Most salespeople think of customer objections as something negative. In reality, this is not the case. A customer objection is not necessarily bad. We can think of objections as issues or concerns that you need to address. At the very least, the prospect has shown interest in engaging with you. The fact that the prospect has raised some concerns means that they are giving you a chance to find answers for them. It’s all a matter of learning how to handle customer objections to turn it into something positive such as a sale.
In this topic, we shall cover the following;
- Why Handling Customer Objections Matters
- Common Customer Objections
- Common Mistakes In Objections Handling
- Rules in Handling Customer Objections
- Techniques in Handling Customer Objections
- Tips in Handling Customer Objections
Let’s get started
Why Handling Customer Objection Matters
As mentioned earlier, customer objections are not really that bad. It only means that they just have some issues or concerns and that you have a chance to find an answer for them. Just think of this: They wouldn’t let you waste your time giving your spiel if they are not interested.
Effectively handling customer objections provides you with an opportunity to turn the rejection into a sales opportunity. The important thing when you hear an objection is to address it right away in a thorough and professional manner. When you are able to handle customer objections, your success rate is 64%. If you are not able to resolve their objections, the customer most likely won’t be able to move to the next stage of the sales process.
Handling customer objections is one of the most important sales skills. Just because a customer says “No” doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. An objection means that:
- Buyer is engaged
- Your current offer needs more value
- Buyer may not be qualified
There will always be objections when selling something. Here are some reasons handling customer objections are important:
- Objections provide opportunities for you to learn more about a customer. You can discover their needs, wants, aspirations, and problems.
- It demonstrates credibility. Customers want to make sure you know what you are doing. They are testing if you are trustworthy.
- You will never make a sale if you can’t handle objections. Objections from customers means that they are not yet comfortable to move forward to the next step.
Common Customer Objections
Part of learning how to handle customer objections is knowing the common objections of customers. Once you understand why they are hesitating, you already know how to reply to their objection. These are objections during the selling process.
Customer: “Your services cost too much. I can get the same service for much cheaper from another company.”
The key to handling this kind of objection is by justifying the difference in cost. You need to know your competition. Compare your rates with the competition to help establish your superiority. Also, you should focus on what makes your product unique and what they won’t get from other providers.
If you can’t overcome objections with value, then you need to analyze the quality of the products or services.
Customer: “Ï’m okay with how things work right now.”
When complacency is the objection, a work around is to use a touch of fear to make the client think about making changes. Share some research about your competitor and the changes they implemented in their business. There is quite nothing like a look at what your competitors are doing to motivate action.
Fear of change
This is often related with complacency. This makes decision making difficult for many business owners. Handling customer objections of this kind can be done by demonstrating previous examples of change and how it had a positive effect.
For example, you can show clients a list of different ways the industry has changed over the past 10 – 15 years and how your potential customer can adapt to the changes. As a result, it can allay their fears and make them more confident about changing things up.
Customer: “It seems you are knowledgeable with what you are doing. How do I know you are really experienced with doing this?”
Building customer trust takes time. If it is a hurdle for your customer to buy from you, then you can overcome the objection with honesty and consistency across the board. You can provide them with information and testimonials, case studies, and references that will erase any doubts and make the client confident in your abilities.
Family connections and promises
When family is involved, there is really nothing much you can do. What you can do is put yourself in the position to be the next in line. However, you can also show them that your services are better than family connections. If you can show the customer that your product is more cost-effective maybe you can convince them to make the switch.
Customer: “I will have my business partner try this first before I do anything else.”
This can often be a positive outcome if the client will truly consult, or, are they just using it as an excuse? To ensure that it is not a deal-ending objection, try to stay in the process.
You can ask for a joint meeting between clients and their counterparts in order to answer questions and help facilitate the decision.
Customer: “It’s too much to take on right now. I’m too busy. Call me again in six months.”
If time is an issue for the client right now, most likely it will still be an issue in six months or even a year. Try to see what is keeping the client busy. It sounds as if the client doesn’t have time to make decisions. You may have identified a need. Demonstrate how your services can create more time for them. If the client isn’t just interested, call them again in three months.
