How often do your salespeople come back to you and say they lost the deal because of price? How often do your salespeople lower the price of your product or service to close a deal? It is important to determine the percentage of time that price is the issue, and if it is more than 20 percent of the time your salespeople may need more training. Price is only one type of objection. Prospects will have objections about timing, features, service, shipping and a myriad of other things.
Objections are a natural part of the sales process. When the salesperson and the customer are taking the step to move forward in the sales process it is natural that objections will arise.
Sometimes people are just not interested but don’t know how to say no or they really can’t afford it and don’t want you to know that. Learning to handle objections is important so that salespeople don’t spend time with prospects who are not going to buy.
What are objections? They are a signal that the customer is interested but not ready to buy. Objections usually arise because either you or the prospect doesn’t have a full understanding of something important. People want to feel good about their purchases, business or personal. They want to be sure they made the right decision. So sometimes an objection is really the prospect saying,“Tell me why your product is so great so I can feel good about my purchase.”
Most objections are legitimate and should be treated that way. Many salespeople talk about having to overcome objections. I always use the term “handle” instead. If I have an
objection I don’t want to be “overcome.” I want to know how you will handle that objection and make sure the purchase is a good fit for me or my company. As a prospect, this will tell me a lot about how you will respond in the future if I become a customer.
Objections usually fall into one of four categories: price, timing, product or something the prospect will not disclose to you. The fourth is something like, “My brother sells the
same product and I need three quotes but I am going to buy from him.” Or “I don’t like you, but I am not going to tell you that so I will throw out some other objections.”
Your salespeople know all of the common objections so I suggest doing the following exercise with them.
1. Have them make a list of the objections they commonly hear.
2. Have them write several solutions that are appropriate for those objections. These must be things that the company approves.
3. Have your salespeople craft questions that will help them understand the objections.
Here’s an example of how this works:
Objection: The price is too high.
Possible solutions: Provide financing, develop a payment plan, explain the return on investment, help them work it into the next budget, discuss the value.
Possible questions: What have you discovered in comparing our product to the competition? How much were you planning on spending? What is your budget for this purchase? Would financing make the purchase possible? What features and benefits would make the price work for you?
Handling objections is something you need to review with your salespeople frequently. New objections come up, but typically your salespeople hear the same objections and can help each other with good solutions to handle those. It is good to do the above workshop several times a year and then remind them of the process for handling objections above, right.
Handling objections is something that should be easy for salespeople to do. Objections are a natural part of the sales process. In fact, if I don’t get any objections when I am selling I get a bit worried. I would rather handle objections before I close a sale than after because I never want a buyer to have “buyer’s remorse.”