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Types of Objections

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Types of Objections
Preparing for Objections

Learning how to handle objections is key, especially when many of the same ones occur regularly.

There are six strategies that can help you handle virtually any objection.

View the objection as a question

Many times salespeople hear an objection as a personal attack. Instead, an objection such as “Why are your prices so high?” should be considered a question.

That allows a more positive conversation rather than a defensive one. [1]

Respond to the objection with a question

As in every step of the selling process, asking the right questions is critical, and handling objections is no exception.

Questions, such as “Can you share you concerns in this area?” or “Is there another way to look at this to make it work for you?” are good ways to engage prospects in dialogue that will help you better solve their problems. [2]

Restate the objection before answering

It’s a good idea to check for understanding and demonstrate that you are listening by restating your prospect’s objection.

For example, “So what you’re saying is you’re concerned about the capacity during peak periods” is a good way not only to acknowledge the objection but also to give you time to formulate your response. [3]


Take a pause before responding

Many times salespeople “oversell” when they are answering an objection. When a prospect raises an objection, stop, listen, and pause for a few seconds.

This shows the prospect that you are legitimately listening to her objection, not just trying to sell. [4]

Use Testimonials

Don’t avoid answering an objection. In fact, objections are the perfect time to share testimonials. For example, “I have another customer who was concerned about the turnaround time. He found that not only were we able to deliver on time, we were slightly under budget.” [5]

Respond to an objection by letting your customers speak for you. [6]

Never argue with the prospect

The customer is always right, is always true when it comes to handling objections. It’s never a good idea to disagree or argue with the customer, even when he is wrong.

Relationships are built on trust, so it’s best to use an objection to build the trust, not break it. [7]

Product Objection
Sometimes prospects voice an objection as it relates to the product, called a product objection.

Comments such as “This isn’t as good as your competitor’s product” or “I don’t want to take that kind of risk” are a reflection of a concern about the performance of the product. For complex purchases, prospects may not fully understand all the functions of the product due to lack of familiarity.

Listening is an important skill to use, especially when a prospect voices a product objection.

It’s a good idea to handle product objections by describing warranties, using testimonials, getting the prospect engaged in a product demonstration, or presenting industry or third-party research to support your claims. [9]

The following are things you should concentrate on doing when you are handling objections:

Do maintain a positive attitude and be enthusiastic.
Do remember that objections are a natural part of the sales process and should not be considered as a personal affront.
Do maintain good eye contact, even when under fire.
Do listen closely to an objection.
Do acknowledge the objection and then give your point of view.
Do prepare to prove your position with references, and documentation.

The following are things you should avoid doing when you are handling objections:

Don’t knock the competition.
Don’t say anything negative about your product, service or company.
Don’t tell the customer that they are wrong.
Don’t tell the customer, “You don’t understand.”
Don’t argue with a customer.
Don’t lie to a customer.
Don’t be defensive. That’s not a positive approach to an objection.
Don’t let an objection go by without an answer. [8]

Source Objection
Some prospects voice objections about the company or about doing business with you as a salesperson.

This is called a source objection. While this type of objection doesn’t happen often, it does happen so it’s important to know how to handle it. Source objections as they relate to the company may be voiced with comments about the stability or financial health of the company or how the company does business. View this is an opportunity for you to help your prospect understand your company’s strengths. When a prospect has a source objection as it relates to you as a salesperson, it might not be as obvious to overcome.

Price Objection
It is important to ask probing questions to really understand the nature of this objection.

Many prospects use the price objection as a negotiating ploy to determine how much flexibility there is in the pricing plan. Others use it as a way to object due to budget constraints. It’s best to always be prepared for the price objection. The bottom line on the price objection is that people buy when they see the value.

Customers Assign Value to a Product or Service

For example, value is what dictates that a shack on the beach in Monterey, California, is worth more than a similar home in Omaha, Nebraska. Or in another example, value is what causes customers to pay more for an iPod than a comparable MP3 player.

Customers perceive that the design and function of an iPod delivers more value, even at a higher price, than comparable products made by other manufacturers. This is the essence of value.

Adjustments for Purchases

When salespeople really listen to customers, Reeves says that they actually hear customers saying, “I don’t see the value, and if you can convince me there is value, there is return, then I just might pay.” [12]

Even when budgets are tight, companies make adjustments to purchase the products or services that they find compelling and can help them profitably grow their business.

Many Salespeople Believe that Price is a Barrier

The truth is that price is not the driving factor in most purchasing decisions. More important, pricing shouldn’t be determined based on your product cost. To be successful, you need to understand more about the value your product or service is delivering to the customer. It’s the value that should determine the price, not product cost, or even prospect objections. [13]



Be prepared for the price objection

Preparation will make you look at the product or service through the eyes of the prospect and will help you establish the value.

Timing Is Everything
Timing is everything when it comes to objections.

While a prospect may raise an objection at any time during the selling process, it’s best to keep the pricing discussion until the end of your sales presentation rather than discussing it early on. The reason for this is simple: it gives you the opportunity to talk about value rather than price.

Think about the process of buying a new car

First, you go into the showroom and talk to a salesperson, then you go for a test drive and really fall in love with the car-how it handles, the smooth ride, the sound system, the GPS system, the smell of the leather seats.

While you probably looked at the sticker price before you got into the car, you don’t really start talking about price until after you determined that this car has what you want. At this point, the value has been established, which makes it easier for the salesperson to sell on value than to simply sell on price. [14]

Money Objection
The money objection, sometimes called the budget objection, relates to the prospect’s financial ability to make the purchase.

While some budget objections are true, when the prospect really doesn’t have the means to purchase the product or service, it’s important to avoid these types of objections with proper qualifying. Even if you do your homework before you begin the selling process, there is still a good chance that a prospect may present a money objection.

