Handling Sales Objections
When it comes to face to face selling, handling sales objections is one of the best skills you can learn.
It is also the hurdle that a lot of people fail on, it wasn’t always like this.
In the good old days, long before Bill Gates was a 40-year-old divorcee.
When your parents used to punch a keypad to call someone
You waited all year to get a letter from some relatives in a far-flung location.
There was this thing called a seller’s market.
Lack of or no competition pretty much meant that whatever deal you put in front of a prospect the chances are they would say yes.
Nowadays, people have sooooo much choice.
There is the interweb at home or in the office or their smartphones, which are fast becoming the biggest consumers of our time since before EastEnders was any good.
I found out a long time ago that there are normally 6 types of sales objections that you are likely to come across in a face to face environment.
The Product objection
The Time objection
The Need objection
The Alternative Source objection
The bad experience objection
The cost objection
If you are unfortunate enough to encounter any one of these sales objections while you are pitching.
It could throw you off guard but if you have done your homework with your presentation.
You should have uncovered most of these sales objections before you present your price, proposal or solution
Let’s take a look at these 6 categories of sales objections in isolation and discuss how you can handle
the objection with a bit of preparation.
Response to the lack of time objection
Have you ever walked into a call and the person in front of you as practically turned over an egg timer and told you that you only have 10 minutes?
Well, I have, and if you have a presentation that you seriously know will take longer.
Then you need to rebook, don’t try and rush your process.
The customer needs to have been fully educated on your product before you leave even if they don’t buy
Anything other than that and you are just chasing dust for the next couple of weeks, months or even years trying to get another appointment 🙂
In a nutshell, just qualify the call first:
Before you begin your presentation just say
“Hi Mr Customer, my name is —— thank you for seeing me today to discuss the product/service with you, the presentation will take around about x minutes, is that ok with you?”
How to get around the product objection
The product objection is a strange objection to encounter, I mean if you think about it the customer has accepted your appointment.
You have obviously explained briefly to them what you are going to talk about but……
It is the wrong product for them, it could be too small, it may be too big.
It may not align with there in house systems and processes.
An example of this is found in the payment terminal industry which is as cutthroat as any other direct sales operation.
Changes in technology mean that the terminals that are offered by the various companies can vary widely in terms of design, function and capability.
You can now get a payment terminal which links to a tablet, so you can take orders and which also doubles as a stock control system.
If the said customer is looking for this kind of solution and you don’t have it, then the sale is lost before it started.
These customers are inaccessible to the competitors who don’t have this technological advancement.
One way to overcome this objection would be by simply asking any of the 3 questions below.
“Mr Customer, what does our product need to be able to do to integrate successfully with your business?
“What would you like our product to achieve for you?”
“If you were to rate our product on a scale of 1/10, where would you say we are?”
This leads nicely onto our next objection which is
The alternative source objection
Obviously, you would want a high score for your product or service but a low score may indicate that your prospect is comparing you to a competitor.
This is where you need to have done your homework, and this also depends as to what market your customer is in.
A competitive market means that you need to know who is offering what you’re offering and at what price and terms and delivery rates, etc.
It is not extra work finding out this information, find out once then just update your database every 6 months.
The kind of questions you could ask around this would be:
“So tell me Mr Customer, do you have any other suppliers of this product or service, how do we compare to them?”
Depending on the answer this will tell you how you can improve your offering or value proposition.
Another great question is:
“So tell me Mr Customer what do you expect from us/me/we as a supplier”
Do I even need this? objection
You will never sell unless the customer has a need, or unless you can create a need.
How do you get a customer to want something after you have spoken to them?
When if they had never met you they would never in their, wildest dream of thought of using your product/service.
You can create a need through educating the customer on the benefits……
I’ll say one more time the benefits!!!
If the person opposite you cannot appreciate what your product or service will do for them, then you will never ever stand a chance of getting the business.
To gauge whether a customer is on-board with you, look for signs of appreciation of what you’re saying.
Nodding, agreement, awe wonder these are all good signs.
Some of the questions you could ask would be:
“Mr Customer, can you see how this product is going to save you time, money, hair loss, etc etc”
If the customer agrees with you then you are certainly on the right path.
The bad experience objection
This sales objection normally comes up early in the call, which is good as it allows you to firefight straight away.
Customers bad experiences can come about from any of number ways.
- another competitor
- a faulty product
- bad service
- cost too high
The main thing is, handling this objection early allows you to make a call whether to fight or flight.
Fight to mean extolling the virtues of your product and how it is going to solve all the problems and that cost is not an issue because of their great ROI.
Flight to mean, say your thanks, grab your coat and run.
The cost objection
This is the one sales objection that you will come across the most, time after time.
Now if you have done your homework, you will know your parameters.
How high can you go on price?
How low should you go if you need to?
You also need to factor in the ROI for the customer.
Let’s look at an example of handling this objection
You are offering a marketing service which is more expensive than the competition.
Having done your homework you know who your competitors are they are and what they’re offering.
You also know that you can offer this customer something that the other company isn’t
This is your Unique positioning in the market place.
You also need to know what a new customer is worth to your customer in terms of
a) current acquisition methods and
b) cost per acquisition
they normally don’t know this, by the way, the most important thing is what is a new customer worth to them.
Let’s say it is £1000
Well if your service is £500 per month, you effectively need to demonstrate that you can get them 1 new customer a month from your services, everything else is just profit.
Let’s say for example that you were selling a cleaning product.
Again you have done your homework you know your competitor sells something similar.
Let’s say in this case that the only difference between your products is your delivery is 24 hours and the competitors are 72 hours.
The unique position in the market place is that you ensure that customers are never caught short on said product because you always turn around your deliveries in a quicker time
Handling sales objections with benefits will nearly always win when it comes to price, most people know if you buy cheap you buy twice.
I once got a contract where a customer agreed to spend 200% more for my product as it had a 10-year guarantee, as opposed to what he was buying which had a 1-year guarantee.
I hope you have enjoyed these sales objections handling examples.
Don’t just be a reader, start putting some of these tips into action and let me know how you get on.
If you want more tips to grow sales for your business then feel free to sign up for my smoke signals and download my latest report 10 tips to increase sales in your business.
Finally, sales confidence and handling objections are not some magical gifts, anyone can grow their confidence, learn to handle sales objections and just get better at selling with the right guidance.
Check out my programme Love Sales Hate Selling and see how I can help you do all three.