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Sales Objections: Excuses, Concerns, or Conditions?
Updated: Jun 9, 2020
Sales Objections will always be the most challenging and energy-draining part of the sales process. It has happened to all of us: our presentation is going smoothly; everything appears to be making sense to the client and we are confident we have a deal. All of a sudden, right after we ask to go for the close, the customer says: “I have to think about it.”
What happened? The salesperson will act confused (he thought he had a deal), angry at the client (the whole presentation was just a big waste of time) or agree and allow the customer to leave (fooling himself into thinking that he´ll come back).
The truth is that the customers will come up with objections because they are not ready to buy. The salesperson has to be able to sort out and read between the lines to find out where is the client coming from with this objection and answer accordingly.
There are three types of Objections:
We will call these “True” objections. These are honest questions or comments the customers have that if answered properly will allow them to make a buying decision. They are pieces of information that the client truly needs to evaluate the purchase and MUST be answered by the Salesperson. (Ideally, these concerns must be discovered and addressed early during the presentation so that they won´t bite you in the ass at the end).
A condition is a situation in where circumstances make it impossible for the prospect to buy (with the present terms). A condition is something that neither you nor the prospect can do anything about. A condition is an obstacle in where even if the prospect desperately wanted to buy, they could not. This doesn’t mean that the client won´t buy! It simply means that the seller has to find a way to accommodate the terms for the client.
For example: If the item costs $3,000 USD and the client truly only has a $2,000 USD limit (there is no way of convincing him that he has more money) we have a Condition. The Closer must then get creative and find a way to finance, get a deposit or payment plan for the customer to buy!
Try and remember, not all conditions are a deal killer, and the circumstances that are causing them to make this a condition of the sale can be overcome by listening…Don’t try to win, try to help.
The “smokescreen” objection is a polite excuse people use when they don’t want to make a buying decision with the classic example: “I need to think about it.” The reality is, they probably don’t need to think about it, but instead have not admitted their real concern, which oftentimes is not discussed because they do not want to offend you, admit the concern to you or themselves, or address the concern at all.
The key to getting past their smokescreen and to their core objection is to acknowledge it with a neutral statement such as: “In addition to (smoke screen objection) what else is holding you back?” After their reply, if you are still not sure you have reached their core objection simply repeat the process again. Remember that your real goal is not to overcome this specific objection, but to find out what their core objection is so that you can begin to overcome it.
Here’s a 4-step process to managing Objections, uncovering the smokescreens to find the real Concerns using the example “I need to think about it.”
1.- Listen Fully to the Objection
Your first reaction when you hear an objection may be to jump right in and respond immediately. Resist this temptation. When you react too quickly, you risk making assumptions about the objection. Take the time to listen to the objection fully.
Do not react defensively. Train yourself to ignore any negative emotions you may be feeling, and stay focused on what the buyer is saying and the business problem you are helping to solve. Listen with the intent of fully understanding the buyer's concerns without bias or anticipation, and allow your body language and verbal confirmations to communicate to the buyer that you are listening intently.
2.- Understand the Objection Completely
Many objections hide underlying issues that the buyer can't or isn't ready to articulate. Often the true issue isn't what the buyer first tells you. It's your job to get to the heart of the objection, and then fully understand it and its true source.
To do this, you must ask permission from the buyer to understand and explore the issue. Once explored, restate the concern as you understand it. Sometimes when you restate the objection, the buyer sees the issue more fully, and you get closer to the true source of the objection as a result. Even after the buyer confirms you understand perfectly, ask "What else?" and "Why" questions for clarification. Often it is the answer to that last "What else?" that contains the biggest barrier to moving the sale forward.
3.- Respond Accordingly
After you're confident you've uncovered all objections, address the most important objection first. Once you work through the greatest barrier to moving forward, other concerns may no longer matter or feel as important to the buyer.
You should do your best to resolve their issue right away. The more you can resolve issues in real-time, the greater chance you have of moving the sale forward. If you need more information to resolve a specific concern, you may have to look something up. Don't wing it—buyers can sense that and it creates distrust. Long-winded responses can seem insincere, so keep your responses clear and to the point.
4.- Confirm You've Satisfied the Objection
Once you've responded to the buyer's objections, check if you've satisfied all of their concerns. Just because they nodded during your response doesn't mean they agreed with everything you said. Ask if the buyer is happy with your solution and explain your solution further if necessary. Some objections require a process to overcome, not just a quick answer.