Objections are a normal part of everyday communications.
Whether we are engaged in selling a product, service, or quite simply in a conversation with another person, we are often confronted with situations that require us to respond to someone who does not share our thoughts and ideas and does not agree with us.
We are so immersed with our objective as sales agents to play the numbers game and go for as many calls as possible and hopefully hit a good percentage of positive responses. We retire at the end of the day feeling exhausted from the effort with just a few positive results. What a waste of valuable time and effort.
The Lead Generation – Call Guide Methodology article in this website offers a practical and direct way of communicating with your prospects which includes examples on how objections can be handled. This article on Reducing Objection Opportunities adds a new dimension and provides a thorough understanding of objection handling. It is also the foundation by which all succeeding articles will be referred to. We will be going deeper into a critical component of call effectiveness. Mastering this skill allows you to convert each call to a productive call.
Imagine a situation where the prospect suddenly opens the door for the sales agent to be engaged in a discussion on the merits and benefits of setting an appointment with your client. There will be a great deal of information exchange that requires the sales agent to deal with a lot of issues and concerns that will be raised by the prospect. The prospect is willing and open but first, the sales agent must satisfy the prospect’s curiosity.
Issues or concerns that were not resolved to the satisfaction of the prospect masked as objections are not really difficult to handle. The key thing to remember is that objection opportunities can be reduced and easily managed.
There are three main ways to deal with objections:
1. Good preparation
2. Reducing the opportunities for objections to occur
3. Effectively handling the objections that do occur
Reducing Objection Opportunities
Opportunities for objections can be reduced by acquiring a decent amount of quality information about your prospect to begin with. Good prospect information enables you to anticipate their objections. It allows you to take an intelligent approach and it prepares you mentally. You can adjust, fine-tune, and improve your call guide and tailor fit the delivery of your message precisely to your prospect’s profile. Doing this creates a favorable environment for an open discussion and a stronger bond between the sales agent and the prospect that leads to an appointment setting close.
Reducing the opportunities for objections to occur
Tailor fit your message to your prospect’s needs, conditions and limitations. Are you citing an experience from a satisfied customer in the same industry as that of your prospect? Are you providing information appropriate to your prospect’s needs? Are you aware of the limitations your prospects may have on the product or service offering? You need to be able to provide timely, relevant and accurate information to your prospect to reduce the opportunity for an objection to occur.
Realistically speaking not all objections can be anticipated. Experience tells us that a call can be well-planned, expertly delivered but a prospect can still raise a lead generation objection.
Effectively handling the objection
Let’s break this issue further down into different parts. There are two types of objections – the real and the false objection.
Prospects can raise “real” objections but they also can raise “false” objections. And at the very core of the matter is learning to identify and handle the real objections, not spending a lot of time attempting to answer false ones.
To be consistently successful in closing appointment setting, it is real objections that must be handled to the prospect’s satisfaction. So, a logical question is, what’s real and what’s false?
From a practical standpoint, it is probably best to assume at first that every objection is based on an actual or real concern/reason/issue in the prospect’s mind. Some concerns, of course, are more important than others.
A concern may simply involve misunderstanding. But, until the misunderstandings are cleared up, the concern is a real issue as the prospect sees it.
As already stated, it is probably best to assume that “behind” every objection is an actual/real concern. When that assumption is made, it logically follows that objections are real objections have the same basis in the prospect’s mind.
That is, a false objection, like a real objection, is prompted by an actual/real concern. But, what the prospect says often “masks” the real concern. It can be a stall or put-off. It can “hide” a resistance to change.
Since many lead generation sales agents accept these stalls or false objections and stop their efforts to make the appointment setting, some prospects get in the habit of saying the first thing that comes into their mind. We want, and need to be different. We want to help the prospect think through and further examine his responses and objections so that our idea gets a fair evaluation and that if it is good for his business, he will agree to our idea.
Ignoring false objections is a mistake because it leaves the real concern unanswered. Pursuing them at “face value” is also an error because it leads nowhere, and, it neither closes the appointment setting for your Inside Sales or Outside Sales
So, what can be done? The answer is exactly the same thing as is done with real objections. Specifically, this means you must take the lead in examining the objection. Doing so has practical usefulness because upon examinations, “false” objections tend to change rapidly or disappear.
Skillfully examining a false objection often leads to the actual issue. Then it is possible to address the important concern – to handle the real issue that is troubling the prospect and holding up the same.
False objections should not be ignored. Behind many false objections is an actual concern. Without examination, the objections will stand, and the real issue that prompted it cannot be answered. Unanswered concern results in lost opportunities.
The next series of lead generation articles will deal with the process and steps to objections handling for effective appointment setting. It will provide examples on how to respond and hopefully cover all the many different scenarios encountered in an appointment setting effort. Please read more about Lead Generation.