Overcoming objections is part of the sales process but I’m leaving it out as one of the stages. I’m leaving it out because you’ll hear objections throughout every stage. As a sales person, it’s your job to figure out how you can overcome objections and keep moving forward with the sale. Listed below are a 11 steps to overcoming objections that will help you move past the issues the prospect may be having with what you’re offering.
But before we get into that, let’s start with defining what an objection is. An objection is someone telling you that you have not convinced them a further conversation is worth it. The prospect is telling you they don’t want to be on the phone and you didn’t grab their attention with what you offered. You’ll never be perfect or close every deal, but below are a 11 ways to improve how you handle them.
11 Steps To Overcoming Objections
(In no particular order)
1) Know Your Product/Service
- Selling is more about confidence in what you’re offering than anything else. You should know everything there is to know about your product or service. If you don’t, then I’d suggest doing some research. Objection handling is knowing the potential AND limitations of what you’re offering.
2) Know Your Competitors
- You should know who you’re up against. What do they offer that’s different than you? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Keep in mind that you should never talk bad or undercut what your competitors are doing because that just makes you look inferior. Instead, acknowledge them as a worthy opponent. Then start asking questions that will highlight all of your strengths. Control the conversation to show why they should pick your product or service.
3) Be Prepared With Power Statements
- Why is your product or service better than a competitor? Every company has vision and mission statements. You should know them well. In any industry, you’ll start hearing the same objections and responses call after call. Figure out what statements will keep the conversation going and peak your prospects interest for even just a little bit.
4) Practice Your Responses
- The more prepared you are with your responses, the better you’ll be with overcoming objections. It’ll also give you the confidence you’ll need to be able to respond in the best way possible. I’d suggest practicing every chance you get. I’ll sometimes practice in my car on the way to work or practice with a spouse, coworker or manager. There’s no right or wrong answer on how best to practice, just make sure you’re practicing.
5) Show Your Passion
- Passion comes from believing in your product or service. If you truly think that what you’re offering can and will help this particular client then your passion should shine through. People buy from people. It’s your chance to show the person on the other end of the phone why they should buy from you rather than a competitor.
6) Never Accept The First “No”
- I made a rule for myself that I would make a prospect tell me no at least 3 times before moving on. That works most of the time, but I do occasionally go against this rule if I feel there’s a good opportunity. I’ll also go against this rule if I don’t think I’m talking with the true decision maker. At which point, I’ll start back over on stage one of the sales process and do a little bit more research to move up the chain. But you should never accept the first or second “no”. Keep trying, but maybe come at it in a different way.
7) Ask More Questions
- Most of the time, overcoming objections can be handled by simply asking more questions. Keep in mind that these questions should be open ended and relevant to what you hope to offer. Sometimes I’ll take a step back and ask the person I’m talking to how long they’ve been with the company or what they like about their role. It gets them talking and it lowers their guard a bit. Then you can get back to your discovery stage once you’ve moved past their initial objection.
8) Acknowledge Their Response But Push Past It
- Show them you’re listening by repeating what they just said, but go right back to asking questions. You could also repeat what they said then respond with how you solve for their objection. If you repeat what they just said then it shows that you were listening and it gives you time to think of a response. And with practice, your response will be more confident and relaxed.
9) Be Careful With How You Respond
- This is more about the tone of your voice. It’s in our nature to hear an objection and then become defensive about it, but that’s exactly what will kill the deal. You have to acknowledge what they said and keep your cool, no matter what. Here’s an example, “I understand your concerns and I’ve heard that before from some of our current clients. Here’s how we solved those concerns that I think might help ease your mind.” And as long as you keep your cool while saying that, you should get a little bit more time to talk.
10) Be Genuine
- You should always be yourself when trying to sell. If you feel like you have to stretch the truth to convince someone to buy from you then you may not be in the right role. And there’s no way you could keep up with everything you’re saying if you keep making stuff up. Just be you. I’m a firm believer that you’ll attract clients that handle business in much of the same way as you. There’s no need to fake it.
11) Don’t Be Afraid Of Silence
- Silence can work in your favor when you’re selling over the phone. Now I don’t mean to not say anything to the point where all the person can hear is you breathing, because that’s just creepy. But if you ask a question and the response is somewhat minimal, simply count to yourself for 3 seconds. You’ll be surprised at the response. More times than not, the person will just keep talking and give you more than you even asked for. This helps with letting them finish their thought process as well. I can’t tell you how many sales people I’ve heard interrupt the other person simply because there was a pause. That’s just frustrating for both parties. Shut up and listen.
There you have it. A 11 steps to overcoming objections, that if applied will help you continue the conversations. Nothing will ever be perfect but it’s not about perfect, it’s about progress. Try these steps for the next 60 days and let me know how it goes.
I recently found another resource on overcoming objections that I think you’ll find helpful as well. Check out this article on the 40 most common sales objections on HubSpot.