Close the deal by handling objections, not hard sales
What do you do, as a sales rep, when your potential customer says, “It looks great, but the price is too high”? “I want to talk to X” or “He looks great, will you call me in a few weeks?” You should understand that when selling, handling objections requires you to skillfully isolate the actual objection and create a bridge that keeps your conversation alive even when the prospect throws the curveball in objection form. From the Sales 101 training, you know that the first objection is rarely the real one, so if you are trying to answer the first objection, you are probably taking your sale, right into the “dead sales graveyard.” Objections should be welcomed as they are a way of allowing the potential customer to share valid opinions and concerns. Objections are just a higher-level version of two-way conversations.
It is natural for potential buyers to raise objections. A great example is when you go to the store, do you immediately fire the helpful sales clerk by “just looking” rather than allowing them to help you find the perfect solution to why you came to their store in the first place? Everyone seems to be conditioned to do that, so don’t rush into a decision.
So before you as a sales rep get caught up in overcoming an objection, there is a sales step you need to take to make sure it is a genuine objection. Before going down the path of answering that first objection, recognize that the first objection is rarely the true one. You need to stay in control and respond with transition statements and open-ended questions to get to the real issue. Transition statements and questions may sound like these two samples.
1. “You obviously have a reason to feel this way, can you share some details about your experiences with me?”
2. “Suppose that’s not a problem, what I’ve been talking about is something I could use?”
A great salesperson will identify objections and concerns early in the sales process. If you receive objections when closing the deal or after asking your potential customer to buy, chances are you’ve missed a step in your sales process. A sales representative must have the ability to not only capture information from potential customers in a way that is interesting to them. This is done by asking thought-provoking questions that create a mental picture of what could happen rather than telling them about your problems and pains. If you tell people what your problems are so that you can present your solution, they may not believe you. If you ask questions in a way that makes them think about their situation and also shares their opinions and experiences, you are more likely to voice objections very early in the sales process. This is the time to handle objections, not when trying to close the deal.
When you’re looking for your desired customer’s objections, don’t argue with them as this will immediately turn them off. Remember that your words make a difference and there are words that connect with your potential customer and other words that can turn him off. There are two words that can put you at the center of a fight with your potential client. Those two fighting words to avoid are “but” and “however.” Too often, sellers use these words when someone has an objection, concern, or complaint.
How can a bad choice of words happen so often? The client expresses his possible objection, feels that he knows that he is not right or that his idea is much better, so he responds quickly. It is not your intention to take the wrong side of the customer. However, without thinking and instead of transitioning correctly, you might mistakenly say something like “I understand how you feel, but …”. Once you say “but”, it is at this point that all your customer hears is “you are wrong”. followed by aggressive “blah blah blah”.
So remember not to put your client in a fighting situation by using the wrong words. Before promoting your product or service as your best solution, allow the potential customer to participate in your sales process. Instead of always presenting, you must handle their objections to close the deal by being more persuasive and learning to really understand their need.