What is Objection Handling?
Hearing no is a fact of life. Salespeople are among the people who hear no most. There are a million reasons a salesperson will be told no,
“It’s too expensive”
“I’m not sure now is the best time”
“I’m too busy right now”
All of these subtle ways of being told no can be overcome with something called objection handling. Objection handling is how a salesperson changes disagreement into understanding. Importantly, disagreement almost always stems from different points of view. At the heart of objection handling is education.
Think about it. If you have a phenomenal product/service, and there’s always a great return on investment, why wouldn’t an ideal buyer just buy it? As the salesperson, your product/service is a no brainer. As the buyer, every product/service has a million concerns. Many of these come from just not knowing. As a salesperson, you must help buyers understand. Helping buyers understand by educating is the overarching principle of objection handling. But exactly how do you educate the buyer? Educating is more than just telling. Try these sales tactics to better educate and, in the process, better handle objections.
3 Sales Tactics to Help Better Handle Objections
1. Teach them
Before you try to help them better understand your side, make sure you understand what they are saying. One of the most common mistakes is not actually listening. Whenever they talk, give your complete attention. Don’t look at your sales notes. Don’t try to think of a rebuttal immediately. Don’t get distracted by something in the office. Truly listen to what they are saying.
Believe it or not, active listening during sales calls is a skill. There are two main ways to increase your active listening skills. First, put yourself completely in the present. Before a sales call, clear your mind of any other worries or thoughts. Your lunch break is coming soon? Forget about it. Place your complete focus on the other person. Second, take an active interest in what they are saying. You’re not here to just close a deal. You’re here to build a relationship and truly provide value. With this mindset, you’ll want to listen actively without trying.
Does the best product or service always win? Of course not. That’s why there’s not just one car company or one computer company. At the core of any product is the end-user. You wouldn’t buy a minivan to compete in a Nascar race. Similarly, you wouldn’t buy a supercomputer if you just needed to send emails. The people buying the supercomputer or the race car are looking for specs. They want to know the horsepower or the RAM. A completely different consumer would buy the minivan or the laptop because it gets the job done.
Some people are looking for a product that just gets the job done. Other people are looking for super-specific specs. Others are somewhere in the middle. Understand what level of specificity your ideal customer wants and teach them about it. This could be a detailed research report or a simple email. Go back to the customer. If they’re all about the innovative part of your technology, use their language- go into details. If they just need to get from one place to another, educate them on how your product does it the best.
If you’re listening to what the prospect has to say, the second step is to ask clarifying questions right after an objection. Clarify everything you can about the objection; the more details you have the better. There are two main ways to ask better questions. First, never opt for a yes or no question. Second, only try to get the answer to one question at a time. With these two simple tips, you should be well on your way to understanding the objections.
3. Customer Experience
Once you have a firm understanding of the objection and you clarified any points of confusion, you should have an understanding of the prospect’s viewpoint. The next step is to educate. This is really where you can explain your understanding and your point of view. The keyword here is to explain. Do not try to tell the prospect he/she is wrong. Instead, state what you think the root of the disagreement comes from. In other words, the question behind the question. Then ask if the statement is accurate. For example:
Prospect: “I just think this might be too expensive”
Salesperson: “I hear that it’s too expensive, but because you said ____ earlier, it sounds like what you’re saying is that this is the wrong timing. Is that right?“
The key to voicing your opinion on the question behind the question is to bring up what’s been said on earlier calls. Bringing up past conversations will show that you listen, actively. The second part of voicing your opinion (on the root of the problem) goes back to the mindset talked about earlier- having a true interest in what’s being said. Educate the prospect on what he/she needs. Don’t oversell or look to just close a deal. Have a mutual conversation on if and how you can help them. If you get this right, you completely take away the objection. The objection turns into a conversation because there’s a mutual goal to figure it out.
The final step is to ask what the prospect is really looking for. Do they want your solution or do they really need something else? Ask more clarifying questions to see how you can help. By this point, you are past objection handling and are providing a customer experience. This step is critical as it shows how your company’s sales team views prospects. Does your company see prospects as money signs or as opportunities to form a relationship and mutually help one another? There’s always room to learn more from every experience.
If you’re an experienced salesperson, the sales tactics mentioned above are probably not new. More often than not, it’s the reminders that you need most. That’s what Balto was built for- helping salespeople form the best sales habits. With A.I. call coaching, those in charge of the sales process can ensure every sales rep is using the best objection handling tactics on every call. Interested? Click the button below to watch Balto in action.
Originally published Dec 18, 2019 10:14 pm