Knowledge is the Power of Sales
Keep in mind that your potential clients may have several objections so you need to identify each one as they happen. If you know that it is keeping you from selling your product or service, then prepare the right arguments to tip the scale in your favor.
Knowledge of your market and your prospects will give you a better chance of closing a deal with them. Do your research and study the competition to succeed with customer objections handling.
Common Mistakes in Objections Handling
In order to learn how to handle customer objections, you must first be aware of the reasons you may be failing .
1. You are not actively listening to the customer
Sometimes customers use “cue words” that may be seen as an objection. When a customer says “We have a tight budget this quarter,” what do you usually do? Will you start formulating a response for that objection. Instead of turning off a listening ear, why not focus on what the customer is really saying? Listen to them thoroughly so that you don’t miss out on the details that follow after the cue words. Not listening can be a huge mistake that could cost you the deal.
2. You immediately get defensive
Most sales professionals have the tendency to become defensive when handling customer’s objections. If the first thing you say when replying to a customer’s objection is “What do you mean?” This is a sign of defensiveness that could interfere with your ability to effectively handle the objection.
The best way to handle the objection is to acknowledge what your customer said. Saying “I understand how that might be a concern” is a better response than “What do you mean?” Acknowledging their objection demonstrates care for your customers.
3. You don’t explore what your customer means by their objection
After carefully listening to your customer’s objections, it’s important that you explore their objections to completely understand the meaning behind their words. For instance, if they say they don’t like your service, you respond by guaranteeing the support of a dedicated customer service rep.
However, what they actually meant by “service” was that your service area wasn’t as large as your competitor. To further clarify, your best response would be “Can you tell me what you mean by service?” Customer objections are not created equal. They could mean one thing to one customer but different to another. Ask questions and explore even if you had heard the same objection in the past.
4. You view objection handling negatively
Many sales professionals give a negative connotation to customer objections. When you see objections as a “bad” thing, you could lose the sale even before you walk through your customer’s door. Instead of having a negative perspective, think of objections as a way to help customers solve their problems.
When a customer raises an objection, take it as an opportunity to deliver more value by clarifying and easing their concerns. Learning proper customer objection handling can be helpful in building trust and growing your relationship with customers.
5. You see the sales situation from your own perspective
When your only goal when on the sales floor is to do whatever it takes to close the deal, it can be hard to see the situation from your customer’s perspective. Selling is not only about getting what you want but helping customers solve problems.
If you are only focused on closing the deal, it would be difficult to get down to the root of your customer’s problems. When your customer raises an objection, you become blindsided by your desire to close the deal that you won’t be effective with handling their objections.
Rules in Handling Customer Objections
Let’s face it. Many people dread the concept of selling whether it’s a product, service, or themselves. It can make some people anxious which can inhibit their success. But learning how to handle customer objections doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some rules you need to consider to help you handle objections and close a deal.
1. View the objection as a question
Some people view objections as a personal attack. This isn’t the right perspective. Instead you should look at objections as a question. You can use them to provide value to your product and create positive conversations rather than a defensive one.
2. Respond with a question
Asking questions is crucial in every step of the selling process and handling objections is no exception. They can help you engage prospects in a dialog that will help you solve problems better.
3. Restate the objection before responding and take your time
Acknowledging objections by restating. This gives you time to formulate your response. Take your time when doing so. It will allow your prospect time to anticipate your response. Don’t fall into the trap of explaining too quickly and rush all the answers just to keep the attention of the prospect. By doing this, you could miss the salient facts about your offering and what makes you unique.
4. Pause before responding
People can easily “oversell” when answering an objection. They will try to explain anything and everything possible to keep customers interested. When a prospect raises an objection, stop, listen, and pause for a few seconds. This will show the prospect that you are listening to their concern and not just trying to sell. When explaining your unique value proposition, let the facts sink in, and wait for a response. Wait for the response and respond accordingly.
