Few sales are concluded without one or more objections being raised at some stage of the presentation and discussion.
Meeting objections can be like banging your head against a brick wall.
(Brick wall in Bury Road , Rickmansworth)
Like a wall you can choose to go round it, over it or through it.
Walls like objections are individual.
Actually facing the fact that there are certain potential objections and bringing them up yourself, providing the answers at the same time will prevent them appearing later on.
Only do this if you are reasonably sure that the client will think of them - otherwise you are drawing attention to something which might never have presented a problem anyway.
There are two kinds of objection:
• Information seeking and
It is important for us to clear the smoke screens away to give ourselves the best chance of handling the real objection. Our natural reaction is often to try to squash the objection before it gets out of hand which can lead to the following problems:
Pouncing: a knee jerk response (sometimes even before the prospect has finished speaking!) is discourteous and creates an emotional brick wall - it suggests you have not considered what has been said and that you are not concerned for the client’s point of view.
Being glib: too practised and rapid a reply will be viewed as suspect and unconvincing - it suggests you have heard it all before and are just repeating a page in your sales manual.
Arguing: the time honoured response “yes, but” suggests that you disagree just as much as
“... Don’t agree with you ...”,
“... No that’s not right and here’s why...” or anything similar.
Avoid even suggesting that you disagree by shaking your head or raising an eyebrow.
Scoring points: drowning a prospect in technical detail, or proving that they do not understand or have made a mistake, will simply make them feel foolish and/or angry.
Understanding the concern that lies behind the objection is essential if you are going to deal with it effectively; therefore listening and clarifying are vital at this point.
Furthermore, any emotion needs to be removed from the situation, as logic cannot sway emotion.
Establish a clear understanding of their position , use silence to gather more information and clarifyi by paraphrasing and repeating the objection
For those looking for a process here is a logical 8 step method
How to address an objection
and show that you are listening.
to show that you are considering the point.
ensure that you understand, and demonstrate
that you understand, by questioning, summarising, rephrasing or repeating.
4.Appreciate -by acknowledging the customer’s viewpoint, express empathy, and confirm understanding of the customer’s concerns.
5.Evaluate -whether the objection is ‘information seeking’ or a misunderstanding, or is it a ‘major objection’ based on valid points?
6a.Explain -if the objection is ‘information seeking’ then provide more information (making sure that you assume the blame for inadequate explanation)
6b.Hinge -if it is a valid ‘major objection’ then use a phrase such as “However”, “On the other hand”, “Alternatively”, “Have you considered…”;
or turn the objection into a question
7.Justify -by using Benefits and ‘YOU’ Appeal to neutralise and outweigh the objection and motivate the customer.
if appropriate, confirm that the customer is in agreement with your answer before moving on (to the close).
(NB: Testimonials - If you have customers who are loyal to your company, then get letters of referral/testimonials from them. It can help you justify the price.)
Special categories of objections
You must establish whether the objection is valid, or purely a misconception so that you can provide relevant information, explanation and justification in a logical, credible and motivational fashion, drawing on the most appropriate points of your Offer Analysis.
There are three common types of objection which require special consideration:
Hidden objections: sometime the objection voiced (e.g. “I haven’t got the budget”) is easier for a client to say than the true objection (e.g. “I haven’t got the authority”).
Quite often you can sense thsi from their body language
If this seems to be the case then answer the objection raised and follow up with “...and what are the other points that concern you?” Or equivalent expression
These can also cover a hidden objection and are intended to avoid an immediate decision
for example :-
Referral to a third party (e.g. a boss, acolleague, the board) can be dealt with by:
• Confirming your contact’s acceptance of your offer
• Involving your contact in the next stage
• Seeing the third party yourself (preferably with your contact)
Anyone needing to ‘think it over’ is not fully convinced of the benefits.
Try to confirm their ‘area of particular concern’; use a summary to check all relevant points. If that does not work make sure you arrange a follow-up meeting.
Competitor comparison is best handled by focusing on the total cost of the purchase for the client (i.e. purchase price + cost of time + installation costs + overheads etc) as this puts price into a smaller perspective:
or identifying the cost difference between you and your competitors (this gives you a much smaller amount to justify) explaining how your total offer differs from your competitors, and showing that the value difference to your client is greater than the cost difference.
