Most sellers hate customer objections because they see them as red flags or rejection. Not me! I believe they are opportunities, simply unanswered questions.
With that frame of mind, you automatically go on the defense, which is what the customer is looking for. Their goal is to gain control so that in the long run they get what they want… often a lower price.
The most common objection? Your price is too high. Most salespeople freeze at this point because their prospect believes that to be a fact. It’s logical and the old saying is you can’t argue with logic. Other objections we hear are –
- Not a priority right now
- Already have a similar solution
- No need
- No time or the budget
Salespeople have a hard time responding at this point because they haven’t even begun to talk about how their solution can bring value. To regain some control, sellers need to shift the conversation from logic to emotion since people feel first, then think. At that point you can talk about the value you deliver.
When working with your team on Objections, consider these four subjects:
1-There are two types of objections: factual or emotional. But even though they can be factual, all objections are at first emotionally driven to deter the salesperson and gain control to obtain and advantage before a relationship is established. It’s up to the salesperson to turn the rejection into opportunity.
Factual: In this case the customer states a fact from their perspective that is accurate and factual. Examples are: your price is too high; your terms and conditions are unacceptable; you’re missing functionality we need; or your service terms don’t meet our requirements. Hopefully before you arrive at this point, you will already know what is most important to them. If not, ask! From that moment forward, keep refocusing the discussion back to that need, and how your solution (s) meet that need. According to my personality assessment Four People Personality Style, you will find that most factual objections are left-brain, and most predominant in the Green and Gold personalities.
Emotional: These are doubts that the customer has, such as: I heard bad things about your reputation; I heard your service is inconsistent; or your products don’t perform as promised. When you hear this type of objection, you want to clarify or prove. Use references, customer testimonials, demonstrations. These types of objections typically come from the right-brain personality styles, Blue and Orange.
To manage objections, you need to have a consistent and methodical approach to help you navigate and alleviate the customer’s concerns. Let’s look at the model that I have found to work well.
2-The first two steps in managing objections are Acknowledge and Ask. Always acknowledge what the customer states. Their concern cannot be ignored, or it will come back to haunt you. Acknowledge statements are I see, I understand, I see where you’re coming from. You can also add that other customers have had the same concern, which is telling them you have heard this before and you’re confident you can alleviate it. You’re not agreeing with the customer, you’re telling them you heard what they said.
The second step is to ask a question, which helps you gain control and better understand the source of the concern. You’ll also gain a deeper perspective of the customer’s motivations. Examples are, why is that important; what has caused you to feel that way; what are you basing your concern on? You want to get to the root cause of their objection so you can develop your response.
3-The third and fourth steps are Address and Acceptance. When you understand the cause of their concern, you can refocus them back to the value you deliver if their objection is factual or clarify or prove their doubt if the objection is emotional. Finally, always ask for acceptance which is “have I answered your concern, or have I alleviated your concern?”
4-Remember managing objections are opportunities for you to align your offer with their needs. Confidence and enthusiasm are your biggest assets when providing the value the customer is looking for. And sometimes the customer will not buy into your response because they’re not ready to move forward.
Remember, selling is all about building long-term relationships and many times it starts from the beginning by successfully managing the customer’s objection.