5. Use testimonials and past experiences
Testimonials can be compelling at any point in your sales presentation especially when there is an objection from the customer.
6. Never argue with the prospect
“The customer is always right” especially in handling objections. Understand that not every prospect is your ideal customer. Sometimes their niche may not fit them so don’t worry about that. Do not take a missed prospect personally. Use the rejection as an opportunity and learn more about how to handle customer objections.
Techniques in Handling Customer Objections
Just because the client said “No” does not mean you will move on to the next client. Handling customer objections means turning the rejection into positive. Moving the prospect to a paying customer isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some steps in effective objection handling.
Clarifying objections can be a challenge because it requires you to think quickly on your feet. When clarifying, you should get the real objection. Rarely will the customer give the real objection right up front. Sometimes, they just don’t want to embarrass you, they feel it’s personal, or that it is not important as you think it is. However, by getting the real objection, you will be able to address it properly.
During this stage, you should avoid sounding confrontational. Most sales people usually get annoyed when they hear objections. But you shouldn’t address it with a confrontational approach. Instead set the stage for understanding.
Finally, avoid talking too much. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. They are trying to make a difficult decision and you should analyze that decision as carefully as possible. This is where being a great active listener comes in. Communications experts say you should listen 80% of the time and talk 20% of the time.
Clarifying helps you get the right objection. Acknowledging confirms it for you. At this stage, you want to make sure that you are answering the real objection. When you are sure that the customer is already done talking, repeat back what they have said. It shows that you were listening.
If the customer tells you that they don’t want poor service, you can ask them what do they want. If they don’t want a product that breaks down, you can re-phrase the objections. It is always easier to sell a positive need than a negative one.
Now that you know the real objection and have confirmed it, it’s time for your response. Customers object because of fear. To be effective with customer objection handling, you need to alleviate that fear. You can share a specific story from a previous customer or concrete statistics. Facts can make your response more authentic. At this point, you can present the benefits of your product that will effectively handle the objection.
Close the sale
Make sure that you have fully answered their concerns. You can simply say “Does that make sense?” or “Have I answered all of your concerns?” If they answered in the affirmative, you can move on to the next step. If they show signs of hesitation or uncertainty, it means that you have not fully resolved their concerns. If the latter happens, you can go back to the previous steps.
Tips in Handling Customer Objection
Learning how to handle customer objections takes time. Here are some tips on how you can swat away objections and close a sale.
Learn from your losses
It’s only a failure if you don’t learn from them. However, you can always turn the failure into a sale. Review lost opportunities in the past and look for themes. Figure out what went wrong so you can avoid them in the future. Determine what made the difference, what changed your prospect’s mind, and pushed them over the line to the sale. What were the biggest hurdles to closing the sale?
Understand your prospect’s real concerns
Sometimes, the prospect’s real concern is not the real issue but it points to an underlying concern. How can you go about with handling customer objections if you don’t know them? Sometimes the timing of an objection reveals more than the objection itself.
Guessing the prospect’s intentions can jeopardize the whole deal. Validate and acknowledge the customer’s concerns. Try to uncover the underlying problem and the reasons behind it.
Stop putting up speed bumps
Sometimes your worst enemy during a sale can be yourself. Every customer is looking for the ideal solution and it is your job to provide them that solution. Sometimes, your eagerness to sell your product can get the better part of you.
Go for the “No”
Despite addressing their concerns and the customer still says “no,” what will you do? The truth of the matter is that “no” doesn’t mean the end. Sometimes, a “no” is the prospect’s way of regaining control. When a particular objection comes up repeatedly, bring it up before your prospect mentions it. Lay it on the table and seek resolution. This can help your credibility and build rapport with your customer.
Understand that pricing is never the real issue
Pricing has never been an issue. Prospects need to be confident that your product will solve their problem. If not, they will feel more pressured with pricing. If the customer is certain that your product will solve their problem, then there is a chance you can close the deal.
When the customer says that the price is too high, justify the reasons for paying more and show them that you can deliver on that.