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‘Objection your Honour!’ Every courtroom drama always has a scene involving a side objecting a statement. And like a courtroom drama, as a business pitching for a sale you have to manage the objection well and punctually, because with every sales pitch, the prospective buyer will not make it easy for you, they want a deal as you do.

In my previous Sales blogs (Part 1 and Part 2) I went through approaching a prospective business to sell to, making contact and gaining key pieces of information in order to pitch appropriately.

This blog goes through objections, how to manage them and achieve the best outcome for your sales pipeline.

A sales objection, when it comes to negotiating, is an open declaration by the prospective client that they do not want to purchase your good or service. The reasons for declining a purchase may be genuine, false or conditional, and they aren’t always hard no’s; they can sometimes lead to more opportunities for you in the long run.

How to manage an objection

Maintain your composure

Unsuccessful sales people/directors often interrupt the customer when handling objections in the sales process. Thinking that you have to quickly answer an objection isn’t always correct. Talking faster could come across false and your potential customer could distrust you, stopping the sale straight away. If you keep calm, you will build confidence and trust with your potential buyer.

Sidestepping

If you have planned properly, you may know what objections may be coming your way (in Sales Blog 1). Sidestepping is a method whereby you skip past an objection the first time you’ve heard it. This is used to find out quickly whether an objection is false. By sidestepping you can move onto another line of conversation and see again if the same objection arises or other objections also come to the fore.

Tip: Keep a mental note of the objection(s) as they present themselves as you will have to answer them later on.

Asking a question

There are two schools of thought when asking questions during a sales objection. Some say you shouldn’t ask questions and some suggest you should. Approach with caution and judge this on a case-to-case basis. From my experience I have found that steadily asking more ‘why’ styled questions on the back of an objection, eventually leads to the reason for an objection.

In any case, questioning an objection is vital in providing valuable feedback for yourself and gaining information that will help your sale and future sales alike.

Tip: Questions asked to you can be asked directly back to the prospective client. For example, if a prospective client objects based on ‘price’, you may respond by asking ‘what they would be willing to pay?’

Validate their concerns, it’s real to them.

So, you’re doing well so far, it might be the first time in your buyer’s life that they’ve felt truly heard by a sales person. That’s how rare and difficult pitching can be, the potential customer will respect you for being genuine, showing empathy and trying to help them.

Address the objection

Your next step of the sales process is to answer and address the ‘real’ objection(s), making it disappear in your buyer’s mind.

If your buyer voices other objections on top of the initial objection, chances are the later objection(s) are the ‘real’ objection(s) you need to overcome.

So, with your knowledge on the ‘real objections’, your goal is to make them receptive to a different way of thinking. Without this critical step, your efforts will fall short.

e.g. ‘I don’t want to start another programme until after next quarter. We’re too busy right now’ Reframe that objection from ‘bad timing,’ to ‘perfect timing.’

Confirm, close it and move on

Don’t dwell on the objection, move on from where you have left off in your sales process and carry on calmly, confidently, and gaining trust along the way.

‘So, you can see how it can work for you?’

After working in sales for over 25 years and with great experience behind me, there has been times I haven’t come out with the sale. Every sale is different we win some, we lose some. The key here is we only get better with practice.

Tip: Think of objections around your product or service and now come up with great answers for those objections, you would have heard many of them before I’m sure. Now add new ones in from new competitors and everchanging technology.

There are six different types of objections: so plan your answers around these:

  • Need,
  • Alternative Sources,
  • Price,
  • Bad Experience,
  • Product,
  • Time.

If you would like to talk to us about getting to the heart of sales, or sales questioning we can help you. Please contact us on,bgp_team@chester.ac.uk.

Jo Vernon
Business Development Manager