Why Overcoming Objections Doesnt Work

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Posted: June 30, 2014
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When I started in sales over 20 years ago, I was taught to overcome objections.  The logic behind this awful selling technique was that overcoming the first “no” would get me closer to a yes.   I was taught to overcome the objection seven times!  This obnoxious selling behavior didn’t work back then and it doesn’t work today because of psychology and physiology 101.

Here’s a typical sales scenario where a salesperson is applying the overcoming the objection technique.  “Ms. Prospect, if we could do X, Y and Z, would you want to move forward?”  This language makes the prospect feel trapped and  sends them into fight or flight mode.  She feels cornered and manipulated and neither emotion is good for closing business. 

At that point, she gives the typical answer, “Let me think it over.”  Your overcoming the objection technique just put you into the infamous chase mode. 

A more authentic and non-manipulative way to approach prospects is to bring up the objection.  You know what they are---so why not have a conversation about potential concerns?  The reality is that 50% of your prospects won’t bring up concerns because they avoid conflict.  The other 50% won’t bring up a potential  objection because they aren’t willing to go through the overcoming objection dance.  

The result is your prospect often has a discussion with other members of his team AFTER you leave the appointment.  And that discussion is often based on perception, a bad experience with other suppliers in your industry or poor information. 

The best salespeople bring up objections during a sales meeting. The conversation might sound something like, “George, you haven’t mentioned this issue so I don’t know if it’s of value for us to discuss.  Often, when I meet with directors of sales, they have a concern about whether or not our methodology will work in their industry.   Should we talk about that?” 

Stop overcoming objections.  Bring up the objection and hold real world sales conversations with your prospects and clients.