By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company
Early in my career I received training in handling objections. The primary tactic was to empathize (I understand how you feel), let the person know he or she wasn’t alone (Others have felt the same way) and then dismissing it (But they found that …..). It was ridiculous to think buyers could be so easily manipulated.
A fundamental question is: Why do sellers get objections? My belief is that there are times when sellers get into “tell mode” while making product presentations. While doing so, the buyers are forced to listen. A few things are likely to happen during product pitches:
- Sellers mention features buyers view as being irrelevant or they don’t fully understand why they would need them.
- Buyers feel sellers are dominating the “conversation.”
Objections allow buyers to gain some amount of control over the direction sales calls take.
Premature presentations of offerings often lead sales calls into death spirals. Once product is mentioned, buyers often ask about price before they have any sense of value. In my experience, the higher in organizations sellers call, the less tolerant buyers are for wasting time listening to lists of features.
How to Minimize Objections
Uncovering outcomes buyers want to achieve (or problems they want to address) is an important early step. After that a thorough diagnosis to uncover relevant and irrelevant capabilities by asking questions should minimize objections. It is also helpful to buyers if sellers explain how features are used vs. merely using feature names that buyers won’t fully understand.
Remember there are valid objections you (as well as your competitors) will encounter. Unless objections are “show stoppers” buyers can and will buy because they recognize no offering is a perfect fit for their needs. Use your judgment in deciding whether to try to address objections, but accept the fact that some are valid and you’ll hurt yourself trying to talk a buyer out of them.