Mar 132007
 

Quick, raise your hand if you look forward to customer objections.

Congratulations to those who did for, as seasoned professionals know, objections are a gir… salesperson’s best friend. It is natural of course to dislike, even abhor speed bumps and dread the inevitable objections that prospects raise – unless one is the president of a debating society – but before doing so out of habit pose a few questions to yourself.
Don’t you have objections before you make a purchase? Don’t you need reassurance before you part with your money? Do you ask for a better deal or even haggle? Doesn’t eager questioning imply you are getting closer to making a decision? Then why dislike the natural progression of the sales cycle?

Objection means interest, engagement and frankly a potential sale. A customer who is not raising the bar or posing questions is not likely to work with you.

The experienced professional expects objections and moreover looks forward to them.

-Be ready! Customer objections (for your industry or product) are probably not as varied as you may think. Be prepared for them, make notes of past objections you have heard and review them periodically.

-Do try to remove them proactively. Since we know that they are inevitably coming it is prudent to begin tackling them sooner rather than later. “Horatio, before we go any further, you have to agree with me that we will not be the lowest cost provider in the market. After all, you want to make sure that we remain healthy and viable business partners of yours for years, don’t you?”

-Reassure the customer that their objections are normal, been encountered by you before and that you appreciate their thoughtfulness. Furthermore, despite the objections having been raised before, the people bringing them up are now happy customers of yours.

-Ask exact questions to exactly understand the reason behind the objection. In order to answer the underlying question one needs to understand its extent and to whom they really belong.

-Agree and deflect. Some might liken it to verbal judo: “Horatio, I admit that we will not always be the fastest to deliver, but do you agree that you will not always need delivery 6:00 am the next day?”

The seasoned sales professional is gratified that customers have questions about products and services which they are considering and look forward to assisting customers with their decision.

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