present a solution in a way that best suits their buying persona, and ensures you hit them with the right information in the right way
- Timing is everything. Understand where they are in their buying journey, and present your solution at the time when they will be most open to hearing it.
Overcoming objections means leaving no stone unturned, knowing everything there is to know, and being prepared by arming yourself with the information needed to tackle any obstacle and most importantly to prevent objections. It is also about building trust, credibility, and showcasing your product or service in a way that is best aligned to the buyer’s pain – delivering value is where success lies.