Overcoming Objections

Effective sales reps pause when they receive objections from a prospect. In reality, they actually pause for much longer in dealing with objections than during other portions of a typical sales call. It's as if they slow down for half-an-hour when handling objections within the sales process itself. Unsuccessful less frequently interrupt the client when handling objections within the sales process; however, interrupting the client while handling objections weakens the relationship and may drive customers away.

One way to overcome objections is by taking time out of the sales process when you face them. Most of us are too consumed with every other task on our plate to take the time to address our objections. Some salespeople try to deal with objections by handling them one-on-one and overcoming their resistance by asking questions. However, this is not a productive way to handle sales objections. Answering questions when you're not even present reduces your credibility and doesn't guarantee positive results.

In addition to pausing the moment you receive objections, effective salespeople also know how to deal with them in a way that doesn't put them off. To deal with sales objections effectively, a salesperson must first become oblivious to the objection. Once an objection is insignificant, the salesperson can remove it from his mind by reframing the situation. If the objection is so ridiculous, or silly that it is distracting, the salesperson needs to steer clear of it.

There are two primary ways in which a salesperson handles objections: by ignoring them or by responding to them in kind. Many salespeople are trained to respond to objections with a positive statement, like "That objection is silly" or "That's not a problem." However, this approach creates negativity in the form of a negative response or comment and distracts the salesperson from more important issues. A better way to handle objections is to simply ignore them and turn your attention to the needs of the client. Here are some common techniques for handling objections when you're not present or the object to be sold is not an issue:

Brush-Off: brushing-off sales objections are simply stating that the prospect is wrong, ignoring the facts or reason for the objection. It shows a lack of awareness, understanding, or respect for the client. If you brush-off a client objection, you're less likely to take the challenge seriously. Also, brushing-off doesn't demonstrate that you believe in the value of the client's concern. It's a quick way to say "No thanks, I don't have enough time right now" or "I'm not interested."

Example Rejections: If a prospect makes a valid objection, offer an example rebuttal. For example, "This product doesn't fit with my lifestyle. This accessory wouldn't look right on me. I'm not comfortable with this color. This accessory isn't practical." This example rebuttal will make it clear to the prospect that their objections aren't serious, that you understand their perspective and are willing to accommodate it, or that your sales process is truly practical.

Active Listening: Often the most important aspect of sales training is active listening to the concerns of the prospect. If you're not actively listening during the objection process, you're losing opportunities to close deals and move ahead with the sale. You want to be able to hear the difference between valid objections and mere irritation. An active listener can recognize the difference and respond accordingly. Most people are completely unacquainted with how to properly respond during the objection stage of the buying cycle; therefore, make sure you engage in active listening while avoiding arguing.

Bonding Process: The best way to handle objections is to establish a clear connection with the prospect and then explain why the objection is not valid. Remember, the object is not going away just because the salesperson doesn't hear it! Once the bond is established, the salesperson needs to be consistent and direct in communicating why the objection is not a good idea. Then, by repeating back to the prospect what they originally stated, more closings, fewer objections, and higher conversions occur.