A few years back, objection handling came into Marcus Chan’s life like a storm. And now, he’s a Salesforce Top Influencer, Founder of Venli Consulting Group, and a sales coach himself.
“Throw me an objection; I’d crumble. It was visible in daily language.”
Like you, several leading sales experts in the industry also had a tough time initially handling objections.
However, handling tough questions got more manageable with experience and relentless practice.
Let’s find a crack to these objections.
What would you learn about objection handling?
- What Is Objection Handling?
- What are the common sales objections and their impact on deal outcomes?
- 7 Objection-Handling Skills for Answering Tough Questions
- 3 Objection-handling techniques that work in the real world
- How do you deal with poor objection handling?
- What NOT to do while handling objections?
What Is Objection Handling?
Let’s start with understanding the objection handling process.
What is an Objection?
"Our team doesn't need this project management software."
The query your read is a classic example of objection.
- Objection is a statement or question that the client states to receive more information or clarity. An objection is a potential issue that a prospect raises as a reason not to buy, and it can come up at any stage of the sales process - even after a sale is made.
- Objections are broadly categorized in 2 buckets, as per Marcus. There are;
- Conscious objections- The prospect is thinking about a problem and may express it verbally. Such as the prospect may have a small budget for the project and be worried about the cost of the product.
- Unconscious objections- The prospect can have unclear objections in their mind and aren’t sure how to voice them. Prospects’ may be aware of the problem but not entirely sure. Such as, they’ll say, “let me think through this.” Or, “Give me a little more time to digest this.”
What is Objection Handling?
"I realize the product may not be suitable for your team. Is it possible for me to understand what features your team is looking for in a project management tool?”
And this is how you handle an objection.
- Objection handling is the process of addressing the objections(issues or uncertainties) through dialogue as smoothly as possible. The more a seller handles objections and clarifies buyers’ concerns, the higher the chances of closing the sale.
What are the common sales objections and their impact on deal outcomes?
According to data, the deal won rate went up by almost 30% when the prospect brought up any objection. -Sales Hacker
We’d like to point out the common objections and appeal to our readers to prepare a rational response before a prospect meeting without exaggerating the topic much.
- “Price is too high and doesn’t fall in our budget.”
- “We don’t see this as a high priority at the moment.”
- “I don’t think we are interested in your service.”
- “We already use product X. I think your product doesn’t add anything new.”
- “Our team will need some more time to think about it.”
Objection handling comes in more forms than ever today. With a lot of the workforce working in some fashion either from home or in a hybrid format, mobile number’s have become a staple in outbound lead generation tactics’. This presents challenges as people can be hesitant to have a discussion from a mobile device as opposed to a traditional business line. I would say this is the biggest objection we face nowadays, next to “not looking right now”, “budget constraints”, and fear of change. - Brady Walter
- “We have seen a better product in the market. There’s nothing unique in your product.”
- “The deal we're getting from another vendor is much better."
- “Can you add any other feature to this product?”
- “We would like to know more about our email conversation. Could you please send us that information?”
- “I’m not the decision-maker in this case.”
You have the most common objections right in front of your eyes. I am wondering how to deal with them?
Well, here’s a very unconventional answer that nobody will tell you.
Clearly, the approach of handling tough questions demands a good skillset. So let's talk about how you can learn to handle objections smartly.
7 objection-handling skills for answering tough questions
We realized the internet is filled with hundreds of recommendations on objection handling skillset.
So, we decided to avoid sharing the same pointers and make way for the more experienced and latest information on this subject.
In the recent episode of Sales Gambit, Marcus Chan delighted us by exchanging his views on the critical skillsets one needs for nailing objection handling in today’s selling environment.
Here are the brilliant tips he shared with our CEO-
1. Empathize with the prospect
Your prospect needs to feel heard, understood, and empathized. Unless the prospect learns that you know their problem, the chances of building trust are nearly negligible.
2. Clarify down to the core problem
Just settling for surface-level issues won’t help. You need to question the prospect to dig deeper into the root cause of the problem, the core reason why they have decided to spend money and buy a new product.
