Effectively handling objections moves you from average to stellar seller

Instead of telling your buyer that he’s wrong, help him come to a different conclusion of his own accord.

What separates a stellar seller from an average one is the number and quality of responses they have to objections.

Objections are statements made by buyers as a way to say, “I want to buy but I just need you to assuage my fears”. Objections are a natural response to change- which is what the purchase represents. Handling objections means responding to the buyer in a way that changes his mind or alleviates his concerns (offers assurance).

Don’t fear, anticipate

The average salesperson hates objections. To him they are a brick wall. He sees them as the reason why his sales fortunes will never bloom. He can do elaborate proposals and presentations, but fall flat on his face when the buyer says, “But your price is too high.” Or, it’s corollary, “I want a discount.”  And so, proposals upon proposals pile up in his sent items with very little conversionary emails in his inbox.  The stellar seller looks forward to objections; he anticipates them and even weaves them into his presentation. He knows that objections are godsend-if the buyer didn’t have concerns he’d have bought the product already. And so, borrowing from others or, through trial and error, he has an arsenal of responses to the most common objections.

For instance, if he sells insurance or investment services to the objection, “I can do it myself”, he responds, “I’m sure you do a good job at money management.  Aren’t you concerned about making the wrong moves and having no one there to help you?” or, “I’m sure you can. I’m sure you also know that most wives outlive their husbands. If something should happen to you, would she be able to handle everything by herself?”

Response without confrontation

Notice how he doesn’t persuade by arguing or pressuring the buyer to back down; which would only serve to energize the buyer’s fears and, in the process, lose whatever trust had been earned or rapport built. No. He acknowledges the objection then responds. Acknowledgement is not agreeing; it’s respecting the buyer’s concerns without antagonising him, while in the same breadth, allowing you an avenue to smoothly shift gears towards giving a response that changes how he is looking at the situation.  

And so, to the objection, “I want a discount”, he acknowledges, “Discounts are a normal part of business.” And then responds, “Let us look at the proposal again and see which areas we can discount.”  Notice the client was referring to price in his objection. But the seller in his response, has shifted the discussion to include several Ps. One is process (review delivery method). Two, is product (reduce quantity or quality), and three, distribution (say, representative sample size in the case of a research firm). He can also add a fourth one, people involved (in the case of service industry; for instance, caliber of field interviewees or trainers).

Luckily they never get to 10

In essence, what the seller has just done is politely exposed the fact that a discount in price comes with a commensurate ‘discount’ in other aspects of the product or service.

Embrace objections as natural.  Mercifully, the most common ones rarely get to ten. Be a shujaa (hero). Instead of telling your buyer that he’s wrong, help him come to a different conclusion of his own accord.

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