In some cases, the prospect’s budget may not be large enough to accommodate the cost of the product. You may determine that this is a prospect for the future when his business is large enough to afford your offering.

When prospects can’t see the value for the price, they object by saying either the price is too high or they can’t afford it.

Satisfied Objection
Many times prospects will object with what is called the“I’m already satisfied” objection.

This can be a more challenging objection than price because it might include a hidden objection, an objection that is not openly stated by the prospect but is an obstacle in the way of making the sale. In this situation, a prospect doesn’t state his concern about the purchase. Instead, he might ask trivial questions to avoid the issue or he might not ask any questions at all. [16]

The best way to handle hidden objections is to bring them to the surface.

In other words, ask questions to get your prospect to talk openly about her objections.

If she says no simply continue to ask questions until you are able to identify the true objection. [17]

Anticipation is best, to avoid the, I’m already satisfied objection. According to sales maven Jeffrey Gitomer, engaging the prospect is key.

He preaches that there is a huge difference between customers being satisfied and being ecstatic and profitable. The secret is in engaging the prospect and talking about the value that other customers have received. According to him, when a prospect is satisfied with their current supplier, it’s the perfect time to make a sale.

Think about It Objection
While the “I have to think about it” objection might sound like an objection, it is actually a stall.

This objection usually occurs when a prospect isn’t completely comfortable with you and your product or service. This is the classic stall tactic and is a signal for you to build your relationship. Prospects usually use this objection when they are trying to mask some fear or risk that they have about committing to the sale. [18]
Just as with other objections, asking questions is important to understand why the prospect is stalling and what kind of information will help him feel more comfortable.

In reality, this objection is one that is a signal for you to work on improving your relationship with the prospect:


KEY TAKEAWAYS

There are six strategies that will help you handle any objection:

View the objection as a question
Respond to the objection with a question
Restate the objection before answering the objection
Take a pause before responding
Use testimonials and past experiences
Never argue with the customer

There are six major types of objections:

Product
Source
Price
Money
Need
Thinking about it (which is actually a stall)

Exercises
Choose a type of car that you might like to own. Review it on a car company’s Web site to identify the elements that create value for the car. How does the value relate to the price?




Visit a retail store that engages in personal selling. Assume you are a customer for the product and present an objection to the salesperson. Record how she responds to it. Is it an effective handling of your objection? If so, why? If not, what you would suggest to make it more effective?

Bibliography
[1] Pam Lontos, “10 Strategies for Dealing with Objections,” FrogPond,http://www.frogpond.com/articles.cfm?articleid=plontos12 (accessed October 24, 2009).

[2] Keith Rosen, “Respond to your Prospect’s Objections,” AllBusiness,http://www.AllBusiness.com/sales/selling-techniques-active-listening/4019422-1.html(accessed May 16, 2010).

[3] Pam Lontos, “10 Strategies for Dealing with Objections,” FrogPond,http://www.frogpond.com/articles.cfm?articleid=plontos12 (accessed October 24, 2009).

[4] Felice Philip Verrecchia, “How to Identify and Overcome Objections,” Edward Lowe Peerspectives, August 11, 2004,http://www.bankseta.org.za/downloads/faisII/benefits/objections.pdf (accessed October 24, 2009).

[5] Felice Philip Verrecchia, “How to Identify and Overcome Objections,” Edward Lowe Peerspectives, August 11, 2004,http://www.bankseta.org.za/downloads/faisII/benefits/objections.pdf (accessed October 24, 2009). [6] Bob Bly, “Overcoming Objections,” http://bly.com/blog/general/overcoming-objections (accessed January 6, 2010).

[7] Felice Philip Verrecchia, “How to Identify and Overcome Objections,” Edward Lowe Peerspectives, August 11, 2004,http://www.bankseta.org.za/downloads/faisII/benefits/objections.pdf (accessed October 24, 2009).

[8] Felice Philip Verrecchia, “How to Identify and Overcome Objections,” Edward Lowe Peerspectives, August 11, 2004, http://www.edwardlowe.org/index.elf?page=sserc&storyid=6407&function=story (accessed October 24, 2009).

[9] Charles M. Futrell, Fundamentals of Selling: Customers for Life through Service, 10th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 385.

[10] Leslie M. Schultz, “Guaranteed Advantage,” Inc., June 1, 1984,http://www.inc.com/magazine/19840601/7042.html (accessed October 24, 2009).
[11] Charles M. Futrell, Fundamentals of Selling: Customers for Life through Service, 10th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 386

[12] Rick Weber, “How to Overcome the Price Objection,” Trailer/Body Builders, January 1, 2003, http://trailer-bodybuilders.com/mag/trucks_overcome_price_objection (accessed November 7, 2009).

[13] Tom Reilly, “What Is a Fair Price?” Tom Reilly Training,http://www.tomreillytraining.com/CPO%20article%205.htm (accessed November 11, 2009).

[14] Lance Baird, “Overcoming the Price Objection,” B2B Insights Blog, October 1, 2009,http://www.godfrey.com/blog/post/2009/10/01/276 (accessed November 7, 2009).

[15] Jack Carroll, “Your Price is too High-Not!” Inc., December 7, 1998,http://www.inc.com/articles/1998/12/14304.html (accessed November 22, 2009).
[16] Charles M. Futrell, Fundamentals of Selling: Customers for Life through Service, 10th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 378.

[17] Pam Lontos, “10 Strategies for Dealing with Objections,” FrogPond,http://www.frogpond.com/articles.cfm?articleid=plontos12 (accessed October 24, 2009).

[18] Jeffrey Gitomer, “I’d Like to Think about It-and Other Sales Stalls,” video, June 22, 2009, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCyf8af78A8&feature=related (accessed October 24, 2009).