As you can imagine, Janek does a lot of research in this area of the sales process. We do a lot of research because this is the area that most sales professionals struggle with handling. So before we get into the right way of handling a customer’s objection, we wanted to share how many sales professionals typically approach this challenging situation.
Janek’s research shows that sales professionals handle objections in a variety of ways. The most common method that sales professionals use is through the delivery of additional features and benefits to attempt to overcome the customer’s concern. The challenge with this approach is that when the customer objects, his or her level of defensiveness is already raised. When you attempt to pitch features and benefits, if the customer is already defensive, he or she will tune you out even further and you will begin to lose credibility. At this point, the likelihood of overcoming the customer’s concerns lessens.
We have found that the best objection techniques are based on first, getting back to a level playing field. Essentially, you need to re-instill order and confidence in the conversation. In order to do this, you must first show empathy toward the customer’s concerns. This will help to lower the customer’s guard and put the conversation back on a level playing field. For instance, you might say to the customer, “Mr. Smith, I understand completely. Value is very important to you, and you want to make sure that you choose a vendor who will provide the best value.”
Once this is accomplished, you are then in a position to understand the concern and get to the root cause of the issue, which will put you in the best position to address the objection positively.
Uncovering the real objection that the customer has is part of this next crucial step. In some instances, it may appear as though the customer is offering a certain objection which is actually masked for something deeper. As part of the sales training process, you will find that the best way to uncover this is by asking questions related to the customer’s concerns to begin to uncover the “true” concern. Then and only then can you address the concern in a way that will make the customer feel comfortable.
Lastly, once the objection has been addressed be sure to confirm with the customer that they are comfortable and their concern has been satisfied. Don’t mistake their silence for agreement. Be sure they are comfortable and from there, you will be well positioned to advance the sales process.