A common request heard in the sales training business is, “Can you teach my sales team to overcome objections?” The answer is yes and no. Old sales training methodology preached a salesperson must overcome objections at least three to seven times on a sales call. Doesn’t that sound exhausting? It’s no wonder prospects won’t tell us the truth! Here are some ways to get out of the objection game and into the sales conversation game.
#1: Bring up the objection before the prospect does. You and your team know the objections because you talk about them at every sales meeting. For example, a prospect may be able to do what you offer internally. I.e. Marketing or IT. Isn’t it good common sense to bring the topic up and ask: Why don't you just use your internal team? When the salesperson brings up the objection, the truth starts surfacing and real dialogue begins. That’s when you have smart, meaningful conversations with prospects.
#2: Clarify. Is it a statement or an objection? Many salespeople hear the words, ‘this is more of an investment than I anticipated.’ That’s not an objection, it’s a statement. The well trained salesperson simply clarifies by asking, ‘meaning’ knowing the prospect will fill in the rest of the sentence. When we give the prospect a chance, it usually sounds like this. ‘Meaning… it’s more than I anticipated, however, well worth the investment.’
#3: Quit pushing. I am still amazed at the number of salespeople who think they can convince a person to do something. If a person had that kind of power, we’d all be eating five helpings of vegetables a day, exercising weekly and getting eight hours of sleep. What a salesperson can do is facilitate good questions that helps the prospect discover what decision is best for him/her. Questions such as:
Let’s look at all sides. What is the cost of doing nothing?
Is the problem going to stay the same or get bigger?
What is your biggest competitor doing about the problem?
Stop overcoming objections. It’s tiring for both you and the prospect.
Chief Selling Officer
Check out our Prospecting Workshop on February 12, 2009. We will be providing you the best of Sales 2.0., Sales Skills and Building Referral Relationships.