Overcoming Sales Objections

Published: 30th May 2011
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This generalisation has persisted because it has been passed down from trainers and managers to sales people who don't want to question their superiors and people seen as experts in a corporate organisation. Questioning long held beliefs and the people who present them can be a bad career move. As the sales training is passed to each new generation of new sellers the rule, about sales objections being buying signals, has been presented as if it was written on tablets of stone and passed down from the top floor of a divine office block. So maybe it's time we questioned this traditional belief and see if it's doing us some good or if we may be losing sales because of it.

The problem with such a general statement about sales objections and buying signals is that it can't be true for all sales objections. The first reason for this is that not all objections to a sale are questions. If you try to close a sale and the prospect says they don't want your product, or they want to think about it, these are not questions. I don't see how this is an indication of a prospect's interest in your product. If I receive these types of responses to a closing question I don't think, 'Oh Great! That's a really positive buying signal.'

So when is a sales objection a buying signal.

An objection could be an indication of a sales prospect's interest in your product when it is presented in the form of a question. For example if a buyer asks about additional cost, add-ons to the product, or delivery times, they are showing an interest. They wouldn't ask these questions unless they were thinking about going further along the decision making process. So the old traditional view of all sales objections being buying signals is not completely true because it is too general and we can see that some objections are not requests for information, they are obstacles to the sale. But when a prospect raises an objection in the form of a question then yes, it is a buying signal, and as long as you can answer it you should see it as a positive.

The best way to handle any objection is to anticipate it and, if possible, make sure that it never intrudes into the sales discussion. Once a thought has been expressed by a prospect it becomes harder to eradicate. This is because the prospect has placed himself on record and is unlikely to recede easily from his position.

Objections that are raised to price are probably the most frequent of all honest reasons for prospects refusing to buy. It's important to understand where the price objection is coming from, before you can handle it effectively.

Sometimes a prospect will object to price because it is simply more than he can afford to pay. The products or services are too expensive and the buyer can only afford something of a cheaper grade. As the salesperson, it is your duty to enrich the prospect with the knowledge of how the purchase of a quality item will be more economical in the long-term as opposed to buying the cheaper article of a lesser grade.

Scripts:

* "Compared to what?"

* "You know that our quality is the highest you can find, which means that you pay much less over the life of the product.

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