When we talk about sales objections, there are always two attitudes in most commercials that go through training. A few grind their teeth. Others begin to rub their hands with happiness.
As the great Dean of Sales Brian Tracy used to say, on average, there are at least 5 to 7 sales objections in the sale. When an objection arises, it’s a sign of interest in our product or service.
There is a saying in some countries “he who disdains wants to buy,” and in fact, it is so in most situations in the sale.
We can always have two approaches to this: to think that customers are being annoying or understand that the business is progressing towards closure.
Above all, remember to treat all objections as requests. In practice, an objection represents only a “request” from the client for more information.
When dealing with sales objections
The first thing we have to pay attention to is the ideal time to deal with them.
One of the things I often warn against is that salespeople often get tangled up in objections too early in the sale. When this happens, we should use the “kick forward” strategy.
Imagine that the customer turns to us very early in the sale and tells us something like, “your product doesn’t stick scientist to the ceiling.” Here I have two chances.
Either go straight to the objection and work right away or kick the answer forward with some variation of the following sentence:
“Mr. Customer, it’s a pertinent question, but if you allow me, I have some information that I am going to give you ahead, that will help you understand that question more deeply.”
When we use this strategy, the customer often lets it pass and does not even return to the objection raised. Ahead, I can choose to ignore the objection, which is usually a risk, as he may think I ignored it, or use linguistics and say something like “Mr. Client, as for that question you raised at the beginning, is it resolved? Many times he doesn’t even remember her anymore and says yes.
But watch for objections that concern situations of integrity, reputation, honesty, or quality, in this case, we must go straight to the point and deal with that immediately.
Attacking an objection too early in the sales process has the risk of spending time discussing something that has minimal value to the client.
By answering it immediately, we run the risk of giving it value in our customer’s head, creating difficulties that may not have been necessary at that stage of the sale.
Vaccinate the sales objection
When I speak of vaccinating an objection, I am primarily referring to not letting it appear before us.
Similar to how a vaccine works, we should be the first to call the objection to empty it of its importance.
For example, let’s imagine that our client wants a solution that covers components A, B, and C. Still, our solution only covers A and B.
In this case, we have two options: pray to our “Lady of Objections,” “Our Lady of Objections, pray for us, make sure that the question of C does not arise in the sales.”
Put the question on the table.
For example: “Mr. Client, our solution covers components A and B, but it does not cover C. However, most of our clients, when they look at the solution in-depth, find that since it also includes component A and B, in most cases C is not needed.
In this way, we empty the power of the objection, not letting it appear later or, if it does, it will sound less strong, since we already addressed it earlier.
This technique can be used with almost any objection, as long as it can be resolved. If, for example, an objection has to do with issues of quality or reliability, the approach should not be the same. It would be a little strange to say to the customer something like: “For every ten units of our solution, 1 causes an accident, but it is only 1 in 10”. I am exaggerating a bit, but this example clearly illustrates situations where this strategy should not be used.
How to respond
When asked what the best strategy to answer sales objections is, my answer often shocks the salespeople that attend our training. My answer is, usually, “bite your tongue.”
The reason for this is that salespeople often jump over the objection with the answer.
Even if we have a valid and workable answer, we should first avoid responding without first knowing our client’s background on the issue.
Therefore, it is always convenient:
Stop, take a deep breath, and, as I say, “untangle the tread ball.” Something like this:
“That’s a pertinent question, thank you very much for raising it. But why is that so important to you?”
“In what situations…? How…? Every time…?”
Above all, resist the temptation to respond immediately. In this way, you will value your client’s objection. If the response is too fast, more combative client profiles will tend to escalate the magnitude of the objections and place something even worse on the table.
Do not fall into the temptation to jump right in with the answer without having heard everything and asked several clarification questions.
Almost 80% of the objection’s importance is usually in the final 20%.
In advanced negotiation training, I often teach buyers and sellers a technique that works by the mechanics of the concordance pattern.
The idea is to put three minor objections in a row that can easily be answered by the salespeople. What happens is that at the end of only three of the same importance, our brain is assuming that the next one is also going to be simple. This way, after three small and straightforward, answered objections, the salesperson thinks that the next objection will also be small and straightforward. Usually, this is where the banana peel appears, and the experienced buyer makes a negotiation standstill to pressure the salesperson.
Agree, Reinforce, Respond
Finally, we are missing a piece that is fundamental to the answer to the objections. It is not a specific response, but a strategy that significantly increases our ability to respond and decreases our client’s resistance.
If you think about what happens in a sale, when the customer turns to the commercial and says, “It’s expensive!”, what is the first word that comes out of the commercial’s mouth? Usually something like “No, Mr. Customer, for this and this and this…”. And what does the customer do? He puts an even bigger objection on the table. And what does the commercial do again? “No, Mr. Customer…”.
In other words, by saying no, we’re fuelling a cycle of resistance that is hardly broken.
Instead, use the ARR strategy; I agree, reinforce and, respond. It works straightforwardly. Imagine the following dialogue:
Customer: “That’s too expensive!”
Commercial: “You are right, Mr. Customer, when we present our product and its price, most of our customers have the same reaction.
When they analyze our proposal, what they discover is that it already brings the service x included, so as you can see, it ends up having a very balanced price.”
What happened in this example? Instead of saying no, we agreed with our client, then strengthened the response and finally responded, but in the form of an external authority. In other words, another one of our clients.
For me, this is the most effective way to respond to objections, and the one I continue to use most in the field.
The only problem with this technique, as described, is that I cannot be using all the time in the sale. But I can use variants.
For example: “You’re right, Mr. Client, but have you analyzed X, Y, or Z? The variants are numerous; the only thing you always have to remember is that you must agree instead of creating resistance in the response process.
This week you know, when objections arise in the sale, bite your tongue!
Also published on Medium.