Knowing how to handle sales objections is essential in a commercial business. That moment when a prospect finally agrees to buy your product is the time every business owner looks forward to. However, some cases do not go as you plan. Sometimes, you will have to deal with sales objections.
Before you exchange your hard-earned money for a product, you need to be convinced. It’s the same with your consumers.
Has your prospect or customers ever said “I will get back to you”? or “The price is too expensive; I cannot afford it”? or “I need to speak to my wife”? If yes, these are objections. What you have to do as a business owner is handle the sales objections the right way.
But, when a prospect or customer objects, an average business owner just replies “okay”. Without any further efforts. Just like the period after that okay, that’s the end of the transaction. Because most of the time, the prospect won’t get back to you. Oftentimes, you have to follow up after the first encounter but only a few business owners do this.
A statistic from Hubspot confirms that 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes whereas 48% of salespeople never even make a single follow-up attempt.
This is confirming that you have to follow up with your customer at least 4 times before they eventually buy your product.
Now, this is in the follow-up.
How about you deal with the objection right on the spot? Right on the spot is the best time to convert your prospect.
Because they recently just went through the sales process. And every bit of information about your product is still very fresh in their minds.
Instead of following up with your prospect, deal with the objection immediately if it arises. Easier said than done, objection handling is not a pot of beans. One hard truth before we proceed, you cannot close all your prospects. Some prospects are not closeable no matter how hard you try.
But you should make an effort to. As a business owner, you should be able to identify the closeable prospects from the non-closable ones. You will learn about how to differentiate them later in this post.
Know this, sometimes when a sale objection arises, there is an underlying reason, a hindrance. Your job as a business owner is to figure out this hindrance and get past it. But how? This is the exact reason why this post was created. To help you find the closeable prospect, get past the objections and eventually close the sale. In a moment, I will tell you how to do this but before then, what exactly is a sale objection?
What is a sale objection?
You may be thinking; “Why would I ask this? Isn’t it obvious? It means customers or prospects saying no!”
Well, you aren’t wrong but here’s a better definition;
A sale objection is any concern that your prospects have regarding a barrier hindering their purchase of your product.
The concerns they raise about their inability to buy from you.
Can you see a difference now? Assuming that sales objections mean outright “no” are you not doing enough as a salesperson to study your prospect’s behaviour?
This conveys only a single message and that is; you can still close a sale even after the customer objects. How?
It’s simple, through objection handling.
And this brings us to the part you’ve been waiting for.
How to handle sales objections
Objection handling is a series of steps you take to understand your prospect’s concerns and the reason why they object. And in the long run, get them to change their minds and eventually buy your product.
To effectively handle a sale objection, you only need two steps. I learned this from Brad Lea.
You must have heard from many marketing gurus that you have to go through some long processes to handle a sale objection.
But in the real sense, you only need 2 steps. Find out what they are in the next few paragraphs.
1. Identify and isolate
This is the first step of handling objections. This is where you differentiate between the closeable and the non-closable prospects.
Just like you’ve been reading so far, most of your customers have an underlying reason why they are objecting. But at the same time, some of them mean it.
You need to find out if the objection is real or if the prospect is just making it up.
The prospects with the real objections are the non-closable ones.
Those making it up have a false objection. They are still closeable. So you shouldn’t end the transaction right there with these prospects. Don’t handle a false objection, it’s a smokescreen.
To identify and isolate the closeable prospects, you have to come up with a hypothetical solution.
A hypothetical solution is not real. It is an imaginary solution that cannot exist in the real world. But a question has been framed on it, which can be solved.
This simply means that you will be providing an imaginary solution to your prospect. By asking them a question to find out the real reason why they objected. So that you will be able to detect whether your prospect’s objection is real or false.
After coming up with a hypothetical solution, then you move to the second step.
2. Solve the problem using LOGIC
After identifying the real objection, the next thing is for you to solve it with LOGIC.
