The toughest objection to overcome is the word, “No” without an explanation. It leaves us at a loss for what to say in response because we are not quite sure where the value is lacking. That’s usually when the “Yea, but…” justification method starts for typical salespeople. As a sales professional however, it is essential that a specific area of concern is identified in order to proceed with the sales process through the concern and to the Close.

Objections can be overwhelming because there are so many variations of them. If we categorize them into four basic types, then apply a proven technique to overcome them, the whole pursuit becomes more manageable.

The 4 P’s representing the four categories of objections are:

  1. Price
  2. Product or Service
  3. Postponement
  4. Personal

Price objections are self-explanatory. Remember that we have already addressed the importance of value to cost ratio as well as the importance of finding a comfortable investment amount prior to Selecting a recommendation. That said, investment concerns can still resurface just before the Close as a prospect is internalizing the details and weighing the financial commitment to the value.

Product/Service Objections are again driven by the need to validate one’s decision to buy and can be prevented by presenting enough value through solid benefit statements that directly correspond to the potential customer’s need.

Postponement Objections are the most difficult to avoid as they typically do not emerge until just before the Close. Often times the desire to “think about it” is due to the anxiety of potential buyer’s remorse or apprehension to making a commitment.

Personal objections on the other hand, usually surface very early on in the sales call.

The best way to handle an objection in the early stages of the process is to ask good open-ended questions to lead your prospect in the Acquiring Needs step. Remember, objections can be a License To Proceed!

Overcoming objections is like the original way of scoring volleyball. When your opponent had the ball and was serving to you, If you returned the ball so that the opposing team was either unable to play it or if their attempt was unsuccessful, you did not get a point for your hit, you just get the serve back. Why no point? Because that’s the way the game was played. You could only score when you had control of the ball. The rules may have changed in volleyball, but not in sales. We can only close when we have control of the call.

So, when a prospect serves an objection to us, rather than becoming defensive, focus on professionally regaining control of the call because as the saying goes in sports; the best defense is a great offense!

When I first started teaching the concept that I am about to share, I openly asked a group of veteran sales executives if anyone had ever heard of the “Feel, Felt, Found Formula”? One senior automotive salesman in the back of the room responded, “No, but I like it so far!” I’m quite sure my face turned the same shade as my fuchsia suit and I vowed that I would never ask that question again!

Diane Ciotta
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