Time to Put a Stop to Buyer ObjectionsArticle by Colleen Francis, May 14, 2021
It’s a friction point that holds you back from achieving sales success: buyer objections. If left unchecked, those objections will stop you dead in your tracks from being able to present a compelling proposal to your prospective customer. And that puts you at risk of landing fewer deals. The more objections a buyer has, the more likely it is you have a fact-finding mission on your hands.
The objections you hear tend to take on a familiar refrain. Sometimes, it’s, “Just give us your price,” which can shut you down from being able to discuss the value of what you are selling. Other times—if you’ve managed to get far enough to make that case to the customer—you’ll hear them say, “This problem you’ve outlined really isn’t a problem for us.” Or they’ll minimize your solution, arguing what you’re proposing would simply be too disruptive for them.
Buyer objections is your problem to solve. Get serious about tackling it by learning to work skillfully with all of the following six action points.
1. IDENTIFY SKILLFULLY
Recognize you might not be talking to the right person in the organization. Often, people object simply because they are not the buyer or influencer who is involved in the buying decision. And as I’ve cautioned in previous articles, that doesn’t just mean finding decision makers to the exclusion of all others in a company. You must identify the people who can help you and those who are just hindering you. Recognize instances where your circle of contacts simply might not be diverse enough. And be absolutely sure you’ve not been lured into a talk trap. The better you are at correctly identifying your audience, the less likely you’re going to have to contend with buyer objections.
2. BE QUIET
Sellers often make the mistake of talking too much because dead air makes them nervous. Get over this. Listen more than you talk. A well-qualified customer who has objections to buying from you has important things to say, and you won’t hear them unless you’re quiet. Yes, silence can feel like an eternity, but when faced with a client who says, “Just give us your price” or “That’s not a real problem for us,” give them space to explain why they feel that way. That will only happen if you stop talking. Let them fill the dead air. The more they talk, the better it is for you. Because you stay in control of that conversation.
3. ACKNOWLEDGE GRACEFULLY
While you may not like what a buyer has to say when they object to your proposal, they do have a right to their opinion. Acknowledge that. Thank them for what they have shared with you. When tackling an objection, move the conversation forward in a positive way by saying, “I hear what you’re saying and you’re smart to be concerned about that point.” Doing this, you show you are listening and considering their point of view with care. All people have a deep desire to feel heard and understood.
4. GO DIGGING
Well-considered questions do more than just help you keep a conversation going when buyer objection has been encountered. They also help you dig deeper and uncover the reasons for their objection. Remember: every buyer objection is a symptom of something deeper, rather than the root cause of why you’re not selling as much as you need to. If a customer wants a price in a hurry, be ready to ask, “Why is it important for you to get the price ahead of other important things?” Questions help you understand a problem more deeply because you gain perspective from someone else rather than relying on your very human desire to jump to conclusions in a fact-free way.
5. TELL A STORY
We make sense of the world through storytelling. That’s why case studies are so effective at addressing buyer objections. They tell a story where the buyer can see themselves in the problem that someone else had. So, when faced with a skeptical buyer, you can offer up a success story. For example: “The situation you’re dealing with is very much like the one that my most loyal customer had once…let me tell you about how we worked together to solve it.” Customers believe other customers. They see themselves in the solutions you’ve achieved together.
6. SET LIMITS
This last action point is really important and yet it’s one that gets overlooked a lot. Set limits on how many times you’re going to deal with a buyer’s objections to a sale. If you don’t, that buyer is only going to become further entrenched in their beliefs—even if those objections aren’t rooted by facts. Push too often and you’ll be seen as belligerent, sucking out all the oxygen needed for an open discussion. Instead, make your best case as skillfully as you can. No more than twice in the same interaction. If your prospect still objects to your case, recognize it’s time to change the subject or move on. End the meeting or reschedule with them, or with someone else.
I’ve shown you here how putting a stop to buyer objections is a fact-finding mission. So, write down the following on a stickie note and leave it where you’ll see it often: Stop. Pause. Acknowledge. Question. Respond. Limit. Focus on each of these with every prospect and you’ll get past more objections and see an acceleration in your sales.