Resolving Sales Objections
A sales objection is a statement or question posed by a potential client that indicates that they might not be interested in or willing to purchase a product or service. The ability to effectively overcome sales objections is a critical skill for sellers. Richardson's resolving sales objections model helps sellers develop the skills they need to engage customers in a needs based dialogue that helps them understand and respond to customer objections in a way that allows them to better position their solution.
Model for Resolving Sales Objections
There are two critical dimensions of the Richardson resolving sales objections model, especially regarding complex and critical corporate-wide issues.
Technical Knowledge: Technical knowledge about the product or service solution you are selling enables you to develop a credible and substantive response to potential client objections.
Communication Skills: Even the most thorough response can fail to satisfy the client’s objection if it is not delivered effectively. The key is to create a dialogue, connect, tailor your response — and not lecture your client.
The “right” answer can seem wrong if it is too long, too short, too technical, or positioned inappropriately. What you think is the “right” answer can even reinforce the objection you are trying to dispel.
For example, a client may say, “Your X is not as good as your competitors’.”
Regardless of how technically prepared you are to deal with this (or any other critical objection), unless you understand what the client truly means and what the concern is, your response cannot be as on target and specific as it could be if you understood more. You must understand what the concern is, whose concern it is (is it your client’s, his/her colleagues, or something a competitor has provoked?), etc.
However, to begin your response with your question can seem challenging to the client. By first acknowledging or empathizing before you ask a question to clarify the objection, you will connect and be able to reframe the negative situation. It is vital to acknowledge the concern — not with a wooden statement, but with genuine acknowledgment. Most people mentally acknowledge, but it stops there and so does the connection. For example, you would say,
“Karen I appreciate your telling me your feelings and I want to understand the concern about our quality vs. our competitors.”
Then ask your question.
By first acknowledging the client's objection you will have paved the way for your response to the sales objection. Even if your experience with the client and your expertise makes you confident that you understand what the client means there are still compelling reasons to acknowledge the client's question before providing a counter statement.
By finding out how the client sees the situation, you can avoid making assumptions, learn more, distinguish yourself as someone who listens, and you can position your response persuasively. In addition acknowledgment of the objection encourages a more complete response from the client.
How to Effectively Overcome Sales Objections
Only by staying connected and understanding more about the client’s specific issues that are driving the objection can you PERSUASIVELY POSITION your technical knowledge and help the client be open and receptive, therefore hearing what you have to say.
Sales professionals with superb skills know that there is more to answering an objection than the “answer.” They know the client is the key to the solution. Effective sellers follow these 5 steps to resolve customer objections:
- Empathize with or acknowledge the clients objection to connect with them and demonstrate an understanding of their needs and concerns.
- Ask clarifying question(s) listening to the client and drilling down to get to the true motivation behind the client's objection enables sellers to better craft a relevant and powerful response to the client's objection.
- Position a response so it is concise and targeted. Being able to supply a succinct response demonstrates that you understand the problem and have the ability to offer a simple solution.
- Check for feedback to confirm understanding and the response addresses the clients concerns.
- Repeat the process until the client's concerns have been adequately addressed.
Resolving Sales Objections Video
Richardson's chief marketing officer, Andrea Grodnitzky, shares insight into the importance of utilizing an effective sales objection resolution model.