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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How to Counter Objections BY ADRIAN MILLER DECEMBER 6, 2011 • REPRINTS

Let’s face the facts. If you’re involved in sales, objections are simply a fact of life. While you can’t avoid this inherent frustration altogether, you definitely have options on how to deal with them. And it’s truly how you deal with them that will ultimately determine your success as a salesperson.

Undeniably, objections can throw you off course and make you want to pack up and head home. However, it’s solely up to you to view them as either permanent halts or mere detours on the road to making a sale. What does an objection mean to you?

Sure, you can look at it as your cue to find a new prospect. But if you delve a little deeper you might just discover that the person who you’re trying to sell to is attempting to gain more information, more confidence in what you’re offering or more selling points. This is often the case when a prospect has to present what you’re offering to other people involved in the decision-making process.

In other words, an objection might be a prospect’s way of asking you to better explain what makes you different and why doing business with you would equate to some sort of improvement in his or her situation.

By changing your mindset and rethinking objections as simply opportunities to present more information, you definitely up your chances of winning a sale. Here are some basic strategies for handling these situations:

Take a deep breath. Getting thrown off and discouraged by objections is often a knee-jerk reaction by many salespeople. It’s understandable and perfectly natural. We’re all taught as children to take “no” as an answer instead of nagging and continuing to ask for what we want. Well, salespeople have to learn how to quiet those old tapes playing in their heads. A “no” might be a veiled request for more information, and if you immediately retreat, you will be shutting the door on a potential sale.

Acknowledge hesitancy. You need to demonstrate that you “get” where they’re coming from when it comes to an objection. By stating that you understand how they feel, you show that you are listening respectfully, not tuning them out, and can actually empathize with their hesitancy.

How can you articulate your sensitivity? Here are a few statements that will help you keep the sales door open:

“Mr. Prospect, I understand how you feel.”
“I understand what you are saying.”
“We have other clients that have felt the same way.”
These three statements will go a long way to making your prospect feel more comfortable and engaged with what you’re trying to say. Remember, the goal is to maintain rapport and not to alienate or cause anxiety.

Restate your value proposition. Once you’ve patiently acknowledged and responded to the objection with a benefits statement, you’ve earned yourself the right to resell. This is the pivotal point and critical moment in dealing with an objection. Don’t stop and trail off after your resell statement. You’ll only confuse your prospect on what they should do next. Instead, take control of the dialog by asking a question. Word your question accordingly so that you get a positive response or at least will know what the answer will be. With this strategy, you should now have the opportunity to resell features and benefits.

So that’s it: a simple road map for how to handle and hopefully overcome objections.

Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.

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