Objections are inevitable roadblocks that arise during the sales process. Sales professionals able to navigate these objections set themselves apart from the competition. Objection handling is a crucial skill that turns objections from hurdles into opportunities. It is the role of the sales rep to carve a canal that steers the river of the sales process in the right direction. When a rock blocks the way, the sales rep should know how to maneuver around it. See, objections are not an outright rejection. Instead, they are a path to a new understanding. prospects reject offers for a variety of reasons and a good sales rep is able to unearth those reasons and reframe their pitches such that prospects are willing to upon the offers with a new lens.
But how can it be done? Objection handling is quite a useful skill to have in a sales rep’s toolset. With these tips below, you might find doors of opportunity hidden in the walls of objections.
Listening with intent
The heart of effective objection handling lies with the ability to listen effectively. The best salespeople are attuned to the needs and concerns of their prospects. The first step to gaining that attunement is to listen. Active listening is the bread and butter of listening with intent. It goes beyond just hearing words; it digs deeper, probing at the underlying motivations behind objections. By giving prospects space to voice their concerns, sales reps can gain valuable insights that will serve them well in their subsequent responses. “No” becomes “Know” as objections become valuable pieces of information about the prospect, and a sales rep’s biggest advantage is knowledge.
Understanding the offer
Researching the prospect is indeed important. “Know thy prospect,” some may say. But that sort of knowledge isn’t enough. No, a sales professional should know what they are offering. To know the product, inside and out, is to understand what it has to offer from all sorts of angles. Showcasing expertise is one way of generating trust and said expertise can be used in the utlised to articulate how the product or service offers a solution to the prospect’s problems. This approach is quite customer-centric, but it demonstrates a genuine commitment to helping the prospect.
Empathy forms the bridge between people. Establishing that link with a prospect makes the following conversation much easier. How receptive prospects are depends on the delivery and a bridge makes that delivery far more effective. Responding to objections with empathy establishes a rapport based on trust. Acknowledging concerns instead of dismissing them is a powerful persuasive tool. Good salespeople don’t frame the objection as a fight but rather a challenge to be overcome together. That is what empathetic responses do. By aligning responses to prospects’ emotional states, sales reps can place themselves on the side of the prospect. And deals are closed when everyone is on the same side.
Reframing the obstacle
A skillful salesperson knows how to transform objections into opportunities for deeper engagement. Defensively countering objections may cause prospects to double down on their hesitancies, especially when it comes off too strongly. Instead, pivoting the conversation by highlighting how addressing the objection can yield substantial benefits for the prospect has the potential to reframe the problem. This sort of reframing can help sales reps to shift the focus from concerns and hesitancies to the positive outcomes of the offer. Purchasing decisions are a matter of balancing the weights of positives and negatives. The art of objection handling reframes the perspective, uncovering the significant weights of the positives while providing alternative solutions to the negatives. For instance, if the prospect has budgetary concerns, the sales rep can reframe the objection by illustrating cost savings that the prospect may not have thought of.
Clarity and concision
Clarity in communication is an imperative when dealing with objections. People don’t like to feel like they are being tricked and explaining things in a way that is not easily comprehensible may paint the wrong kind of picture for the prospect. Complex explanations can erode trust in this way. Along with empathy, a skilled salesperson knows how to tailor their jargon and diction for the audience.
Knowledge is about and being one step ahead is the sign of a good salesperson. Preparation is key. Handling objections begins long before the objection is raised. Understanding the industry, the prospect, and the product allows salespeople to investigate prospect pain points, their value proposition, and common objections beforehand. Sure, a genius may be able to come up with these on the spot, but a salesperson worth their salt knows to prepare for a multitude of scenarios.
With enough preparation and communication skills necessary to utilise it, sales reps can transform objections into successful deals. By understanding the prospect and their concerns, sales reps can pivot the conversation to address those concerns from the same side as the prospect. Proper communication and empathy goes a long way in making the prospect see the sales rep as an ally instead of a salesperson.