When your team uses questions and recommendations throughout the sales cycle, they’ll always know how to keep moving forward. Combine this knowledge with effecting coaching questions to seal the deal.
But sometimes the prospect is going to say no.
- Does that sound good to you? No.
- Would that work for you? No.
- Will this help you reach your goals? No.
Your team needs to know what to do when they hear “no,” especially because the word doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve reached a dead end. It actually means the prospect has spelled out exactly what they need to do to get him/her to say yes!
We recommend a four-step Objection Resolution Model. Use it to train your team to handle objections and get the prospect to say yes:
1. Acknowledge and empathize. Sales professionals must send the message that they’re listening and aren’t going to argue.
- Confirm the objection: “So what you’re saying is …” or “If I understand what you’re saying, you’re concerned about …”
- Validate the position. “I understand why you would feel that way” or “That makes sense.”
- Avoid all “buts.” Using the word “but” negates everything that’s been said before it. Tell your sales professionals: You understand, period. It makes sense, period. Don’t put the prospect on the defensive.
2. Ask questions. Coach your team to get the information they need to build a response that dissolves the objection.
- Ask prospects to explain their position: “Tell me more about …” or “Can you elaborate on that?” In “Objections, Objections Go Away,” Art Sobczak suggests asking, “What makes you say that?”
- Drill down to specifics. For example, if the issue is a competing resource: “What do they do that you like?” and “Is there something they’re not doing that would be helpful?”
- Continue to acknowledge and empathize.
3. Position a killer response. Sales professionals must directly answer the objection. They might need to explain a detail, adjust a recommendation, or simply highlight a benefit. To learn more, direct our team to Alen Mayer’s “10 Ways to Handle Objections Effectively.”
4. Check. Coach sales professionals to confirm that their response accomplished their goal. That could mean circling back to the initial ask, or simply saying, “Does that make you feel more comfortable with my solution?” It’s important to be sure the prospect agrees that they’ve addressed important concerns. No member of your team should move forward until they’ve verified this. (Source: “Less is More When Handling Objections,” by Janet Spirer)
Will your team be able to overcome every objection? No. (There’s that word again!) Sometimes, what your company has to offer really isn’t the best solution for that particular client. Sometimes, there will be issues they simply can’t surmount, such as the client’s personal relationship with another provider. Sometimes, they’ll realize that they actually have an opportunity after all.
Above all, make sure your team understands the importance of leaving the door open. Circumstances may change, and all it takes is asking.
What’s worked for your team when handling objections?