L – Leverage
O – Obvious
G – Gain
I – Intelligence
C – Common sense
Leverage the Obvious Gain of your product or services. While applying Intelligence and Common sense to the problem that you have hypothetically removed.
Let’s consider an example using the most popular objection “I’ll get back to you”
Imagine this conversation between you (the business owner) and Mr. Andrew (Your Prospect)
(You’re done with the sales process and then Mr Andrew says…)
Mr. Andrew: “I will get back to you”
You: “Well, Mr Andrew, I’ve been doing this for a long time. Usually, when a prospect says he will get back to me, I don’t hear from them again. You’re trying to reject me but doing it politely. I understand your concerns.
If I may ask, what exactly is stopping you from buying right now? Is it the price? The money?”
(This is you introducing the hypothetical solution, by asking the questions which could be his reason for objecting)
Mr. Andrew: “Well… actually, the price is a bit high”
(This is it; You’ve figured out the objection. It’s false, Mr. Andrew is objecting because he wants to get your product at a lower price. He’s still closeable. But, you’re not going to sell at a lower price. Instead, you use LOGIC)
You: “Okay then, let’s talk about the price. You know you need this product. What can we do? What if I offer you some kind of payment plan? If I lower the upfront fee, would that make a difference? A better plan which suits your current budget?”
Mr. Andrew: “Oh yes, that would make a difference. I would like to know about this plan.”
Sometimes, your prospect cannot make the decision alone. And they will have to consult their spouses. What if Mr. Andrew needs to consult his wife?
Let’s consider an example, saying you want to sell a coaching program over the phone.
Mr. Andrew: “I need to talk to my wife”
You: “Mr. Andrew, can you tell me why you’re interested in this program again?”
Mr. Andrew: “Well…. I’ve heard a lot about your program and It’s been quite some time since I wanted to get it. (Starts talking about why he wants the program. You have the power here because Mr. Andrew wants your product, he just cannot decide himself) But, I need to discuss it with my wife.”
You: “Oh! Alright. What’s your wife’s name?”
Mr. Andrew: “Michelle”
You: “And how long have you guys been married?”
Mr. Andrew: “We’ve been together for about six years”
You: “Okay, six years, and would you say you know your wife quite well?”
Mr. Andrew: “Yes, sure”
You: “And then she knows you quite well?”
Mr. Andrew: “Of course, we know each other to the extent that we have to consult one another other before making a critical decision.”
You: “Okay Mr. Andrew, when you and I get off the phone and then you talk to Michelle. What would she say? (This is you introducing a hypothetical solution)”
Mr. Andrew: “Well, she’s going to say that’s a lot of money”
You: “Will she say you’re crazy and that you cannot afford it?”
Mr. Andrew: “No, she won’t because she’s aware of how I wanted this program. And how much of a difference it will make in our lives. Also, she has my back.”
You: “I understand your concerns and I know how it feels like to have the support of a spouse. This is not going to be easy but it’s going to be a worthwhile journey. I don’t want you to move forward without getting support from your wife. You know, you guys do things together. Right?”
Mr. Andrew: “Yes”
You: “Alright Mr. Andrew. How about we schedule a three-way call?
Where you, me, and Michelle can talk about this. I’m not trying to convince your wife because I believe nobody can do that apart from you. So what I will do is answer the questions that she might have just to make sure she knows what you’re doing. And why you’re doing it. Does that make sense?”
Mr. Andrew: “Yes”
You: “Okay, what time would be best for you?”
Mr. Andrew: “Tomorrow”
You: “So tomorrow, You, I, and Michelle are going to get on a three-way call to discuss this. Right?”
Mr. Andrew: “Yes”
(Now, you do your job to close the two of them)
These conversations are just examples. You will get different replies from different prospects.
But you understand the concept now and the process to follow.
In conclusion, handling a sale objection can be hard especially if you’re unable to tell your prospects apart. But now, you know how to handle sales objections and the process to follow.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section. I will attend to all.