Problem: Objections are probably the most misunderstood area of selling and typically salespeople are not very good at dealing with them.
Analysis: Experience tells us that objections are really not “buying signals” like the sales gurus of old have told us. In fact, objections could be deal breakers if we don’t handle them properly so most salespeople would rather not deal with them at all. Traditional methods of handling objections (memorizing ten ways to defeat the price objection, etc.) are not real world solutions for most salespeople. They can’t remember most of them under pressure anyway, so avoidance becomes the strategy.
Solution: If you keep doing things the way you’ve always done them, you’ll get the same results. In selling, we want the salesperson to introduce the objections. It’s the prospect’s job to resolve them. If this sounds like we’ve got it backwards, well, in a sense we do. In the real world, if you’ve got a ticking time bomb on the table, it’s better to disarm it before it blows up.
Here’s an example. Let’s assume you know your prospect has had a problem with your company in the past. You’re very concerned that this bad experience will be brought up by the prospect and used as a reason not to use you again. Typically, the salesperson would prefer to “let sleeping dogs lie” and avoid discussing it. However, the potential still clearly exists for the prospect to raise the issue later and use it as a bargaining tool. (“Yes, but we’ve had a problem with you guys in the past and you’ll have to significantly lower your prices before we would even consider…..”) Sound familiar?
A more effective way to deal with this issue is to bring the problem up early by saying, “I’m told you had a bad experience with our company a couple of years ago. My biggest concern is that it’s still an issue for you. Do we need to spend a few minutes discussing it before we …?” If the prospect says it still is an issue, your response would be, “If it’s still an issue, I’m curious as to why you’d even want to meet with me. Can you help me with that?” Let’s face it, there’s got to be some pain involved because most prospects have better things to do with their time than to have you come in for a tongue lashing.
If it’s no longer an issue, you’ll be told that. Now you can focus on the prospect’s pain and not be worried about past problems. Either way, we take control of the situation and deal with it.
What stalls or objections do you get on a regular basis? Can you use this tactic to deal with them more effectively?