MANY SALES PROFESSIONALS ARE DETERRED BY OBJECTIONS they encounter from clients. They either
perceive the door as shutting and slink away, or combatively try to wedge their foot, arm or nose through the
door as it appears to be closing. Yet successful sellers relish objections for the insights they provide and the
opportunity to continue dialog and even build commitment. Let's look at objections objectively.
Objections come in all shapes and sizes. Some examples of objections:
- "It's too expensive"
- "We tried that once."
- "Just send us some literature."
- "We don't use outside vendors anymore."
- "You're all about the same when it comes to this service. Why switch?"
Take a moment to analyze each objection. What insights does each give you about the customer or
prospect? Are they cost sensitive, time sensitive, scarred from a past experience, not convinced of their need for
your product or service, unclear on the technology, leery of new relationships or just slow to warm to you or your
program? Whatever the objection, embedded within it is valuable information.
When prospects share an objection, try to refrain from arguing or confronting them. Initially
your focus should be on understanding the objection from the point of view of your customer or prospect. This may
require repeating it, rephrasing or just paraphrasing it.
Understanding a customer's sensibilities gives you a clear way of addressing their needs,
soothing their ills and allaying their fears.
A simple "I see" or "Hmm" is noncommittal. It acknowledges their objection in a way that lets
them know it's been heard, without necessarily agreeing with it in a way that closes the door to future sales. If
you are still unclear on their objection, ask them to elaborate or ask a more directed question to probe for the
root the objection if it's still unclear to you.
Once you understand the objection you can now isolate it. "Is this the only objection?" Try to
reframe it in such a way that you can obviate the objection:
- "The cost isn't actually so high when broken down among number of users or when you
factor in the low cost of maintenance associated with your higher quality product."
- "Since you last tried your service or product, were you aware of recent advances in the
technology or processes associated with it?"
- "Are you aware of the benefits to using outside consultants, vendors or independent
sales organizations for your needs? There are several considerable advantages to
Often the objection can be rephrased so as to dissipate it and a solution can be offered in its place.
- "Interesting, past clients have found the opposite to be true."
- "(A Competitor) felt similarly before actually switching to our product. They then
realized a 60% jump in sales once they retained our services."
The most important point to remember about objections is to embrace them. They are usually an
honest expression of engagement and need. Your customer is stymied. Once you understand the objection and its
motivating cause, you are better able to respond to the objection in such a way that it bolsters the product or
service you're selling and garners their commitment to buy. Objection overruled!