Objections! Love ’em or hate ’em!


Whilst coaching with one of my customers who was making sales calls she admitted that when the prospect raised an objection she fell apart! I’m sure she’s not by herself and many salespeople take it personally and can’t handle the rejection.

We extol the wonderful benefits of our products in an enthusiastic and positive manner and then it can all start to go downhill after comments from the customer such as “You’re out on price!” “I don’t need anything”; “I’m happy with my current supplier!”

So…. I thought I would try and explain what’s behind the objection and why customers raise them.

How would you “define” the word “objection”?

An obstacle, barrier, problem, “it means no”, and “I don’t want it” to name but a few. And what does that little lot have in common?

They are all negative!! And that’s the problem with objections. Because they are perceived as negative they can be dealt with in a negatively with the salesperson seeing it as an opportunity to do battle by becoming defensive or even argumentative. Voices can become raised and body language changes and what does this say to the customer? It certainly doesn’t appear that the salesperson is confident and can answer the point.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Think of a situation when someone is attempting to sell to us. So, you’re happy with your current insurance supplier in that you haven’t had any problems and you take a phone call from one of their competitors to try and tempt you over to them. How do you react? Do you say “Oh, go on then I suppose I can give you a try. I’ll cancel my current insurer and give you the business!”

Or what about when you are about to spend a large amount of money on that plasma TV. Do you hand over the £1,500 quite readily before you’ve shopped around? Don’t you try and get a better deal or demand free delivery? In other words, you will probably raise an objection or two? And why is that?

Does it mean you aren’t going to buy the TV or you won’t ever consider swapping your Insurers?

When we have made a major purchasing decision the normal reaction is to suffer from “buyers remorse. And who likes to suffer from that? Could we have got it cheaper? Is it worth the price I’ve paid? I shouldn’t have changed my supplier, how do I know if they’re ok?

Perhaps we just need reassurance at the buying stage that we are making the right decision. We need convincing. We are not saying we are not buying but at this point we just aren’t convinced it’s the right decision. If we are given more information to reassure us then we might just go ahead and say “yes”.

Now, if I had asked those salespeople for a definition of a buying signal perhaps they might have said “a request for more information

So, could an objection just be a form of buying signal? I’m sure you’ve all heard this on the many sales training courses you’ve attended over the years but do we really believe it and see that objection as an opportunity to convince the buyer by stressing the benefits?

If the buyer is not convinced he needs your product or service or that it’s worth the price you are asking, he’s not going to buy. So, we might as well get those objections out in the open and face them positively! A confident approach will instill your buyer with confidence.

Make sure you know the benefits of your products and services. Get together with your colleagues if you have them and brainstorm those objection answers so when they are brought up they have the ammunition to deal with them confidently and positively.

Make sure you know how to welcome the objection. “I understand that cost is important, however, this price includes free next day delivery and comprehensive technical support”.

Ensure you explore what the customer means when he says “You are out on price. Before you suggest a discount, find out what they mean. Compared to who? The competitor? Is he comparing apples with pears? Maybe he doesn’t realise exactly what he’s getting for his money?

We can’t get away from objections. I know it’s not easy but by approaching them with a positive frame of mind will not guarantee you’ll turn all those customers around but it will win some of them more of the time!!

Watch out for more practical tips on how to handle the objection in easy stages or for more help with objection handling, sales and customer service related training sessions please contact me.