You look at the buyer and they toss out some objections. Now what? You have to be prepared and have a plan for handling it professionally and intelligently. This step could be the most important of the sales call.
- We've been told that we should expect to hear an objection or two whenever we make a sales presentation to a buyer. It's a part of the sales process, right? Successful salespeople take the time to plan, prepare, and anticipate what those questions or issues could be. We always need to be ready. I've been in sales my whole career, I've made thousands of sales calls. For those I've trained, I've preached about the importance of being prepared and knowing what to anticipate. However, even to this day, when a buyer does raise an objection to me, deep down I want to say oh come on, give me a break.
You know why? It's because we're human. We're excited to make a presentation and we want to make a sale. The reality is, we can feel that objections are a negative response and often, handling them isn't easy. Yes, even for the most seasoned professionals, myself included, handling objections can test the best of us. However, what you do next and how you respond is either going to send you on a productive path or one out of the buyer's office.
So, although we want to throw our hands up in frustration, here are a few tips that've worked for me. First, take a deep breath and gather your thoughts. A knee-jerk response rarely comes across well. I've found that writing down the objection on my notepad enables me to stop and gives me a few moments to think and then respond appropriately. Then ask some follow-up questions to get some clarification. Make sure you're hearing exactly what the buyer is saying.
This is a situation where you have to listen, look at the buyer, and not talk. I kidded about throwing your arms up in despair, but I've heard from some buyers who've said that a few salespeople do handle objections almost like that. You have to be calm, balanced, and patient. Also, never make it a debate with your buyer. This is the surefire way to lose a sale and more than likely a customer. If you argue, interrupt, or get defensive, it will be a tactic that has no chance for a positive result.
Next, be confident with your response. Take your time and be 100% honest with your answer. Sugar-coating an issue, sidestepping it, or coming up with a reply that just appeases the buyer will guarantee to come back to haunt you. Finally, buyers do make mistakes or misinterpret information, so it's okay to disagree with an objection that you feel is misguided. However, you have to do that tactfully. The next time you face an objection, remember that it is a part of the sales process and something you should expect.
It's essential that you handle that moment professionally. Gather your thoughts, discuss it, never argue, answer the buyer's questions, and allay their concerns. How well you handle the objection is what can make this the most important part of your sales call.