HOW TO HANDLE SALES OBJECTIONS EFFECTIVELY
Every prospect has questions and concerns about your offering that must be dealt with effectively before he or she can proceed with confidence. This is normal and natural and to be expected. Your ability to handle objections effectively is a critical skill that will largely determine your level of sales and income; your job is to master this skill.
I have been into sales for about 10 years. Worked with two Pan-African Commercial Banks, four Direct Sales Global Companies with tremendous results. What I am sharing to you is part of that experience and knowledge I acquired on the process. I remember when I began selling and the prospect objected to my offer, I would be crushed. When the prospect said things like: “I can’t afford it”, “We’re not in the market for that right now”, “We don’t need what you are selling, “Your price is too high “or “We can get it cheaper somewhere else”, I would accept the objection without arguing and move on to the next prospect. Then I learnt that objections are simply part of a normal sales process. They are inevitable and unavoidable. My job was to identify the major objections that I would get and develop answers to them.
Objections are good.
The fact is that objections are good. Objections indicate interest. Videotapes of thousands of sales calls show that successful sales have twice as many objections as unsuccessful ones. When the prospect starts objecting, it means that they are giving your offer some serious consideration. You now have a chance to close the sale.
The Law of Six
The law of six applies to objections. This law states that there are never more than six major objections to any offer. Your task is to sort each possible objection into one of the six categories and then to develop a bulletproof answer to that objection.
The objections could revolve around your price, the customer’s satisfactions with his or her existing suppliers, complacency with the existing situation, the newness of or lack of familiarity with your product, or even knee jerk sales resistance that comes automatically.
When you experience initial sales resistances to any offer such as when prospects say, “I’m not interested’’ or “I can’t afford it”; you can reply to those objections with the sweep –aside method. Say these words positively and politely, “that’s all right.” Most people in your situation felt the same way
Listen to the end.
The first rule in handling objections effectively is that you should hear them out completely, without interrupting. Whilst the prospect is objecting, you are getting an opportunity to listen, and listening builds trust. Negative prospects can be transformed into a neutral or positive prospect when you practice the white magic of attentive listening.
Treat Objection as a Question.
Treat each objection as if it were actually a question. When the prospect says, “I can’t afford it,” say, “that’s good question! How can you justify the price at this time? Let me see if I can answer that for you”
Here are three responses you can use for any objection.
First, you can pause, smile and then ask, “How do you mean?” This question is almost impossible not to answer .You can use it over and over again in the sales conversation “How do you mean?’’ or “What exactly do you mean”?
Secondly, you can say, “You obviously have a good reason for saying that. Do you mind if I ask what it is?” Often the customer does not have a good reason for objecting and this response will help to clarify that.
The third way you can handle objections is by using the feel, felt, and found method. When a customer says something like it costs too much, you can say “I understand exactly how you feel, others felt the same way when they first heard the price; but this is what they found when they began using our product or services “. Then proceed to explain how other customers found that the benefits or value of your product more than justified the price you were charging. Demonstrate that what the satisfaction the customers acquired afterwards despite spending more than initially planned.
Sales people can increase their sales in two ways; by presenting more benefits and reasons to buy and effectively removing most of the objections or reasons not to buy, that are holding their prospects back.
You can then conduct a sentence completion exercise to identify the main obstacles in customer’s minds that hold them back from buying. Complete the sentence, “I could sell to every qualified prospect I spoke to if he or she just didn’t say…………………..”
Write out, every single objection that you ever received. Cluster these objections into your logical categories, which are never more than six. Finally, solicit the very best answers that you have discovered for answering each particular category of objection.
Once you arm yourself with a repertoire of excellent answers, you will sell with greater confidence and effectiveness in any market. Objections will never hold you back again!!
Make a list of every reason that prospects give you for not buying what you are selling. Organize this list by priority and frequency. Determine the major objections you get that stop you from making sales to qualified prospects.
Write these objections on the left-hand side of a sheet of paper. Draw a line down the middle. Then write a logical and persuasive answer to each objection in the right hand column.