Everyone who works in sales will run into sales objections. From retail employees on the sales floor to sales executives, people at every level of the business need to learn how to overcome sales objections. Investing time to understand why these objections exist will not only help you gain the right perspective, it will allow you to see fresh perspectives in turning objections into opportunities.
Customers typically present sales objections for three main reasons. They may be skeptical of the product or service. Secondly it is also possible for customers and sales person to have misunderstandings and miscommunication. And finally customers may just be stalling. And part of overcoming objections is identifying the factors behind them. Let’s look at them more closely.
Reason no 1: Skepticism
It is not uncommon for customers or prospects to be skeptical to our sales pitch. And below are the 4 common reasons:
I.Lack of rapport with customer
The most common mistake made is to sell without first building rapport with the customer. This requires listening and showing genuine interest in the prospect. Many sales people make the mistake of listening to respond. They lack the sincerity to truly understand the customer’s situation and hence jump in too quickly too soon with a solution. As Abraham Maslow’s famous saying “to the man with only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” hence premature selling will almost always end-up getting you objection from customers.
II. Asking poor questions or giving poor answer
When speaking with prospects you need to ask questions that will uncover the needs of your prospects. You also need to answer the potential customers’ questions completely. Do not minimize their questions or do not assume that there is only one solution to your customer’s questions. Always check with them what they think about your recommendation and be open and get comfortable to explore other alternatives with your customers.
III. Poorly delivered sales presentations
Never rush a presentation and assume that your prospect have the same level of understanding with regards to your products or services. And try to explain the value of your product in a manner that is respectful and helpful for customers. This is especially true for sales people that are promoting products that are more technical in nature (such as industrial widgets, components or electronic component chips etc.) to non-technical savvy customers. Sometimes the sales person uses jargon that alienates the prospects or worst still dumb down information in a way that makes the customer feels intellectually inferior talking to them. When that happens, it is no wonder that the sales person faces objections. The best way never rush through a presentation, be brief and ask good to make sure that your customers are following your train of thought.
People do not trust promises that seem too good to be true. It is essential that prospects understand how your company will meet its promises. Also let them know important details of your follow-through activity so customers have a reasonable expectation of what happens next should they takes up your offer.
Every relationship experiences misunderstandings, and misunderstandings happen easily when you are meeting with prospects. Communication is essential if you want to prevent misunderstandings and engage the prospects. And the most effective way to prevent misunderstanding is to strive for a conversation that has the right balance between talking and listening. This is the type of conversation whereby both individuals feel understood and that both parties feel like they have made the right connection. And to have such conversations is by being fully present and engaged in the conversation.
To understand more about how to have such conversation I would recommend that you listen to Ted speaker Celeste Headlee in her talk titled “10 ways to have a better conversation.” It is a brilliant talk that highlights 10 practical ways for us to stay engaged in a conversation and I find this is even true for us who are in the sales profession. And these are her 10 ways:
- Don’t multitask
- Don’t pontificate
- Use open ended questions
- Go with the flow
- If you don’t know say that you don’t know
- Don’t equate your experience with theirs
- Try not to repeat yourself. It’s condescending and it’s really boring
- Stay out of the weeds….what they care about is you
- Be brief
Occasionally, prospects turn to objections in order to avoid making a decision. There are different reasons why people stall when they are with sales representatives. It is important to understand why people stall in order to determine how you should proceed. Most of the time their reasons are:
- Not authorized to decide: If the prospect is not authorized to make the final decision, meet with the person who is. So how would you know? Simply ask them if they need to talk to someone else to make the decision. That way you will know.
- Other choice: People want to compare companies. Try to make sure that you are the final choice. How you do that is by asking prospect permission to follow-through. Get them to tell you when’s the best time to call them back or to meet-up with them again. If they refuse to give you a date or time, then you know that you are probably way behind the queue in their shopping list.
- Not convinced: If a prospect is not convinced, ask what questions you can answer to help. Help them understand their problems better and what you could and could not do for them.
- No time: Set a definite time to meet with a busy client.
- No money: If a prospect cannot afford your product, try to fit in their budget. If not then you could suggest the best next alternative.
Sales representatives need to expect prospects to make objections. Rather than seeing objections as hindrances, they should be viewed as opportunities. I hope that by sharing the reasons why you face objection it could help you address objections early on and therefore will prevent any problems later on in the business relationship. All the best to you and happy selling!