Objections in sales happen when customers try to break the sales process. Often customers show reasons why they are not going to buy.
A bad seller will become disappointed when such an objection arises and will make mistakes that will not allow the deal to be closed.
Off course it is possible to move to another client and sell only when no sales objections appear, but it is not wise.
Think of all the money, efforts, time and other resources you and your company invested into attracting customers, prospecting and arranging the sales process.
You have to try lead as many prospects to the actual sale as possible and often you will face many objections.
All reasonable objections can be divided into five categories. Some objections may seem to be just a simple “no”, but it’s your task to understand and categorize them.
This is when the main reason of not buying your products is the price. Often customers talk about the price just because of the common habits. For example:
- It is too expensive.
- I don’t have enough budget.
- There are cheaper alternatives at the market.
- I can buy it cheaper online.
This is when customers don’t see any need for your product or any problem that can be solved with it. Examples:
- I am satisfied with my current supplier.
- We don’t need this.
- My phone works fine.
This is when customers are not ready to buy at this moment. Examples:
- I need to think about it.
- I will contact you later.
- I need to show this to my colleagues and manager before we decide.
- Maybe next year I will buy it, but not now.
This is when customers are not sure that the product you are selling (or its features) is good for them. Examples:
- The style is not good.
- It will not suit my house.
- It is too small.
- It looks like the quality is not good enough.
This is when customers have concerns about your company. Examples:
- Your company is much smaller than its competitors.
- I am not sure that you will be around when I have problems with this product.
- I read some bad comments about your company.
It is important to understand the type of objection the customer has. If you do it right you will have better chances to handle the objection successfully.
Do as much preparation as you can before you start selling. Try to analyze the objections that your customers usually have and categorize these objections.
After that you should come up with several answers or tactics that you can use in order to handle each sales objection.
How to create such tactics? Read the rest of the tips, tricks and techniques for handling sales objections.
Your first aim is showing your customers that you empathize them and that you really care about what bothers them. Even if you already know what the objection is and how to handle it, don’t try to interrupt your customers.
In contrast you should use active listening and show that you are very interested in what your customers are saying and that you will try to help them.
Sales happen between people and your task is showing your customers that you are on their side.
Most of sellers treat objections as a bad phenomenon that will harm the opportunity to close the deal. However, let’s look at it from another point.
When customers object they give us a chance to win the competition. All your competitors will get the same questions and objections from these customers and who give the best answers will win the competition and make more sales.
Therefore, you should thank your customers for the objection because this means that you have been shortlisted.
If the objection is reasonable you should give some arguments against it and support the sale.
However, you should make it softer by agreeing with the objection before giving your reasons against it. If you show that you understand your customers, they will be more likely to understand you. Example:
- Your prices are higher than prices of our current supplier.
- Yes, I understand that price is a very important factor, but if you calculate all costs including maintenance and service you will see that in reality our products are cheaper.
The expression “yes, but” is powerful, but don’t overuse it. It will sound very artificially if you use the same words over and over again. You should come up with more phrases that can substitute the “yes, but” phrase.
With some sales objections you can not and should not agree. If you are sure that your customer builds the objection on personal assumptions you can deny this objection.
You should feel the right situation when you can apply this technique.
Straight denial will show that you are very confident in what you are saying and it will change the customer opinion about the issue. Example:
- There is no service for this product in my area. I will not be able to service it.
- That is not right. There are 2 service providers in less than 10 miles from your company. Also, in a few months we will open another big certified service center in your city.
Often it is hard to understand the actual sales objection you have to handle because some customers objections are very vague. In this case you should not guess, because it will be very harmful if you start handling an objection that you are not sure exists.
If you do so you will show that you don’t understand your clients and that there is no rapport between you. Moreover, you may mistakenly bring to the discussion new issues that were not important for the client.
Sometimes clarification and right questions can have some unexpected results. Customers may start describing what and why they need and understand that this is not that important as they thought. So, you can handle some sales objections just by asking “why?”.
If you are sure that some objections will be expressed you can express them by yourself.
This is a great technique that makes your customers more favorable to your arguments. When your customers express objections they perceive the objections as their property and they try to protect it because this is normal for the human nature.
So, you will be in a situation where you are not on the same side with your customers as you are protecting opposite points.
But if the objection is expressed by you it will be perceived as an objection with no owners and you and your customers work as a team handling this objection. Example:
- My clients often are concerned about the size of the product, but after they buy it I get many positive comments about how good that it has this perfect size.
Some objections can be handled easily if you demonstrate some features of the product or offer a trial.
The objection will vanish when your customers see that they mistakened.
It will be great if you can arrange such demonstration or trial at the moment of the discussion, because it will protect the sale from being delayed.
You should always have a piece of paper and a pen when you have a sales communication.
If your customers express several sales objections you can write down all of them so that everyone could see what stops us from closing the deal.
You can change names of the objections a little bit and make them easier for you to answer. Also, it is good make it very short - one or two words.
