One of the biggest obstacles to making a sale is objection handling: The potential customer has decided that they don’t want the product your salesperson is selling. Although the initial reaction is usually disappointing, your salespeople should look at it as an opportunity to learn more about the customer and the specific problems they face.
Customers can have many valid reasons to say “no” right now, including price, timing, or having a relationship with your competitor. But after hearing the customer out and learning why they don’t want to buy, your salesperson could end up making a sale after all. Handling objections in sales is a real skill and not something that comes naturally, which is why we’ve brought together 7 tips on how to overcome objections in sales that your reps can use on a regular basis.
When going into a sales call, it’s important for your salespeople to keep their emotions out of the equation. After all, failure to make a sale is not usually personal. In many cases, a client has very good reasons for saying no to a sale.
Acting defensive about a “no” will most likely make things worse, decreasing the opportunity to still make a connection with a potential customer. Make sure your salespeople avoid defensive statements, including defending the company’s products or services, because it doesn’t really matter how your salespeople feel about a product. It’s more important how the customer feels. So, instead of getting upset, the best salespeople try to learn more about why a customer doesn’t want a product.
By accepting a customer’s rejection and trying to get a better understanding of why your salespeople acknowledge the objection in a positive way. And they might even still make a sale by providing the answers to a customer’s objection and alleviating all concerns.
Of course, this all starts with listening to the potential customer.
There are several of the most common types of sales objections and ways your salespeople can overcome them.
A potential customer might claim the product is too expensive or that they don’t have the budget. Another popular objection is that they can get the product somewhere else for less. In some cases, the potential customer is simply trying to save money. So, if your salesperson can convince them of the value of the product, they might actually change their mind.
Once your salesperson has determined whether the client can actually afford the product or not, they should focus on demonstrating the value of the product and how it can help the client answer their particular problem.
Timing is also a big factor when it comes to potential customer buy-in. Some common objections when it comes to timing include not having the time or capacity for implementing the product. It could be that they aren’t ready yet for the product/solution. Or maybe they already have a system or product in place that meets their basic needs and don’t want to spend the time it takes to start over with a new product.
This is when knowing the product inside and out can really pay off for your salespeople. The salesperson can respond by showing the potential customer the value of the product over what they are currently using, without disrespecting the competitor, or even what kind of timeline to expect when implementing the product.
In some instances, a potential customer might fail to see the value of a product. Common arguments include the potential client doesn’t really see the value of the product compared to what they currently have, the product is too complicated, or it doesn’t work with the company’s current setup.
It is up to your salesperson to emphasize the product’s value, especially when it comes to providing the solution to a particular pain point. If your company offers value after the sale, such as through a customer service program, your salesperson could also use that as a selling point.
Another strong sales objection is the potential client’s relationship with a competitor. Maybe they are perfectly happy with what they have now. Or, it’s even possible that the competitor has been making false statements about the products your company sells. Remember that your salespeople should avoid letting emotions play a part in their response to such a claim. They should also avoid saying anything bad about the competition in retaliation. The strength of the product you offer and the value it could bring to the client is argument enough.
Again, knowing the product inside and out in combination with a clear understanding of the potential client’s needs allows your salesperson to lay out what your product can do for them. In some cases, this will be more than what the competition offers. Your salesperson can use those advantages to try and still make the sale. See our guide on the art of relationship building in sales to get tips to build and maintain strong client relations.
Sometimes a company will hesitate to try something new. This could be because they were burned in the past or had a bad experience with a product. This might cause them to only want to work with “people/ companies they know.”
By listening to what the potential client has to say, your salesperson can get a better understanding of their problem and why they feel the way they do. This is a great opportunity to show the client that the salesperson cares about what they have to say and is listening to them.
Your salespeople can use testimonials or case studies from past satisfied clients to show just how trustworthy your company is. By building a repertoire of satisfied customers, your salespeople can parlay that into a sale and add another satisfied customer to the list.
While on a call, it may be clear that the salesperson will not make a sale on that specific day. For example, the customer has more pressing concerns and can’t really focus on the call and what your salesperson is selling at the time.
