‘My product/service/company and I offer such overwhelming value that what we sell is worth two or three times the price we ask, and I’m going to prove it to this buyer so he understands what he’s getting and what a gift it is…at any price’
This is a savvy sales person’s mindset…
…the buyer throws in a simple left field question.
The sales person’s mindset does a complete 180 turnaround.
They sense a potential threat.
Maybe ever an attack…
And the sales is put in jeopardy before you know it…
When I ask sales people how they overcome objections, I hear all sorts of techniques, stacked phrases and explanations.
Most of them make me sad.
Because what 99.9% of the responses indicate is that the sales person is in a highly defensive mindset.
What they should be in is an exploratory mind set.
Because it is definitely possible to take an idea on board for consideration without believing it.
I can take on the idea of running a 100 mile race, although I’d have a really tough time believing it…I can still step into the idea and get wildly curious about the what if’s.
It’s what day dreams are made of surely… well, maybe not running 100 mile races but you get my drift…
So, what is it with sales people, who are happy to dream about mega holidays, flash cars, infinite cash etc, but they can’t step into a prospects idea and explore without getting defensive?
Maybe it’s about who is right and who is wrong?
Perhaps it’s about feeling misunderstood?
Or, they don’t want to dig in and do the hard work?
Just before we go on, I’m not talking specifically here about price objections – you can read here about overcoming price objections.
This is about any form of objection.
Any resistance that the buyer displays during the sales process.
Anything the buyer says that indicates the sale is not a push over.
But before we look at overcoming objections, lets thing about what causes objections.
Overcoming Objections: Common Causes of Objections
By a mile, the biggest cause of objections is the sales person!
Specifically the sales person who doesn’t listen, reacts and gets defensive…that’s the super fast highway to a hostile (yet professional) exchange.
Anything the buyer says, or asks, or indicates is THE BIGGEST SIGN for you to ask a question…
The question could be as simple and as generic as:
That’s an interesting point you make, I’ve not heard it put that way before, what is it about X that caused you to ask that question?
Ok, that’s a really valid point, why do you think that’s a consideration here, for you/your business?
You know, I could answer that question in several different ways, so if you can just explain what’s prompted that question it will help me understand and give you the response you need…
You see, no defensive action, no streams of waffle, just absolute clarity from the buyer…who, in answering these questions will probably answer is own question, and the sale can progress.
Overcoming Objections: Typical Buyer Objections
Too much money/too expensive…see overcoming price objections and NEVER put yourself in this position ever again. It’s a rookie fail and you’re not a rookie..are you
Not Now…so, this means you’ve not created sufficient urgency.
Ok, there are some situations where your solution is simply part of the supply chain, but in the main if you hear ‘not now’ it typically means your prospect is not moved enough to take action (with you).
Often this means that your business case is not strong enough. Check out this article about Creating a Strong Sales Business Case
Overcoming Objections: Call Structure for Overcoming Objections
Imagine you’ve done all your sales questioning, you’ve got the information, challenged the buyers though process, reconfigured the solution so it’s a perfect match and you’re both clear on the price and the delivery options, and the buyer throws in a curve ball.
Or perhaps you’re half way through all of the above and again, that left field ball hits your head and you didn’t see it coming.
You know if you answer the question on face value, your sales process will either halt, derail, or go in a direction you can’t predict.
What you’d really like to say is…’can we come back to that question later?’
You could say that but I’d urge you to reconsider.
The buyer might be pacified and forget the question. Or it might play on his mind so you won’t have his full concentration or he might be wildly suspicious and wonder what you’re hiding.
None of these act in your favour really.
So, here’s what you do.
Listen to the question.
Ask a question.
Listen to the answer.
Ask a question.
Overcoming objections, just like this:
Buyer: So, how many of our competitors have you worked with?
Let’s imagine you’ve worked with none – which could be a good or bad thing. If the buyer wants industry experience then you’re dust, but if he wants your outside industry experience you’re a winner.
Your question is: You have a dynamic business here, are you thinking of any specific competitors?
Buyer: X, Y, Z I would see as our main competitors.
You question: How important is it that your partner going forward has worked with these competitors?
Buyer Response 1: It isn’t, I’m just interested to know
Your response: That’s fair, we have a policy of working across several key niches but rarely for direct competitors when those competitors have the same key goals and aspirations.
Buyer Response 2: Very, we need to know our partner can hit the ground running
Your response: Hitting the ground running is important, that’s why we draft in our implementation team, research team and account management team. The last thing you want is waiting for anyone to play catch up, so we make sure you’ll never be in that position.
Your final response: So, we were just about to start exploring abc, is that ok?
See, no lives were lost.
You answered the buyers real objection.
He can free his mind to move on.
And you know more about the buyers motivations now – speed and insight.
Not a defensive position – just a sharing of mutually beneficial information.
Overcoming Objections: Mindset is Everything
It’s the only thing!
If you see a dog bounding towards you and the first instinct you have is to start screaming then it takes time, concious effort and practice to break that habits.
It’s the same with overcoming objections, or left field buyer questions or simply questions you have no idea how to answer because you don’t know the buyers reason for asking them.
So, be aware you’re in that situation.
Get curious and start asking your questions.
Overcoming Objections: Summary
Whole books have been devoted to overcoming objections.
An objection or a left field question from the buyer is simply an opportunity for you to learn more about how your buyer thinks, what his motivations are and how you can better serve his needs.
The only thing you need in order to quickly and smartly deal with objections is a calm demeanor and a huge sense of curiosity.
Overcoming objections is a mindset, then a skill set.
If you want help in overcoming objections and closing more high quality business – let’s have a chat.