If you’re in sales you will undoubtedly come up against objections to your proposition in almost every presentation you make. Whilst by their very nature objections can be challenging, they also present a great opportunity to create the flow of information necessary for you to better understand the needs and requirements of your prospective customer.
Perhaps the single most important factor in managing objections or objection handling during the business to business sales process is the ability to understand the objection and convert it into the reason why the prospect isn’t agreeing to buy (at least not just yet anyway)! Once you understand the reason you can provide a solution.
There are numerous reasons why a prospect may raise an objection to a sales opportunity and generally speaking these can be placed into 3 distinct categories:
- Feasibility – The prospect is questioning whether or not you can actually deliver on your promise
- Value – The prospect is questioning whether or not your proposition is worth the price you have quoted
- Price – The prospect may not have the budget to accept your proposition, no matter how much they like it
Feasibility and Value can be categorised further as ‘False’ objections. This is because the actual objection is not to the proposition itself but rather to the practicalities and worth of the sale. With this type of objection you will need to convince the prospect that any concerns they have can be overcome.
Price, however, can be classed as a ‘True’ objection because if the budget is simply not available the sale cannot progress no matter how good the sales pitch. If there are no other objections other than price, however, you may wish to start the process of negotiation at this point.
There are a couple of simple tactics which can be applied to help manage objections before you even have contact with the prospect:
Do your research!
Eliminate as many objections as you can as early as you can by pre-empting them, raising them and closing them down during your sales presentation.
See any further and unexpected objections as an opportunity to strengthen your proposition - the customer has merely identified an issue to be resolved before the sale can be closed, they are listening!
It’s important that sales professionals don’t mistake customer objections as a negative or even a personal attack. It is important to remember, however, that an issue that is not resolved will stop the sale from progressing.
Don’t leave it hanging
An unresolved objection causes problems for everyone involved in the process. When an objection is handled badly and not resolved the prospect or customer may feel frustrated and concerned that they will encounter more problems if they choose to work with you. The sales professional will lose credibility and in some cases confidence. The organisation who is selling the product or proposition will not only lose the immediate business but may also loose future business that may have been forthcoming as a result of the sale.
A logical and structured approach to managing objections can help ensure you sufficiently manage the process to a successful outcome. The APAC model is recommended as this allows you to acknowledge, probe, answer and close down and concerns. Perhaps the most important step in this process is the probe as this is where you will use high yield questioning to really define the customer requirements.
Do your research
Question and probe to understand what the customer is really saying
Follow a logical and structured approach
Work to achieve a resolution
Don’t take it personally
TLSA International offers a range of online sales training courses, face-to-face sales training courses and leadership training material that can help you achieve your objectives and break performance barriers. You may be specifically interested to find out more about two of these courses, Overcoming Objections and Closing Techniques to improve performance. For more information on this or any other solution contact us on 0345 600 1556 or discover more about TLSA's Sales Training Solutions.