Overcoming Objections in sales in 5 Steps
Overcoming objections in sales is an essential part of any sales process, yet it can be tricky to master. After all, how do you effectively squash negative feedback, while reinforcing the product itself and also getting the final sale?
In this blog, we’ll provide an in-depth look at the five fundamental steps to overcoming objections, and offer practical advice on how to tackle those objections and close the deal. In the end, you’ll be ready to hit any sale with the knowledge and confidence to overcome any objection that comes your way.
Step 1: Anticipate Objections
One of the most important aspects of sales success is anticipating potential objections from customers—which can help you to better prepare and make your pitch more persuasive.
To anticipate objections, it’s helpful to know what typical responses customers have to your product’s sales pitches, so doing a little research can help. If you can, talk to current and former customers—as well as veteran team members—who can help you understand the weak points of your product or service and the common objections customers may have.
Once you understand what objections customers may have, you can then start to create answers that are tailored to each objection, and also come up with persuasive arguments that demonstrate how your product or service will be a great fit for them. For example, if a customer objects to price, you can create stock answers about value and explain how it will save them money in the long run. If the customer is hesitant due to lack of knowledge about your offering, you can further educate them, and address any concerns they might have.
Step 2: Ask Questions
One of the best strategies for overcoming objections in sales is to ask questions that will help you better understand the objection and why that specific point matters to the customer.
Start by asking open-ended questions that allow the customer to explain the concern, which will give you a deeper insight into their motivation behind the objection itself. These open-ended questions might include:
• What concerns do you have about this product/service?
• What other options have you considered?
• What criteria are most important for you in making this decision?
• What challenges are you facing in making this decision?
Then, you may want to ask more specific questions to drill down into the details of the objection. For example, if the customer says they can’t afford the product, you could ask them questions like:
• How much can you realistically spend?
• What would you need to sacrifice to make this purchase?
• What’s stopping you from finding the money to invest in this product?
Here’s the great part: asking questions not only helps you better understand the customer’s motivation and help you respond in a way that makes sense for them, but it also helps build trust with the customer and ultimately overcome their objections to close the sale.
Step 3: Use Examples of Prior Success
As we mentioned above, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of the product or service you’re selling so that you can effectively anticipate and address customer objections. However, understanding the high points of your product will also allow you to effectively leverage prior customers and their testimonials to demonstrate success with relevant stories and data points.
Start by researching successful customers who have had success with your product, and ask them to provide you with some of the specific objectives they achieved and how they used your product to get there. Once you have this information, find a way to communicate these success stories in a way that’s engaging and relevant to the customer you’re speaking with.
When presenting these success stories to a customer, make sure that the stories are tailored to their unique situation. For example, if a customer is concerned about cost, you can discuss a case study from a customer that was able to save money after using your product. Or if the customer is worried about implementation time, then you can present a story about another customer who was able to get up and running quickly.
Keep in mind that many customers appreciate the personal touch of hearing stories from other people who have used your product or service, so take the time when you’re not in front of a big sale to learn the wins and craft them into stories that offer tangible proof of how powerful your product can be.
Step 4: Practice, practice, practice
Just like with any other skill, it takes time and repetition to master the art of objection handling, and the best way to improve your ability to think on your feet, manage expectations, and deliver on promises is to practice when you’re not in front of a customer.
If you have a training and assessment platform like Bongo, practice can be easy, and you can practice (and record) your pitch regularly, getting automated feedback along the way so you can continue to improve. But whether you have a training platform or not, there are a few steps to making your practice time really count:
Role-play common objections & responses
Write down the most common objections you’ve heard in the past. Then, come up with a few scenarios that you can use to practice these objections and potential responses. Role-playing with a colleague can be a great way to sharpen your skills and get comfortable responding to difficult questions.
Pay attention to how you may be perceived
Don’t just focus on the words you say, but also pay attention to your body language, and be aware of how you move and how you position yourself when talking to customers. A few basics: Try to exude a calm and confident energy, and avoid crossing your arms or speaking in an aggressive tone.
Get help if you need it
When in front of a customer, don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know the answer or need more information; lying or making false promises will only destroy customer trust. Instead, when you’re in practice mode, work with another rep or a manager to find an answer.
Step 5: Be prepared to walk away
No matter how hard you try, you may not be able to make a deal work. In those cases, it is important to be prepared to walk away in order to maintain an open door for communication in the future. Knowing when to walk away from an objection is critical in sales, as it can help you avoid wasting time and energy pursuing deals that are unlikely to be successful.
When preparing to walk away from an objection, it is important to be firm but polite. You don’t want to burn any bridges; rather, you want to show respect for the customer’s point of view and acknowledge that there may be better options for them. This way, the customer will remember you in a positive light and may still be open to a potential agreement in the future.
No matter how common objections may be in the sales role, they’re never easy, but spending time developing your pitch and your responses can help you turn a bad meeting into a closed sale. In that personal development time, having access to a tool like Bongo can make all the difference—providing customized training for all team members, onboarding new employees and providing automated feedback that lets the sales team get better while management stays focused on the bottom line. For a demo of Bongo’s full range of capabilities and how it can help your sales team grow, visit bongolearn.com to schedule a demo.