Ever heard the saying: “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”? Too often, sales professionals fear objections. More savvy professionals invite customer objections so they can resolve them in a consultative manner, which helps to strengthen their solutions and the relationships overall. In other words, objections are second chances to create value for your clients or prospects.
Customer Objections can take many forms:
“I am happy with my current provider.”
“Your solution is too expensive.”
“We’re looking for someone who specializes in our area.”
“Your performance has not been consistent.”
There are skills that can be used to make these objections work in your favor.
First, acknowledge and empathize with customers without agreeing. Don’t repeat negative words or concepts — “Yes, we are very expensive, but …” — instead, connect with customers by letting them know they’ve been heard — “I hear that you are concerned with budget …”
Next, use open-ended questions to identify the real issues. Then, tailor your responses to those issues, answering the customer’s true concerns. Be specific and concise.
Get Client’s To Share Their Objections With You
Some clients also confuse objection and confrontation, preferring not to voice any complaints. While the resulting conversation might be more pleasant, the outcome for the sales professional is bound to be disappointing. You can’t respond to or resolve an issue if you don’t know it’s a concern.
At every point along the way, check in with the customer, asking for feedback to determine how well your response satisfies the objection. The entire dialogue needs to be interactive; otherwise, you will sound defensive. More importantly, you are likely to miss important clues about underlying concerns and buying signals related to future needs.
Six Critical Skills To Use in Every Customer Dialogue
Richardson has identified 6 critical skills that are critical in every customer dialogue:
- Presence: Projecting confidence, conviction, and interest in body language and voice. Being open without being defensive
- Relating: Using acknowledgment, rapport, and empathy to connect with customers and establish bonds
- Questioning: Exploring the underlying needs and concerns, using an open-ended approach
- Listening: Understanding both the content and the emotional message being delivered. Active listening lets clients know that they are being heard and that you are fully engaged in the dialogue
- Positioning: Presenting insights, information, and solutions in persuasive ways to shape client perceptions
- Checking: Eliciting feedback to make sure both parties heard the same message and agree on what the key issues are. This is crucial for keeping the dialogue on track and interactive
With today’s increasingly difficult sales environment and the rise of the ultra-informed customer, sales professionals need strong objection resolution skills. Equally important is to consider objections not as threatening or disruptive, but as opportunities to further position value, giving sales professionals additional chances to position their solutions, based on newly identified needs, or to set straight misperceptions and wrong or outdated information.
Instead of fearing objections, a bigger fear should be not hearing objections that all customers surely have at various points in their buying cycles. So remember — an objection is another shot at making the best impression you can in those critical selling situations.
Click on the link below to learn more about how Richardson’s Customized Sales Training Solutions can help you train your team to overcome customer objections.