3. Practice active listening
Objection handling is an incomplete process without active listening. The prospect may say one thing, and you fathom another. Filling the communication gap at a later stage in the sales process may be more costly than you expected.
“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand. Most people listen with the intent to reply.” - Stephen Covey.
4. Try to eliminate objections at the front end
Marcus stated that objections eliminated at the front end are easier to handle than those that persist. For that, you’ll need to make the prospect speak their heart—structure questions at the front end to eliminate conscious objections.
5. Deliver and cater to uncertainty
The majority of the objections that drive the sales conversations are a result of uncertainty. Because the buyer wants to make a buying decision, they need certainty from the seller. They are on the call to receive value for what they are paying. Catering uncertainty makes the call simpler for the buyer and the seller.
6. Be proactive
Preparing well for the call solves 50% of the problem. Active research and call preparation can support handling queries better. You’ll find yourself confident and nonchalant before the call.
Proactivity also takes into account pipeline management. If your pipelines are full, you will be more confident in the sales meeting.
7. Have a winning mindset
Before you enter the call, you need to visualize a winning situation. You must enter the meeting with a positive attitude and a winning zeal. Whether you win or learn from the experience is a different story altogether.
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3 objection-handling techniques that work in the real world
1. Peel The Problem
The first objection is never the real objection. Think of an onion. You peel it layer by layer to reach the core. The more you dig deeper, the core problem is visible.
Problem-solving techniques help in handling objections better. The process helps in the self-realization of the real problem and instilling trust in the prospects’ eyes.
2. Handle Objections before they happen
You can’t dodge objection handling completely. Objections are bound to appear in a client call. However, there are 4-5 common objections that’ll arise on a call. (We discussed the common objections in a section above.) Prepare for the common objections and handle them as well as you can.
Note: Although the questions are twisted, they intersect at the same objection.
3. Resell and reinforce
If you wish to go one step further and take charge of objection handling, try to help them recollect what they like about the product? Where did they see the value, and what was the best part of the meeting?
When you make them revise and restate the conversation. Without much effort sell the value themselves and reinforce what they liked. You are working together to sell the same product.
Now that we have taken you through the journey of smoothly handling objections. We’d like to conclude by giving our 2 cents on handling bad days and what not to do while handling objections.
How do you deal with poor objection handling?
Clearly, handling queries and questions is not an easy job, and no one expects you to hit the nail in every sales call.
Prospects and their issues are unique. However, instead of returning home with a dull face and sulking to your partner about the bad day...Try journaling!
You can call it your WIN Journal.
Once the call gets over, don’t get up. Detach and retrospect on what went right and wrong.
The idea is to capture;
- One good thing you did well in the call,
- And one thing you learned from the call.
In any case, you are winning from the negative experience. Because you are focusing on what didn’t go well and what I can do better in the next call.
Doing so consistently will help you evolve as a seller and also as a human being. Your mindset and attitude towards objections will be far more positive and rational.
What NOT to do while handling objections?- The Don’ts
- Stop arguing with the prospect. Arguments won’t help in soothing the objection. Try to calm them and neutralize the issue.
- Don’t try to defend and justify yourself and the company’s product(or service). You may be correct, but the buyer doesn’t see the value and needs directions.
- Avoid talking unnecessarily. Let the buyer present their questions and objections. You must ask questions to make the buyer talk about their issues, otherwise annoying them in the head.
- Don’t sound worried or underconfident. Your buyer will sense it in your voice and body language.
- Never complete a call without review and assessment. Self-reflection and feedback from the call recording software will help you realize what went right and what went wrong.
We are confident that after learning the many facets of objection handling, objections won't sound as unpleasant as they usually do.
In closing, allow us to share Marcus' brilliant advice for today’s sellers.
“The most challenging territory to manage is between your two ears. If you train your brain of being in a learning mindset, you’ll be able to handle objections better and evolve as a seller.”
Happy Selling Folks!!