Navigating Customer Objections
A customer objection doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Often times the objection is really a question, expressing the need for more information, more clarification. The worst thing you can do is simply accept an objection and move on. This is not to say that a client can’t have reasonable objections – you never want to force an issue and the client into a situation that isn’t in their best interests.
This is not a negotiation
Client objections are a learning opportunity. You need to listen closely to identify whether the client is laboring under a misperception, expressing a realistic concern, or has a hidden agenda that you need to uncover. Remember, you’re still selling at this point. This isn’t a negotiation where you’re trying to agree on terms – a lack of information can work both ways.
One way to minimize the number of objections is to be proactive during the selling process. Ask for confirmation from the client that they understand the process as you’re moving through it. “Do you have any question before we move ahead?” or “Do you see any obstacles based on what we’ve covered so far?”
Overcoming an objection
- Express gratitude – Let your prospect know that you appreciate their questions and dig deeper until you’re sure you understand their particular concern.
- Empathize – Put yourself in your prospects shoes in order to understand their objection.
- Ask as many questions as it takes – You want to encourage and keep an ongoing dialogue.
- Look for clarity – Hear your prospect out and repeat their question or concern back to them.
- Show the value add – Use real world examples to illustrate the added value you bring to the table and be sure to stick to the facts.
More than anything, it’s important that you keep in mind that this is not about you, but about the potential. Some prospects are going to have real objections (price, location, terms even commission) that simply can’t be overcome at this time. You never want to alienate a potential client or referral. An objection well-handled offers an opportunity to follow up in the future or even ask for a referral on the spot.
Objections managed well can actually increase qualified leads and improve close rates. They can provide you with valuable insights into your sales process and make you a better salesperson going forward. And always remember that being truly honesty should be a key component in your presentation, and in your brand.