Comparison with not purchasing at all is best handled by reducing the price to the lowest denominator that is appropriate to your client (e.g. amount per day, amount per person, extra cost per unit, the equivalent of only one extra tank of petrol per week);
this makes it psychologically more acceptable.
Another way is by repeating your major benefits in a way that shows the client that the value of your offer is greater than its price.
Establish first whether the price is unacceptable in comparison with a competitor or in comparison with simply not buying at all.
When faced with the price objection use the phrase “Can you help me understand more about the prices issue” or “Can you clarify this for me…” or “Can you expand on this for me?”
Think back to the answers you got from the customer during your earlier questioning and pick up on the issues raised by the customer - for example “Earlier you said reliability was your biggest issue…” or “You mentioned earlier that quality was of major concern…”. Then move into a defence of the value of your offer - build a bridge of Benefits and ‘YOU’ Appeals that illustrate how the customer is going to get extra value from doing business with your company.
Your Offer Analysis or Differentiated value Proposition DVP provides the raw material for your answer to the objection.
Nudge the buyer into a decision by using a phrase like, “Wouldn’t you agree it’s worth the extra £5 per unit ?
Useful phrasing for common objections
Here are some possible approaches to handling common objections. Adapt the format and language to suit your personal style.
Objection: “I’ve got a cheaper quotation/proposal.”
Approach No 1 - ask to see the competitor's proposal to check that the buyer is comparing ‘like for like’.
Possible phrasing could be “I do understand that the price is very important. So that I can understand how they have been able to quote a lower price on a similar specification what I’d like to do is look at their proposal to satisfy myself that you wouldn’t be getting a specification that is different from ours. Do you have a copy of their quotation handy?”
If your prospect declines to show you the proposal use Approach No 2 -
“I understand. Can you help me with this Mike? What I’d like to do is go through our specification with you and you can check it against their proposal. We can then highlight where the differences are in the specification. Do you have a copy of their proposal handy?”
Objection: “I’m happy with my current supplier.”
Response: “I quite understand how you feel Jill, some of our existing customers felt the same way before they started using our service, what they found once they began using Xeron products was that …….”
(Continue with a summary of your key benefits and ‘YOU’ Appeals.)
“……. So that you are in a good position to evaluate our service what I’d like to suggest is that you use us on a trial basis. We could start the trial in late August or early September. Can we go ahead on that basis?”
(This approach expresses an understanding of the prospects viewpoint, offers a way forward and attempts a close on your objective.)
Objection: “Can’t see added value for the price.”
When the customer objects because your specification seems the same as your competitors, then you have to differentiate yourself and add value against the competitor.
“I can fully understand your concern Mr Jessop and at this moment we do look more expensive than the other supplier you are talking to. From what you have told me there appears to be a £4 difference per shipment.” (Reducing the difference to the lowest unit.)
“Your main concern when shipping your spare parts around Europe is that they arrive on time, that you have the latest pickup times and have the ability to track and trace each shipment en route.” (Gain commitment here.)
" Europe Parcel Couriers have a full European network. We have more flexibility around pick up and delivery times, we provide excellent security and our
track 'n' trace system allows for greater visibility of shipments. This is where you get the added value which does cost a little extra, but it does give you added benefits, which are most important to you. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Objection: “I need to speak to my director/manager etc.”
Response: “I can quite understand that you need to consult your Director, it’s a big investment after all, but can I ask you Sam ? if it was solely your decision would you be happy to go ahead today?”
(If the prospect hesitates in their response you need to probe the reason for their reluctance to give a clear answer. The hesitation may mask a hidden objection. In effect the prospect may be saying, “leave it with me”.)
Objection: “Leave it with me, I’ll think about it and get back to you.”
Response: (Stage one) “That’s fine George, it is a major decision. Sometimes when clients ask me to leave it with them, in the back of their mind they still have a concern, could I ask you was that over the specification or the performance?”
(Pick two of your key propositions, but not price as the prospect can always respond by saying “yes, the price is too high”. This approach may reveal the real reason for the delay. It’s possible that the prospect’s response may be to simply restate the original objection.)
For example: “No, I just need time to think about it.” (A very understandable human reaction.)
Stage two is carefully phrased to identify exactly what your chances are of winning the business.
“That’s fine Paul, I’ll wait to hear from you, but would you mind me asking, what if anything, would stop you giving us the business?”