As an agent, you need to keep in mind that not every customer will purchase the product you are offering. But that does not mean that the sale is already lost. Sales objections are a fact of life that every call center agent or salesperson must acknowledge or embrace. Sales objections mean there are some barriers keeping the customer from completing the purchase. As an agent, it is your job to remove those barriers so you can close the deal.
Sales objections are not a rejection. The customer is not slamming the door to a possible sale but needs more information. It is not your product or service that is a problem but there are some concerns by the customer that you need to address. Learning how to handle objections is key to removing the obstacles and finally closing the deal.
Types of Sales Objections
- The Blow-offs
- The Cold Shoulder
- The Stall Wall
- The Price Squeeze
- The Competitor Tussle
- Sales Inertia
Handling The Sales Objections
- Listen Fully To The Objection
- Thank The Prospect
- Show Empathy Yo Put The Prospect At Ease
- Ask Clarifying Questions
- Dig Deeper
- Respond Properly
- Confirm The Resolution
Types of Sales Objections
As a sales agent, you will be dealing with different kinds of objections from customers. Sales and objections are intertwined with each other and thus you should be prepared to handle them and turn objections into purchases. Before you learn how to handle them, you first need to know the different types of objections you will hear from customers.
1. The Blow-offs
Blow-off objections are one of the most common types of sales objections. These are the customers who say “I am not interested” right off the bat. It is worth noting, however, that these are rejection statements designed to blow you off. This is similar to saying “Oh, I’m just looking” to a sales lady at a department store who asks you “Can I help you find something?” You are not objecting but just making a resistance statement to blow off the sales rep.
Blow-off objections are really lame excuses to get rid of you. For objections that involve unchangeable conditions like no money, no credit, no need, and others, then you need to isolate the real objection and dig further. The best way to deal with blow-offs is not to contradict them. The key to handling blow-off objections is to simply acknowledge and move past them. You do not even have to overcome them but qualify for interest.
Empathize with the customer by telling them that you understand their feeling and relate to them by telling them about someone who had the same experience. Adapt your script to fit your product or service and your personal style. Once you have, practice them over and over again until it becomes a habit. Offer them a solution by showing them the benefits and the value they will get from your product.
2. The Cold Shoulder
A cold shoulder objection is one that requires more information about a certain product or service. This type of objection happens when the customer is not yet ready to engage in any type of conversation. In a cold shoulder objection, the customer had already made up their mind that the product you are offering to them is not relevant to their needs. They are asking you to send more information, they are just hoping to cut the conversation short.
Again, the best way to respond is not to give up on the deal. By leaving them more information, you can have an opportunity to follow up with the customer. Agree to send them more information but make sure to ask open-ended follow-up questions. By sending them relevant information, you will have a chance to understand the customer’s needs better and provide a basis for future conversations.
The customer may have a valid reason for choosing to read up on your product first. By giving them the right information they need, you increase the odds of the customer purchasing in the future. Ask them open-ended follow-up questions with the intention to lower their guard and eventually start a conversation.
3. The Stall Wall
From the name itself, a stall wall objection is a stalling tactic designed to get you off the phone. When the customer says, “I need to think about it first” or “I will consult my partner first,” it could mean that they still have reservations about your product and will still need further convincing. Stalling provides opportunities for you to make a pitch and do more selling. The key to the stall wall is to never buy into the stall at all costs or else you will never get to close the deal.
When the customer is stalling, never ever challenge their stall. Never say something like “What is it that you need to think about?” Such statements will only lead to conflicts instead of sales. In addition, you should never try to manipulate a customer. If you know of any manipulative techniques, forget about them. They will only do you more harm than good.
So how do you convince stalling customers to push through with a purchase? First, focus on measurable results to make solutions out of problems. Customers want security, convenience, financial gain, and increased productivity. They do not buy products or services for the sake of buying. Focus on what the customer wants and not on what you want to sell. Finally, create a sense of urgency. Deal with the reasons why the customer is still hesitant to buy.
This is one of the most common objections you will hear from a customer. Oftentimes, you can hear them saying “I don’t see the need for your service.” This is human nature because people are lured into a false sense of security. This type of objection means that the customer is not sold on buying your solution right now.
The best way to handle a complacent customer is to create a sense of urgency. Maybe they are not sold on buying your product because they do not understand its urgency. Most customers do not like making changes or decisions unless necessary. By making them aware that maintaining the status quo will not help them along the way, the customer will see your product as a way to improve their predicament.
With a complacent customer, your focus should be on making them uncomfortable with where they are now. Then nudge them towards a future solution – which is your product or service. You need to make the customer aware that if they do not embrace change now, they might not like the result down the road. Show them some research showing the impact of lack of change on their part.
5. The Price Squeeze
Price is another common issue that may stop a customer from buying your product. When they have questions and comments about cost, it is an indicator of their intent to purchase. Asking for a lower price means that they are interested in your product. They may have a reason for making this sales objection. First, they may have some budget constraints and second, they expect to negotiate.
