How often do you lower the price of your product or service to close a deal?
Many times objections come up during the sales process and we are too quick to appease with a price reduction. Price can be a smoke screen and if we rush too quickly to solve for that, we may not find out the real objection. Price is only one type of objection. Prospects will have objections about timing, features, service, shipping and a myriad of other things.
Objections are a natural part of the sales process. When you and the customer are taking the steps to move forward in the sales process, it is natural that objections will arise. You have to be prepared to handle them. Sometimes people who object are just not interested but don’t know how to say no or they really can’t afford it and don’t want you to know that. Learning to handle objections is important so that you don’t spend time with prospects who are not going to buy and you insure that those who are going to buy, have all the information they need to make a good decision.
What are objections?
When you have a qualified lead, objections are a signal that the customer is interested, but not ready to buy. Objections usually arise because either you or the prospect don’t have a full understanding of something important. People want to feel good about their purchases, business or personal. They want to be sure they made the right decision. So sometimes an objection is really the prospect saying, “Help me understand how this solves my problem or tell me why your product is so great so I can feel good about my purchase.”
Most objections are legitimate and should be treated that way. Many salespeople talk about having to overcome objections. I always use the term “handle” instead. If I have an objection, I don’t want to be “overcome”. I want to know how you will handle my objection and make sure the purchase is a good fit for me or my company. As a prospect, this will tell me a lot about how you will respond in the future, if I become a customer.
Objections usually fall into one of 4 categories, price, timing, product or something the prospect will not disclose to you. An example of the 4th is something like, “my brother sells the same product and I need three quotes, but I am going to buy from him” or, “I don’t like you, but I am not going to tell you that so I will throw out some other objections.”
You are familiar with all of the common objections for your sale so I suggest doing the following exercise with them.
Make a list of the objections you commonly hear.
Write several solutions that are appropriate for those objections. These must be things that the company approves.
Craft questions to ask the prospect that will help you understand the objections and choose the appropriate solution.
Objection: The price is too high.
Possible solutions: discuss the value – perhaps they don’t understand what they are getting for the price, provide financing, develop at payment plan, explain the return on investment, help them work it into the next budget.
Possible questions: What have you discovered in comparing our product to the competition? How much were you planning on spending? What is your budget for this purchase? Would financing make the purchase possible? What features and benefits would make the price work for you?
Once you understand the objection better by hearing the answers to the questions it will be easier to handle.
Handling objections is something you need to review frequently. New objections come up, but typically you hear the same objections and can work on good solutions to handle those. It is good to do the above exercise several times a year and review the process for handling objections below.
Process for Handling Objections
LISTEN – Listen carefully to the objection. Listen with your eyes and ears. What words are they using? What is the tone of voice? What body language do you see?
VALIDATE – Start by validating, no one wants their concern negated or skipped over. They want to know you understood.
ASK – Once they know you understood you can ask questions to clarify the objection.
SOLVE – Answer with the appropriate solution. Don’t instantly jump to a reduced price. What is it that your company can offer to handle this objection? Is it a situation where you don’t have a solution and should point the prospect elsewhere?
CONFIRM –Confirm that your solution covers their objection. Once you have provided a solution be sure that it is acceptable to the prospect by asking.
MOVE ON – Move to the next steps. Don’t over sell the solution, if you have handled the objection, take the next step to move the sale forward.
Handling objections is something you should be prepared to do. Objections are a natural part of the sales process. In fact, if I don’t get any objections when I am selling, I get a bit worried. I would rather handle objections before I close a sale than after because I want my buyers to be satisfied and become long term customers with repeat business and referrals.