Overcoming Objections

Selling is about communication – overcoming objections, understanding problems, getting a handle on value expectation – specific communication.

In today’s environment, we now have the opportunity to learn more about needs if we think of a set of goals for every sales call. Of course, closing the deal is the primary goal: reality is that this goal may not be real for your prospect in this economic downturn. Building a relationship, understanding needs, making a connection, building a friendship are each an example of other goals that might be accomplished in the sales call.

When you receive the “put off” response, don’t stop: ask a second question. Consider questions like the following as conversation starters:

1. How will you go about using a company like ours when there is a budget or need? [Then listen: if they say something to the effect that “they can’t imagine that ever happing.” Then you need to understand not only why, but also what needs to be done to change that state. Think of their response as simply a state analysis exercise – this is where they are today and what needs to be done, by whom, doing what will move them from current state to future state?]

Another approach is more indirect. It explores more fully what is being done now to solve the problem your solutions solves. Remember, this is a conversation, not an inquisition. You want to build understanding. You acknowledge their point of view. Now is the time NOT to be defensive. If they attack your company, respond with “Tell me more about that? “Help me understand what lead-up to this state of affairs…”

2. What are you doing now to ______________ (fill their need).
a. What do you like best about that solution?
b. What do you like least about that solution?
c. What would be a perfect (or ideal) solution?
d. How will your company go about evaluating a new solution when budget is available or need is acknowledged?
e. What would make your life easier in that evaluation process?

[NOTE: you have not told them anything about your solution yet. The key is to actively listen to what they are telling you. Your assumption is that your product (service) provides a real, substantial benefit to them; therefore, this conversation will help the both of you understand the problem and the value of the solution – listen and learn.]

3. What would your expectation be of our company should you decide in the future to team-up with us?

4. The recap: “If I have heard you correctly, you like [this and that] about your current solution, and if you could make any changes in that solution they would be [such and such]. Evaluating a different solution would involve looking at (or measuring, etc) [reflect back the list]. Have I heard you correctly?”

Now, if the mood has changed, if the prospect is more open to talking, ask for the business by telling them (if it is true) that you have good news for them since what your offer meets the criteria. Then, explain the value you deliver directly aimed at what you have learned. No more. No less.

NOW, ask for the business.

  • If you are a new entrepreneur, check out griffs10.com for a new book that will help you put these tips into practice for YOUR business!
  • If you are looking for help in branding, re-positioning, messaging, sale training, or motivational speaking check out Lindell Associates.
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