It not difficult to imagine that the biggest obstacle in the way of closing sales is how sales representatives manage objections that are raised by a prospective customer. Normally, when customers mention a rejection, most sales reps begin talking defensively and start to over-justify the product they’re trying to sell or the merits company they represent. Clearly, this isn’t the best way to go about things. Other reps have an even worse way of dealing with such objections. They just take their customer’s objections at face value – hang up and quickly move onto their next customer.
When it comes to sales, you need to understand that objections are inevitable. They should never be seen as the door being slammed shut on your face, and a crucial element you need to understand is why the customer rejected your product in the first place. Sales reps should take all their time to determine why their customers are unwilling to move forward with a sale and how both of them can move ahead in a mutually beneficial fashion.
While there can be a million reasons why customers reject your products, let’s have a look at the most common reasons.
- A lack of knowledge of the product. For example, “We don’t think we need mobile solutions.”
- The customers might have some specific or warranted concerns such as, “Your price is higher than the average of the market.”
- Customers may represent hidden agendas such as them already having an incentive or preference for other products. They will naturally not say this outright.
- They may have an issue with the perception of the product. “I don’t think the cloud is secure enough for my data.”
- The sales representative may not be clear about the interests of their consumers. “I don’t think buying your product is a priority for me this year.”
Think about all the objections you’ve received in your usual line of work and write down examples of each type of objection in a similar way as we did above. Once you have your objections in front of you, you can read on ahead for some sales techniques and tips for objection handling. Now, we aren’t saying that these sales techniques and tips are perfect and will help you with everything you face – there will always be times when you may not be able to overcome your objections.
That said, now we can talk about how you can handle some of the most common objections.
Always try to say, “Thank You.” No matter what your customer says, try to thank them – even if they have put an objection in front of your brilliant elevator pitch. Once you’ve handled their objection, you can go ahead and ask them about their concerns and see whatever you can use to your advantage the next time you are selling your product.
Never forget that an objection is always better than an outright no.
Empathy is a great way of connecting with your customers on a deeply personal level. By doing so, you can really show them that you care and that you have been listening to them. All of us have had to hear “no” at various points of our lives and often times, it isn’t even the fault of the messenger (usually the case in B2B sales).
Simply thank the customer for bringing their concerns to your attention and empathize with them in order to diffuse the situation.
Let the Discovery Begin
Now that you have begun diffusing the situation, you can take your sweet time to uncover the true motives of your customer. Good customer discoveries are always at the other end of open-ended questions. If you think that your customer can respond with a simple yes and no, then you need to begin rephrasing your questions. This is naturally a lot harder than it sounds and you should test yourself with a friend perhaps.
Ask, Probe, Confirm
Now that the questions are flowing, it is important for you to let the conversation get deeper. While your customers are responding to open-ended questions, you can begin probing further like asking them to elaborate further about particular concerns with the product or service. You may also ask them to clarify what they mean at any point if you think you didn’t really understand what they meant.
Now Show Them the Value
To keep customers around for the long haul, you should be able to show them the value of your product or service. The purpose behind these great discoveries is that you understand why they are important for your business and how you can rebuild your strategy to become profitable. By taking these valuable lessons from your customer, you can come back stronger and resolve all their issues by letting them know that your product is truly worth their investment.