If you’re a salesperson, raise your hand if you’ve been rejected by a prospect. Raise your other hand if you’ve been told you have to have thick skin to be in sales. I imagine everyone has at least one hand up right now.
No matter how thick your skin is, rejection in sales can be a tough pill to swallow. But the thing with rejection is there may still be a chance to turn it around. If you’re able to handle sales objections well enough, you may even turn a rejection into a sale.
What is a sales objection?
A sales objection is defined as an explicit expression by a buyer that a barrier exists between the current situation and what needs to be satisfied before buying from you.
So when a prospect says they aren’t ready to buy, don’t get too discouraged and don’t take it as a cold, hard rejection. Instead, use the below tips to overcome sales objections and turn that “no” into a “yes”.
1) LISTEN carefully
It’s human nature when you hear an objection to immediately respond and try to counteract it. Despite it being a knee jerk reaction, it’s important that salespeople try to avoid doing this. Reacting too quickly can hurt the sale, as you risk not fully understanding the objection or making assumptions about the objection.
Instead, take time to carefully listen to the objection in its entirety. Continue to actively listen to the prospect and stay focused on what they’re saying. Remember, you’re here to solve one of their problems so listen carefully to fully understand the prospect’s concerns from an unbiased lens. Show that you’re engaged in the conversation and actively listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding your head and using verbal confirmations as they speak.
2) UNDERSTAND fully
Once you’ve carefully listened to the objection, it’s important that you’ve actually understood it. Objections can be fairly straightforward, or they could be difficult to understand because they’re disguised in other underlying issues. That’s why it’s so important to fully listen to and understand what is being said so you can respond accordingly.
If at first the objection seems unclear, it’s up to you to dig deeper. Ask clarifying questions to get the prospect to fill in any gaps. Once you’ve received enough information, restate the objection as you understand it. A good segue into that is by saying, “just so I’m clear, you’re concerned about xyz?”. That drives home that you’ve fully understood the objection and allows the prospect to add any more colour to it.
3) RESPOND thoughtfully
In most cases, your prospect won’t have just one objection, there will be several. Once you’ve uncovered all the objections, you can move on to addressing them. However, there is a method to this also! It’s best practice to address the most important objection first and then work your way down. The best way to identify which objection is the most important is to think about which one is the greatest barrier to closing the deal. We recommend objection handling in this order because once you’re able to resolve the most important objection, the rest of them may no longer matter to your prospect.
4) CONFIRM resolution
Once you’ve addressed the objection and responded thoughtfully, you may think your job is done. Not so fast! The last step is to confirm with the prospect that you’ve satisfied all of their concerns. They may or may not feel that you’ve resolved their issues, so adding this extra step in confirming that you’ve resolved the objection is key. Make sure your prospect is happy with the solution provided.
At this point, your prospect should be ready to move forward. However, it’s not always that simple. In some cases your prospect still may not be quite ready to buy - and that’s ok. Some objections may even need more than one meeting to resolve, and that’s ok too. The important thing is that you follow this framework for handling objections so you get the best possible outcome.
Using the “listen, understand, respond and confirm” approach will ensure your prospects feel heard and understood, and it’ll aid you in overcoming objections so you can close more deals.