If you meet this type of customer, slashing your price is not necessarily the best solution. Your main goal in dealing with price squeeze is to show the customer the value of your product. Connect the price to the value of your product. Most customers put a value on the product. You need to make the customer understand the value of your product. Show them the bigger picture by making them think about the situation at hand a bit more.
In the first place, the price tag should not be the first thing you should discuss with the customer. It should not be the first aspect of the discussion. Talk about it only when you are sure that the customer appreciates your product. You need to ascertain the product’s value and not go lower than your declared price.
6. The Competitor Tussle
This is another common sales objection of customers. Every sales person knows how challenging it can be to overcome competitor tussle. This type of objection is not necessarily negative or hostile but simply an expression of doubt, concern, or preference of customers. When the customer says, “We already work with your competitor” or “We already have a supplier,” how do you handle such an objection?
To handle competitor tussle, you first have to validate the objection. Validation does not necessarily mean you will agree or concede that your product is inferior. It means understanding where your customer is coming from and you will not try to dismiss or ignore their concerns. The key is to build rapport, trust, and credibility to make them receptive to your arguments.
Another way to resolve this objection is to find the weakness of your competitor’s products and highlight the strengths of your products. It pays to have knowledge about the competition and use it to your advantage. Demonstrate how your product will be a better solution to the customer’s problems. You can do this by providing relevant information, evidence, and examples.
7. Sales Inertia
Customers are constantly bombarded by advertisements and sales pitches all the time. Consequently, this could result in sales inertia. We develop a natural resistance to any kind of sales pitch that comes our way. 62% of salespeople consider buyers who are resistant to change remain to be a major sales roadblock that is influenced by several factors. Sales expert Jill Griffin defines sales inertia as a “low level of attachment coupled with high repeat purchases.” In other words, customers only buy out of habit.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to convert sales inertia into brand loyalty. The problem with sales inertia is that it appears before you even have a chance to present product benefits. With sales inertia, the customer will not consider your offer regardless of the benefits that you present. While they may read your sales letter or listen to your presentation, the customer will not commit.
The key is to make the customer see that you are offering them a solution for their problems and not trying to sell. Start with small decisions to stir conversation and then slowly increase customer involvement. The point is to get them started with the process. Getting customers out of their habit can be difficult but enough time and practice is all that you need.
Handling The Sales Objections
When a customer indicates that they are not yet ready to purchase your product, don’t be discouraged. Just because the customer said “no” does not mean that they will no longer buy from you. With a little adjustment in your sales pitch, you can move close to sealing the deal with the customer.
1. Thank The Prospect
An objection is better than a complete rejection. When you receive a flat “No” from the customer, acknowledge it and say thank you for the objection. Doing that can help build trust and rapport while opening the door for future conversations. It is worth noting that you should never reject or minimize what they have communicated to you. Show them how important their concerns are to you.
2. Listen Fully To The Objection
Your active listening skills can play a huge role in converting an objection into a sale. Your first reaction after hearing an objection may be to provide the solution right away. But time is gold in cases like this as you could end up making assumptions instead, Don’t react defensively because the customer has no problem with you. They are just looking for a solution to their concern. Take your time and listen to the objection fully.
3. Show Empathy To Put The Prospect At Ease
Empathy is another important skill that will come in handy when handling objections. Validate their objections with statements like, “I hear this a lot. I’m sorry you feel that way” and “I hear what you’re saying and I think I can help.” With empathy, customers will be more likely to open up and provide information that can help you come up with the right solution.
4. Ask Clarifying Questions
After carefully listening to the customer’s concern, the next step is to ask clarifying questions related to the objection. Get as much information as possible. As much as possible, ask open-ended questions that will help you uncover the root cause of the objection. By this time, the customer should have already been comfortable with you. Don’t be content with one-word answers as well.
5. Dig Deeper
Upon clarification of the objection, try to dig deeper into the issue. Try to understand the customer’s state of mind and where they are coming from. Most of the time, the objection is just the tip of the iceberg and to effectively address their objection you have to uncover what is at the bottom of the iceberg. You can ask spontaneous questions like “Why is it important for you?” “Help me understand that.”
6. Respond Properly
After hearing the customer out and you are confident that all objections have been covered, it’s time to give your response. Make sure to address the most important objection first. Once you have resolved the biggest barrier to finally closing the deal, other concerns may no longer matter as much to the buyer. Avoid giving long responses as they may seem insincere. As much as possible, keep your responses clear and to the point.
7. Confirm That You Have Addressed The Objection
Once you have addressed the objections, the next step is for you to confirm whether they have been properly addressed. Just because they have said “Yes” during the call does not mean they agree with everything you said. Ask if they are satisfied with your solution and explain further if necessary. If the customer is still not ready, don’t try and force a commitment. Sometimes the customer will accept the solution presented at the moment but may still have some objections after the call.
Learning how to handle customer objections is vital to closing a deal. By knowing the different kinds of objections and how to address them, you can be one step closer to a sale.
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