4 Points on Objection Handling

Rarely a sales training goes by that the team and I don't get stuck in the mud a little on objection handling. Objections are one of the toughest parts of sales...especially when you think about them negatively. When I've had a chance to see reps on the phone and an objection comes, I mostly see the reps shoulders slump. Cut that attitude out! An objection is the start of a negotiation. This is a positive! If 98% of our calls do not end in sales, then anyone who wants to negotiate with us should be seen positively. So how do we start to make that transition?

1) Cushion the Objection: For the sales rep, cushioning the objection puts the situation in a positive frame of reference right away. Also, when you show that you relate to the client, they will be more likely to listen to your solution. I appreciate you saying that...

2) Customize Your Response: One of the reasons that objections don't work is that, to the customer, they sound like it's the 4,000th time that that salesperson has answered the same objection the same way. Getting out of this habit is critical. Ask yourself two things: If I handled the objection sounding this way, would I buy? Why is the answer to this objection important to THIS SPECIFIC PERSON?

3) Make a Recommendation: One of the challenges of objection handling is that they often seem to come out of nowhere, catching the rep off-guard. Worse, sometimes they come at the absolute end of the sales pitch, effectively ending the chance for the sale. When a rep has enough information to proactively make a recommendation, one of two things happen. Either the buyer says 'yes', and you have a sale...or the buyer says 'no' and you get to ask 'Why not?' It's far easier to handle an objection when you know when it will be coming.

4) I'm Talking About Practice: One of the common mistakes teams make is not thinking about and practicing objection handling on a regular basis. Based on team performance, stadium changes, time of year, etc. the answers to objections change all the time. At least once a week teams should be talking about what objections they are hearing and how they should be answering them. The more proactive and practiced you are, the easier objection handling will be.

Don't make objections a problem...make them part of the route to a resolution. Go get after it!

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