Sales objections are a good thing, overcome them with confidence!

Next to showing up, bringing out sales objections is the best thing you can do. I know it is counter intuitive. Still, it is true. It does not matter if you're asking a woman to dance, selling a $20M mansion, selling a used car, or selling a box of rocks. If you get an honest objection it is a sign the potential buyer is internalizing how your product relates. If you take a step back and think about it, the honest objection gives you something to work with.

I picked up the following tidbits while working as a personnel recruiter for the Air Force. When a customer presents you with a reason why they don't want what you are offering, they give you the gift of an opportunity to prove them wrong. All you have to do is honestly and sincerely put your customer's best interest first as you follow the following six steps.

  1. Acknowledge they their objection. If you don't and just keep pushing the sale, they will walk away (or punch you).
  2. Clarify the objection. Make sure you truly get their concern and the reasons behind it. Get the reasons behind the reasons.
  3. Validate the objection. Let them know with you get it and you care.
  4. Overcome the objection. Educate them on why they (truly) benefit even with the objection in place. Maybe they already have a puppy that barks all night and day and it is a lot of work. Explain how buying a second puppy will keep the first puppy company and offer a full refund on return if it doesn't work out. Maybe you could even take the other pup off their hands at reduced cost too. I'm sure you cold resell and you would have one heck of a fan offering good referrals.
  5. Re-check for new objections. After clearing that objection recheck to see what other opportunities they offer to prove they need your wares.
  6. Take prompt Action (close the deal). When they agree there are no reasons not to buy, make the sale by closing. Double alternatives work best. Ask if that will be cash or credit? Will the order be eat-in or take-out, will they pick up the pup in the morning or take it home tonight? You don't need to ask if they will buy what you offer or if they will dance now...they already said yes when you rechecked and no new objections arose.

The method above is one of the more detailed versions of a process for overcoming sales objections. We can describe in many ways. Your goal to keep both you and the customer completely unaware of the steps as they pass by smoothly. I described them in detail for awareness on the psychological process. Simple really is better. My favorite (and simplest) description is the feel, felt, found approach.

  1. I understand how you feel
  2. I felt the same way
  3. Then, I found...

This simple combines all 6 steps into three natural statements. Don't forget to give the customer a chance to speak up where and when they want to. You are looking out for their interest and they will see that if you are attentive to their need to stop you mid-sentence. Also, keep you mind focused on finding how the product truly benefits them. Don't blow them off. Think about how they can still benefit and educate them.

The original post (& others) may be viewed on my blog at Manage to Grow; Business & Personal Development

Work well in your garden and head the words from Galatians, "We reap what we sow".
- Seth Haigh

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Comment by Peter A Ferguson on June 5, 2012 at 3:53pm

Always a good reminder. I'm new to sales and always like reminders of the tactics good sales people have used on me. I also can tell when someone is sincere vs. just going through the steps.



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