Depending on the situation you can even ask if this is all what concerns your clients. Then you can tackle the objections one after another.
After you responded to each question or objection make sure that everyone agrees that it is solved and cross the objection on the paper. At this moment it becomes eliminated from your client's mind.
When the objection is on the paper your customers are more likely to accept your arguments as they do not treat it as their property and they will not need to defend it.
Many objections are very subjective because customers base them on their individual system of prioritization.
For example, for some people quality is more important than price and they may express their concerns about the quality without considering the lower price.
Here you can try to change their priorities by pointing to strong sides of your offer. Examples:
- Power is important, but this car will be much more comfortable for your big family.
- Small size is more portable, but you can see more details on this big screen.
Even though many words have many synonyms each word has its own flavour and meaning.
You should learn how to play with synonyms to be able to handle sales objectives.
If you change some words in the objection you may get a sentence that sounds much more positively than what your customer just said.
At the same time you should try to move the focus from the objection to another more neutral point. Examples:
- Thank you for talking about the price. It is very good that you take into consideration all aspects of the product and I am sure you will make the right decision.
- Your question about the quality is very important. Now I understand that you are an expert in this area and you will easily understand my explanation.
In some appropriate situations you should add some humour when dealing with objections. It will show that it is a pleasant experience for you to answer to your customers questions.
Also note that, it is not easy for your customers to express new objections as they may feel that they are destroying the harmony and rapport between you. You can release possible tensions with humour.
However, be moderate as too much humour or jokes that may offend your clients will have more negative than positive effects. Examples:
- You caught me! (smiling)
- Look at this phone. It will be very disappointed if you don’t buy it.
Customers tend to trust other customers experience and reviews and you should use this phenomenon. This technique is especially powerful if your customers express a sales objective that is subjective and is associated with their uncertainty and expectations.
Here you should refer to the previous customers experience who had the same concerns before they bought the product and who were fully satisfied when they use the product.
This will give your clients more confidence in the purchase and their concerns will be reduced. Example:
- I had clients who had the same concerns about the style of the product, but results of our post-purchase research show that they are fully satisfied with the product and its style is one of the main reasons for these results.
In some situation it is appropriate to offer an exchange to your customers. Literally this exchange is if you handle their objection they will buy the product.
If your customers agree with your offer you will know that there will be no more objections and that you will close the deal once you handle this objection. Examples:
- If I give you a 5% discount will you buy this laptop?
- If we offer you a free delivery will you buy it?
Try to diminish your customers objections by reducing their perceived importance.
This works very well with subjective objections because it is easier to challenge and change them.
You should show your customers that these concerns are just tiny doubtful details and they should not influence their purchase decision. Example:
- I think that you should not care too much about the color. This car is beautiful and powerful in every color.
This is not the most honest way of handling sales objectives and you should be very careful if you decide to apply it.
If your customers refer to your competitors when they express their objections you can warn them about possible bad consequences of buying from your competitors.
Off course this should not be fictional and you should base such forecasts on some facts or at least some gossip. Example:
- Many of my new clients who used to buy from our competitors told me that they had to wait several months for spare parts. We are sure that this is totally unacceptable and we deliver spare parts within 10 days.
Also, you can give “bad” forecasts about your products especially if the type of the objection is time. Here you can tell about possible price increase, quality change and other aspects.
Such forecasts will push your customers to speed up their purchase and you will be able to close the deal. Example:
- Please note that this offer is limited. We plan to increase prices for the future products by 10%.
If you feel that your customers are objecting and resisting the sale enormously you can step back a little bit and see what will happen next.
According to Newton’s third law, for every action there is an equal and opposite re-action. Therefore, if you want to get less objections you should limit your re-action to them.
When your clients feel that you are not pushing back they will become more calm and limit their objections. After that you can continue your actions. Examples:
- No worries. I have enough time for waiting for your decision.
- I agree with you that you should not make purchases that are not within your budget.
If your customers do not express any objections this doesn’t mean that they don’t have any.
Sometimes clients may hide their concerns because they don’t like objecting, or they are fully confident in their assumptions and they don’t need to discuss it.
You should not allow your customers to keep hidden objections because if they exist and they will influence the buying decision.
By asking your customers about their objections you also show that your aim is not to sell the product, but to satisfy them. Example:
- Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
- I feel that there is something that you are not sure. I will be happy to answer your questions.
At some point you can notice that some clients continue objecting over and over again even though you have already addressed all of these objections.
If this is the case you should accept it and move on to other clients.
It is not profitable investing all your time and efforts into dealing with sales objections of just one customer while there are many other customers waiting for your time.
You can’t win every sale and sometimes your customers will refuse to buy even after you tried to handle their objections using all of the previous techniques.
Don’t let them go without asking why they decided not to buy from you.
Learn from this situation as much as you can and adjust your tactics of handling sales objections for your future sales.
Andrii is passionate about business and startup intelligence. As most of the startuppers he has got experience in almost all business areas.Andrii has MA in Marketing from the University of Queensland.
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