If sales were a painting, objection handling would be the brush. It is the tool you need to close the sale. Overcoming sales objections can be one of the hardest but most rewarding part of the job. Below are seven of the best ways to offer a sales rebuttal when faced with an issue presented by the decision maker.
Often, dealing with objections just takes time. So many sales professionals don’t have the time to learn these skills because they’re too wrapped up into the process. Nutshell CRM takes a lot of these thoughts and worries off of your plate. It’s easy to use and can remember every single thing you accomplish in your sales process, even down to the customer’s kid’s birthdays. It’s the best solution for small business sales teams available today, and you can try it for free.
Handling Objections in Sales
Objection handling in sales is the ability to naturally answer questions potential customers have, or being able to provide solutions to any push back they give you. It can be difficult to quickly have an answer to your customers objections on the fly, but it’s a necessity if you want to increase your sales from the rejections that start with objections.
Before you get to a point of presenting an idea that the customer will have an objection to, you need to have a conversation with them. It is of utmost importance that you understand the business and goals of whoever you are trying to sell to. This provides a lot of benefits such as:
- Building a rapport and relationship with the client
- Getting to know the industry and business from your client’s point of view
- And most importantly: uncovering their needs and goals
Gaining knowledge about the business you want to provide to can be nothing but a huge benefit to you and give you the credibility you need to achieve your sales goals. Prepare a list of questions ahead of time to ask the customer. Make sure they are probing questions about their business.
When you are trying to close the sale, the ability to use the customer’s own words is a powerful tool. You will also be able to present the best idea that will help your future customer. Knowing about their business and goals firsthand, will allow you to customize your approach with your products and services to fit what they need.
Once you present your great idea to your prospective client, it is more than likely that they will have one or two concerns before moving forward with you. This is where your real sales skills kick in. Not only do you have to fully understand exactly what their issue is, you need to make sure the one they present is their true objection. Then you can execute a proposal to rebuttal their concerns. Let’s learn how to best approach this sales technique.
The 7 steps to handling objections in sales are:
1. Prepare Before the Sales Meeting
Before arriving to your meeting with a potential client, be sure to prepare for your pitch as well as any possible objections. Assemble ahead of time what it is that you want them to purchase. Be sure to have knowledge about their business incorporated in your presentation.
Heidelberg Distributing, a beer and wine distributor in Ohio trains their sales team for such preparations. Their training is practiced in 5 steps:
- The sales reps has at least one, but preferably multiple pitches prepared
- They asks the owner about their business
- Repeat back what they’ve been told to best understand
- Proceed to list four features AND benefits about the product they are trying to pitch, and why it is relevant to the owner’s business at that time
- If the owner has an objection, the rep is to respond with the fact that they understand their concern, and to repeat what the owner said was important to them, and prove why their pitch will improve their goals
This method helps their sales reps best understand their customer’s business and help the decision maker understand why their pitch will help their business.
One of the managers at Heidelberg, Meg Millers says, “It is imperative knowing exactly what is important to your customer, and not just the trends in the industry, but knowing what’s going on in their particular store, coming in at it as a partner rather than a salesperson.” This program is a representation of Tom Fox’s sales training and is the leader trainer program in the beverage industry.
Along with preparing for possible objections, be sure to offer them the best possible sales pitch in order to avoid as many objections as possible. Provide a nice presentation and know your material. Offer benefits with each feature. Bring samples for them to test out.
Give referrals from similar customers you already have you have found success in what you are offering. Make sure you have as much information as possible about the product or service you are pitching. By having all of this information readily available during the time of a pitch, it may be help to refer back to when objections do arise.
2. Have a Backup Sales Proposal
Along with your initial proposal, be sure to also have a backup plan in place. As you already know in sales, not every day is a win, or at least a big win. Even if you can’t close on your main sales goal, it does not have to be all or nothing.
Have a backup pitch at hand that is maybe less expensive or less of a commitment. That way you will have a greater chance of leaving the appointment with a sale. Also, make this an opportunity to provide a great product or service with proven results so that down the road, you can close on your original offer.
3. Anticipate Sales Objections
As you prepare for your pitch, anticipate and make a list of what objections the client may have. This will require some research and conversation with the potential customer. Research the industry trends, what the company is currently consuming that is similar to what you are pitching, their budget, their goals, their plans for the future.
Get to know the company and person you are dealing with very well. Don’t be afraid to ask for internal help too. Co-worker and managers may be able to offer additional insight to help you.
After you think up of as many objections as you can, construct possible solutions for each objection you think are possible. A prepared answer to these objections will be more thought out and convincing on the spot.
4. Uncover the True Objection
This can be tricky. The customer may not want to reveal his hand, or may not even know what his true objection is. After the initial objection is given follow these steps:
- Ask why that is their objection – this will hopefully give you insight to their thinking, and whether or not the objection holds merit
- Ask if there is anything else – again offers more understanding on your part and will uncover if there are multiple issues at hand
- Ask “If we can handle this issue, will you be ready to move forward?” As hard as it, be sure not to offer a solution quite yet. You need to first uncover the real argument before you offer anything more.
- If the answer is “no” respond with “there must be something else, may I ask what your other hesitation is?”
- Stop and listen – this will be one of the hardest things. You must let them work out exactly why they wouldn’t move forward. This should be the moment that you reveal the true objection and can now move on with your solution.
5. Empathize With Them
The feel, felt, found method is always a great go to. You respond to their objection with:
I understand why you feel that way
Others have felt the same
This is what they found after this solution
With this method you are building empathy between yourself and your decision maker. You are expressing to them that you care about their business, and have experience with others feeling the same way they do. You also are providing to them a solution that helped others in the same predicament they’re in. This act of affinity will help your rapport grow, and show that your true colors as a consultant.
6. Show Them Your Value
Be a consultant, not a pushy salesman. Express the value of the product or service you have suggested based on referrals, benefits, and anything else that you can prove will bring value to your customer. Show them HOW your proposal will help them towards their own goals. Take the time to take a step further and educate them on the product or service.
What are interesting facts about the company or product? How do you use it? Can you offer to help them set it up once it arrives? Become a resource for them, someone they can go to for questions about their industry, your products, etc. You will then become more valuable to them.
7. Roleplay Common Objection Handling Scenarios
Practice makes perfect, and that is true for handling objections. It is one thing to list out possible objections and your rebuttal, and quite another to actually act it out with a colleague or boss. It will give you a feel for how you sound, and become more familiar with the material. Your coworker may also have some insight and suggestions of additional tactics.
This also gives you an opportunity to be critiqued with your presentation skills and approach. Now all this being said, try not to get too much into your head. Practice and take into consideration your feedback, but ultimately stick to what feels comfortable to you, and try to relax. You do not want to sound like a robot, or come off as strange as you approach your situation.
The Smart Hack
Objection handling is most effective when it is done right. It is a part of your job as a salesman or woman that needs preparation and practice. Don’t be discouraged as you hear the word no. Do your best in understanding your customer needs, show that you truly care, and have fun helping your customers one objection at a time!
If you’re ready to take your sales team, and process, to the next level then you need to try Nutshell CRM. It’s the best CRM for small businesses, and can help you stay focused on handling sales objections instead of trying to remember small details from past meetings. You can try Nutshell CRM for free if you sign up today!