7 Common Objections To be prepared to handle any objection, begin by making a list of everyone you've ever heard.
Given the unique characteristics of your show, outline how you can use that objection as a selling opportunity. Your list will probably include some of the common objections in our sidebar.
Handling objections is the most delicate time in the sale, demanding grace and skill.
Many salespeople ride roughshod over this part of the sale rather than slowing the process down and moving with care.
Instead of listening carefully and attentively, many salespeople are busy forming their rebuttal. They're like a tiger ready to pounce on their prey. The prospect senses this anxiousness and impatience, and, in response, becomes more defensive.
1. Hear them out: Don't assume that just because you've heard every objection under the sun that you needn't listen fully to your prospect's objection. He may have a unique twist.
You must completely focus on the prospect to determine the real significance of this objection. Prospects are weary of salespeople who only pretend to listen and are angered by salespeople who interrupt their objections to refute them.
These behaviors are disrespectful and demonstrate weakness. Be confident and show your concern for their feelings.
2. Consider your options: As you are listening, you can begin to consider your initial strategy to minimize, ignore or handle the objection. There are times, especially when hearing knee-jerk objections, you will want to ignore the objections and keep on selling.
There are times when you will know that you cannot overcome the objection but can minimize its importance in the overall picture.
For instance, you may agree that you have higher booth prices than your competitor, but the attendees are higher-level decision-makers who spend more at the show.
3. Restate the objection: By restating or paraphrasing the objection, you show your concern for the prospect and get clarification in case you misunderstood his point. It also buys you useful thinking time. Some prospects even withdraw their objections once they hear them spoken aloud.
Paraphrasing the objection can provide you with a platform from which you can better answer the objection.
For instance, if a prospect says, "Your prices are too high," you may respond by saying, "If I understand you correctly, you are concerned about receiving sufficient value on your investment?"
Now, instead of dealing with the issue of price, you can sell the value and benefits of your show.
4. Question the objection: If appropriate, ask the prospect to elaborate on his point. You not only gain some valuable time, but during the discussion you may hear the answer to your problem. You will often find that the prospect did not understand a specific point, or that you did not communicate it properly. If you don't clear this up, the prospect will hold onto his objection, and you will lose the sale.
5. Answer the objection: Many salespeople skip steps one through four and immediately answer the objection. However, by completing the first four steps, you gain an understanding of your prospect's point of view -- and also earn his trust -- enabling you to choose the most meaningful information for this prospect.
Because you have been willing to listen to him, he is more likely to now listen to you.
6. Confirm the answer: Once you have handled his objection, check in with the prospect to make sure your response satisfies his concern. "That clarifies the point, doesn't it?" or "With that question solved, we can go ahead, don't you agree?"
If the client says yes, you can lead to a close. If the prospect doesn't feel that his objection has been dispelled, you have some choices.
You can explore the objection further, you can see what else is on his mind, or if there are other, unstated objections in the way.
You might ask a "what if" question such as, "If I could show you that the union problems have been eliminated, would you exhibit in our show?" If the prospect says yes, you have targeted the true objection. If the prospect says he isn't sure, then you still need to pinpoint the real problem. Or, he may now bring up his real objection.
Your other choice is to point out to the client that even given his objection, the other benefits of exhibiting in the show outweigh it.
7. Sell benefits and lead into the close: Once the objections have been handled, review the major benefits for this prospect, and bridge to a close. Now that you have uncovered the prospect's needs, presented the value of exhibiting in your show, demonstrated how your show can meet those needs and set to rest any objections or concerns, closing the sale is a "fait accompli" -- the natural outcome of all that has come before.
Ask for the order simply and directly.
Handling objections successfully can determine your success as a salesperson.
You must know your show's strengths and limitations and be prepared to handle any possible objection. With the confidence that comes with being prepared, you will welcome objections as your greatest opportunity to sell.
Uncovering and overcoming objections challenges you intellectually and emotionally. It requires that you know not only your show, but yourself and your prospect as well.