In sales, we can’t expect everyone to immediately fawn over the products or services we’re selling as soon as we mention them. There will undoubtedly be sales objections – those poking and prodding statements or questions from clients as they sound out your proposition.
These objections can sound like resounding no’s at first. However, great sellers can anticipate common sales objectives and turn them into an opportunity to highlight the value of the product on offer.
How to Handle Objections in Sales
Understand Your Field
Overcoming sales objections starts with having the proper technical knowledge of the solutions you sell. Without knowing your products inside and out, you can’t answer questions as to why they’re beneficial or why they’re better than the competition.
You also need to understand the market the client is working within, so you can empathize with the challenges they face and know how you can offer them an answer to the problem.
Acknowledge the Objection
However, knowing the “right” answer to the sales objection is less than half the battle. The customer already has a preconceived idea of why they don’t want what you’re selling, and you need to be able to dislodge this idea effectively.
It is very challenging to change someone’s mind once they’ve taken a position, and it usually starts with empathizing with the customer and acknowledging the objection.
Examples of empathy statements:
- “I understand you feel your current solution is fine.”
- “Thanks for your information. I appreciate you telling me.”
- “Claire, I understand your reservation.”
Don’t just spit out a cookie-cutter response; it’s important that your empathetic acknowledgement feels genuine. This will be noticed, and it will help you to probe for more information on why the objection has come up.
Clarify Their Reasons
Making assumptions on why the objection has come up can kill your chances of a sale, as you could be offering a rebuttal to a protest that hadn’t been made.
If a prospect says, “we prefer X brand,” and you assume it’s because X brand is cheap, yet the customer actually prefers them for their features, for instance, you’ll waste time attempting to overturn a position the client never had! At worst, you can solidify their position even further.
Instead, ask probing questions to find the client’s true motivations behind their objection.
Now you know the real reason for the objection, respond with a targeted, concise rebuttal, such as those outlined below.
Check that the customer understands your rebuttal and probe for feedback on whether their concerns have been addressed. You may need to elaborate or rebut a new objection. Repeat the process above, remaining calm and acting as a helpful guide to the customer.
Rebuttals to Common Sales Objections
Let’s look at some of the most common types of sales objections and how you can build rebuttals. Of course, it’s crucial that you tailor your responses to the actual products and services you’re selling and take into account the market conditions and specific customer position.
“We’re happy with our current provider.”
Complacency is a common objection. It can be the fear of change or a worry that things will worsen with a new, unknown product or service.
The objection is overcome by showing concrete examples of where your product has helped businesses similar to theirs. Preferably, show case studies and success stories where their competitors have made similar changes with great results.
“We’ve got too much going on at the moment.”
Every business is busy all the time. Probe whether this objection is because of a legitimate short-term issue or if it’s just a stalling tactic. If it’s genuine, effectively follow up later.
Any objection regarding a lack of time must be met with compelling reasons to choose your product relatively quickly. This could be a time-limited offer or persuasive examples of why faster action on their part will result in significant advantages.
“Our budget is stretched as it is.”
You’ll often come up against pricing objections. The best rebuttal shows the unique value of the product and how it can actually save them more money than the sticker price. Resist the urge to offer up a discount quickly, as it can erode the perceived value of your product.
“It’s not up to me.”
Another common sales objection is the requirement of a third party, such as a boss or manager. Instead of letting this stop you in your tracks, look for the opportunity to set up a joint meeting and get more decision makers in the room. You may even be able to move the conversation to the final decision maker altogether, land a larger sale, and open up even more networking opportunities.