Handling Objections – the Real Story!
We’ve have heard every single version of them; we’ve attended training sessions where we’ve learnt how to overcome them; we’ve role played and practiced handling them – yet they keep coming back to challenge us. Day after day, week after week, month after month.
It comes up every time
Most times when I talk to a sales manager or salespeople about implementing sales training one of the first subjects that must be covered is handling objections (the second subject is time management!)
Everybody makes a big deal about objections – how important it is to handle them, how to handle them properly, what are the best responses….on and on. One sales training course I attended said to consider that every sale contained a mountain called “Mt Objection” and this mountain had to be scaled before sliding down the other side to a close. Yeah right!
What is “objection handling”?
It’s managing the response from a potential customer who is in effect saying 'no' – they are just being polite by also giving you a reason, but its still ‘no’
So what are the main objections?
There are really only five
- No money – “We can’t afford it”
- No need – “I’m not really interested”
- No urgency – “Let me think it over”
- No Authority – “Looks good, I’ll take it to the boss”
- No trust – “I’m not sure”
And here’s the thing, when number one and two come up they are your own fault because you prospected the wrong company and then ineffectively learnt about their needs.
Looking at the list again maybe number four is your problem too; you have been speaking with the wrong person at the wrong level.
Hang on I’ve changed my mind, it’s quite possible that they are all your fault!
Think about it
No money – is a prospecting and research issue
No need – poor questioning failed to uncover the real issues and needs
No urgency – linked to your questioning skills. No need often means no urgency.
No authority or decision making power – you wasted time talking to the wrong person.
No trust – You haven’t developed a relationship and assured the buyer that you can help them and look after their interests.
The truth it’s all about you
It seems to me that the handling or overcoming of objections isn’t the problem. It’s all about how you set up the business relationship with your prospects.
- Prospecting the right business (fits you and your product)
- Uncovering budgetary needs (can afford the investment)
- Talking to the decision makers and influencers (who can make things happen)
- Ensuring they can use your product or service (the need and the urgency)
- Building a relationship with enough trust (to let you recommend solutions)
So there it is the truth about handing objections. Have I opened a can of worms? Let me know how you feel , I look forward to your feedback.
About the author: Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in providing high performance media sales training for salespeople and sales managers via his company Sales Solutions www.yoursalessolutions.com.au