Salespeople who are addressing complex customer challenges can spend a great deal of time anticipating and handling objections. In my experience, I’ve seen that the skill it takes to identify and address objections varies widely across salespeople. Here are the steps my team and I take to get at the true objections and discover once and for all whether a prospect is ready to move forward.
Step 1: We listen attentively and seek clarification as needed.
When a prospect presents an objection, resist the urge to interrupt or defend your product/service. Your ability to listen shows the prospect you take their concerns seriously.
Seek clarification using open-ended questions as needed to ensure you understand their concerns fully. This step helps you dig deeper into their underlying motivations and fears.
Step 2: We empathize and acknowledge their concerns.
Show empathy by acknowledging their objection without dismissing or belittling it. Let them know that their concerns are valid, and you appreciate their honesty. Establishing a genuine connection will encourage openness and trust.
Step 3: We carefully explore the root cause.
We’ve found that objections are often smokescreens for deeper issues. This is why it is so important to “get to the heart of the matter.” Skillfully probe your prospect’s reservations and encourage them to share candidly.
Step 4: We confirm our prospect’s interest before moving forward.
Armed with a deeper understanding, it could be time to present tailored solutions. But before you invest the time, confirm that the elimination of the problem would result in a project that is likely to move forward. A genuine prospect will show signs of receptiveness. If they are lukewarm despite your offer of a tailored solution, it is an indicator that it is time for you to move on to the next prospect.
Step 5: If appropriate, we offer the solution and ask for a commitment.
Once they have reviewed the customized solution, you might ask them what they believe the next step in the process should be. You’re looking for a commitment to the next step – a willingness to move toward a close.
Remember, not every objection can be overcome. Sometimes, we may uncover that our prospect is genuinely not interested or current circumstances prevent them from moving forward. Respect their decision and gracefully accept a “No.” Cherish the truth, as it allows you to focus on more promising prospects. By following these steps, you’ll be equipped to navigate objections with finesse and determine when it’s appropriate to continue a sales process.
At One of a Kind Sales, we love sales and cold calling in particular. If you need help with bringing your sales team to the next level or if you would like to outsource your cold calling, give us a call at 908-879-2911.