Every week, I speak with salespeople who ask: “How can I overcome difficult “objections”?
I respond by asking some more effective questions:
- Are you sure the comment was an objection, or did you simply HEAR it as one?
- Why did you give the buyer something to object to in the first place?
- Would you like to know how to eliminate objections, once and for all, from all of your future sales calls?
If you are a salesperson, you may believe that overcoming objections is important. You may have even read articles or attended classes specifically intended to increase your skill in this area. Please consider changing your paradigm.
The fact is that the very concept of handling objections is just short of insanity. There is absolutely ZERO benefit you can gain from even attempting to overcome a sales objection.
I sincerely hope you will stop trying to handle objections forever by the time you’re done reading this article.
Here are a few things to know about objection handling:
- For every objection you “overcome”, your prospect will produce at least two more.
- Handling objections will increase a buyer’s resistance.
- Handling objections will set up a buyer/seller negotiation instead of a trusting, adult conversation.
- The objection rarely has anything to do with real problem.
- Objection handling is your effort to correct the prospect. Most people hate to be corrected.
- People can only object if you give them something to object to.
Have you ever handled an objection, only to have the prospect say: “Wow! Why didn’t I think of that? Where do I sign?” I suspect not.
So if you can’t handle objections, then what should you do instead?
Begin by behaving in a way that prevents objections from being raised in the first place. Buyers can only object if you give them something to object to. So for starters, STOP trying to convince prospects that you are right for them. Sure you are great, but the fact is that you are not for everyone. So spend more time listening than telling, find out where the prospect is and where they want to be, and stop rushing into telling them how you are going to save the day.
Next, stop hearing objections. Every time your prospect says something that you hear as an “objection”, your blood pressure rises and you likely become emotionally involved. When this happens, most salespeople lose objectivity and shift immediately into presentation mode or deflection mode. Both of these sound defensive and create resistant reactions in buyers. This Seller-centered approach to hearing objections also shifts the focus away from the Buyer’s REAL problem, wasting time and creating a complete mess.
So decide today to stop hearing objections. It’s really not that difficult to do if you make a commitment. When your prospect says something that you formerly heard as an objection, simply hear it as their opinion. Mature communicators don’t overcome opinions, they simply engage in adult conversations. Great salespeople go one step further and become intensely curious and interested. So if a prospect shares an opinion that differs from your own, remain objective, validate the importance of their opinion, pump up your curiosity, listen actively, and attempt to learn things like:
- why do they feel that way?
- when did they start?
- what if they didn’t?
- where does this opinion fall in terms of importance relevant to other opinions they shared?
Remember, how we THINK determines how we behave.
And how we behave determines our level of success.
Thanks for reading. I would love to hear YOUR opinions….