By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company
Since 2002, CustomerCentric Selling® has redefined selling as:
Asking questions to help buyers understand how to use offerings to achieve goals or solve problems.
There is a major difference in buyer experience when people are empowered rather than sold. Selling is generally perceived as convincing, persuading and overcoming objections. Some people believe handling each objection gets sellers closer to winning the business. Most would also assert that selling begins when buyers say no. These attitudes make selling seem like arm wrestling contests between buyers and sellers.
I’d like to offer some observations:
- Not all objections can be addressed.
- People can and do buy when they aren’t 100% happy with all aspects of offerings.
- If and when objections arise, sellers may need to ask clarifying questions. If sellers don’t fully understand objections they can go in the wrong direction and unwittingly unearth additional objections.
- If an objection is about a feature you don’t have, consider asking: Why is this feature important to you?
I believe most objections are raised when calling on lower levels that are more product-focused than Key Players. I’d also like to share my view that product pitches where sellers do most of the talking will likely evoke objections.
It’s a matter of control.
When being subjected to pitches, sellers dominate “conversations.” Buyers may feel they need to throw out objections to slow down their bombardment of features that may be irrelevant to them.
To minimize objections, I offer the following three (3) suggestions:
- Start opportunities at Key Player levels (the people sellers need to call on to sell, fund and implement offerings.
- Before offering any features, ask diagnostic questions to determine which are relevant to buyers.
- Ask a final question to empower the buyer: If you had (summarize the capabilities agreed to), could you (achieve the desired outcome)?
Objections compromise the ultimate outcomes of sales calls. By applying these suggestions, you should be able to better minimize those objections.