Let’s face it, sales is a tricky business. Pitching a product or service to a prospect that you may have never spoken to can be quite the challenge. So be prepared for some objection. Learning how to handle an objection is the key to pushing through a seemingly difficult sale, and creating a trustworthy relationship with the consumer.
The best objection handling techniques go unnoticed while still achieving the same end goal – closing your sale. The more natural you can be in handling objections, the more successful you’ll be. In this article I’ll share with you a few of the best sales techniques on how to handle objections, and get your sales back on track.
1. Be appreciative
Unless you’re a very good salesperson, or you’re lucky enough to find a prospect who already knows that they want the product or service you’re selling to them, chances are you’ll face objection. It’s a natural part of the sales cycle, and the quicker everyone involved knows it, the better. The consumer will resist, and will very likely expect you to push back – how you do so, however, makes the difference between the sale being stopped dead in its tracks, and jumping the hurdle to complete the sale.
Being appreciative of their constructive criticism towards your sale will help to ease them into the conversation and make them feel more comfortable by portraying you as being understanding. Not only will it help to craft a friendlier relationship, but being appreciative also presents the opportunity to address the specifics of the objection itself – which leads us to our next point…
2. Be curious
You’ll never know how to address a problem if you don’t know what it is. Using the feedback received from the consumer will help you to construct informative questions to help you put their mind at ease. Handling objections in sales is all about reacting correctly to the given situation.
Objections that cite specific selling points as reasons not to buy your product or service can be seen as opportunities to query those objections, and respond with direct answers that serve to prove the customer wrong. Knowing the reason behind an objection is a valuable tool, something that can be achieved by a healthy dose of curiosity.
3. Ask open ended questions
If you know how to handle objections, you’ll know it’s all about staying in control. Being curious is a great tool for getting the answers you need, but only when done in the right way. Asking closed questions such as, “do you like my product or service?” only leaves the door open to two answers – yes or no, and chances are if you need to ask such a question, there’s only one answer your consumer is going to give, no.
Alternatively, asking questions that warrant a detailed response is a clever way of drawing out the specific information you need to be able to continue with your sale. Ask them why they have objections, or what their perceptions of your product are. This allows them to feel a greater sense of control over the flow of the conversation while giving you everything you need to continue with your sale.
True control over a sale involves anticipation and reaction. Answering the consumer’s objection before they have the chance to put it forward will allow you to tackle the problem head on. This portrays a level of understanding and common ground which can again put the consumer at ease.
Knowing the consumer may have an issue with a certain aspect of your product, and providing an answer before they have time to voice their concern, eliminates the potential for them to pose a negative viewpoint. This then provides you with the opportunity to play down the seriousness of the concern and take control. However, be wary – pre-empting incorrectly can lead to presenting the consumer with concerns they didn’t know they even had to begin with!
5. Use humor
Using humour for handling objections can help to form a more personal relationship between you and the consumer, putting them at ease, and therefore increasing your chances of closing the sale. It can also help to build a level of trust. By responding to a consumer’s objections in a comical manner, it helps to get past the more defensive wall that may be present.
Creating a friendly, familiar, common ground through humor builds on the relationship and can help them to view your product or service in a different way. However, humour is best used when the situation calls for it. Some prospects may not respond well to attempts at humor, and it’s up to you to gauge whether or not this sales strategy is appropriate.
Like many of the objection handling exercises already mentioned, pushing back is a delicate one. Become too assertive or even aggressive, and you may as well put the phone down before they do. However, you know your product or service better than anyone, and if a consumer’s objections appear to be based on a lack of knowledge or even untruths, then educating them may be necessary and is perfectly acceptable.
Pushing back to an objection should only be done when the consumer presents you with resistance that is clearly fuelled by misunderstanding. Don’t object to their opinions, but correct them if their objection appears to be based on facts about your service that simply aren’t true. Don’t be afraid to correct them, but do so in a friendly, non-confrontational way.
Knowing how to handle objections is an essential sales strategy no matter what you’re selling. The very nature of sales will mean that not everyone wants your product, but many often don’t know why that may be. When done well, objection handling can steer your sale back on track by using a consumer’s opposition to your advantage. Using our objection handling tips above can help you to stay prepared when on your next sales call, and will hopefully result in the closing of many more sales. Good luck!