It is up to your salesperson to take cues from the client and push the call off to another time. At this point, it’s better to reschedule for a later date when the company has more time to fully devote to the call.
Just make sure the salesperson gets the next call marked on the calendar for a specific day and time, or else it can be pushed off indefinitely
Knowing when to walk away from a sale is also important. Maybe your company can’t provide what a customer needs after all or the customer is bound and determined not to buy the product your salesperson is selling.
Being able to discern this can save the salesperson time, as they shouldn’t keep trying to make a sale when one isn’t going to happen. In all cases, your salesperson needs to end any sales call nicely. They never know when they might have to call the client back at a later point to try and make a sale on another product from your company.
Not everyone is a natural at handling sales objections. Many people will get flustered or defensive when objections are raised in a sales call. This is where preparation and practice can make a huge difference. Role-playing and handling objections can go a long way to making the process go more smoothly when the actual time comes to have that discussion with a potential customer.
Practicing with Jenny, Second Nature’s AI sales coach, your salespeople can get a better grasp on handling sales objections during their calls. On top of that, the role plays with Jenny are recorded and analyzed automatically, allowing your salespeople to immediately see where they can improve their objection-handling skills. This way, they can avoid the awkwardness that sometimes comes up with such calls.
In addition to the salespeople themselves, Second Nature also provides important data to the sales managers, so they know if there are any problem areas when it comes to objection handling with a particular salesperson. This, in turn, allows the sales managers to zero in on where it makes the most sense to work more closely in one-on-one sessions with the salesperson to help them work on perfecting their responses when objections are raised.
There’s no reason why sales objections should be the end of the road for your sales deals. When you use Second Nature to prepare your sellers with the skills to demonstrate the real value of your product, listen to the prospect’s true concerns, and maintain a positive relationship even in disappointment, they’ll be better equipped to know how to handle objections in sales, and you’ll see more closed deals and increased revenue.
What skills do you need to overcome sales objections?
The biggest skill that you need to handle objections in sales is the ability to listen. Very often, prospects have a reason that’s blocking them from making a purchase, but they don’t always express it clearly. Careful listening helps your sellers discover the real issue that concerns your customer, so they can either resolve it, or acknowledge it and come back to that prospect at a later time. Other skills you need for overcoming sales objections include empathy and curiosity.
What should I do to help my sales teams overcome objections more effectively?
Overcoming sales objections is a skill, and like every skill, it grows stronger the more you practice. The best way to help salespeople handle objections is to give them the opportunity to practice these sales conversations in a private space like Second Nature.
Should sellers offer discounts when they encounter a sales objection?
Not necessarily. Sometimes prospects ask for a discount, but the price isn’t the real reason they aren’t buying, so a discount won’t close the deal. If you offer a discount every time you hit an objection, you’ll just lose money. It’s better to spend more time exploring the prospect’s concerns and demonstrating the value that your product/service represents, instead of lowering the price.
How does Second Nature help salespeople handle sales objections?
Second Nature provides intelligent role-play simulations which can raise genuine objections and hold realistic sales conversations, giving sellers the opportunity to practice their objection-handling skills in an authentic setting. Second Nature’s AI-powered role-play partners are non-judgmental, so users don’t feel embarrassed to make mistakes, which is the best way to learn. Finally, Second Nature’s timely feedback helps salespeople recognize their weaknesses and encourages them to try again to improve their capabilities.
How long does it take to learn how to handle sales objections?
That depends on each seller’s individual abilities and previous sales experience. Some people are naturals at overcoming sales objections and just need a couple of practice runs, while others need to rehearse objection-handling skills over and over again. But even salespeople who struggle with objection handling can become pros if they have enough practice.
Should you ever give up on a sales objection?
You should never give up on a potential customer, but sometimes it is best to walk away from the possibility of a specific sale. After you’ve listened carefully to the prospect’s objections, you might realize that they aren’t going to change their mind. In those situations, the best thing to do is to graciously acknowledge their concerns and ask if you can get back in touch in a few weeks or months when the situation might have changed. If you keep nagging a prospect to change their mind, they’ll just get annoyed and won’t be willing to buy from you further down the road.
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