Here are the six basic steps for handling objections or addressing questions and concerns. The system was popularized by the renown sales trainer J. Douglas Edwards. If followed it will almost always work in your favor during the objection process.
Step 1. Hear the objection out.
Do not interrupt, but listen entirely to the objection. Listen attentively with empathy and understanding. Give the prospect the opportunity to express his emotional concerns.
You have employed the Law of the Six by identifying your six top objections and you have developed and internalized bulletproof answers. However you must not be too quick to answer. Though you many have heard the objection one thousand times before, it is this prospects first time expressing his concerns for you.
Step 2. Repeat the objection back to the prospect
This is a critical step! This strategy often helps the prospect answer his own objection as he hears it repeated back to him. State the objection out loud in a kind, non-threatening way. When the prospect says, "it costs too much," repeat it back as a question: "It costs too much?" This method has several benefits.
- It makes your prospect feel important and understood
- It verifies you heard the objection
- By repeating the objection, you are in effect asking for more information.
Step 3. Question the objection
Remember the first objections you hear may be masking a larger objection. Ask for elaboration. "Mr. Prospect, let me clarify my thinking or let me be sure I understand you correctly. If it were not for (objection), then would you proceed forward today? Is that right?" Remain silent and let him answer.
Step 4. Answer the objection with your pre-planned response
Once your confident that you have a whole story behind this concern, you can state your pre-planned response with confidence.
Step 5. Confirm that the objection does not block the sale
You have answered the objection, but you now must confirm the objection is no longer a reason for the prospect not to become a buyer.
- That answers your question then, doesn’t it Mr. Prospect?" Or "that makes sense to you, doesn’t it?"
- If the prospect is not satisfied with your answer, now is the time to know. You cannot move forward and close until you are certain the issues are satisfied. If the prospect is satisfied, move to Step 6.
Step 6. Close
It is important that you understand handling objections and closing are events that are occurring simultaneously. You overcome the objection and then move to the close.
- “Well then Mr. Prospect, do you have any additional questions before beginning the paperwork?”
- Prospects answers, "No"
- “Congratulations! I’m excited for you. By the way, will it be yours or your company name appearing on the agreements?"
The Final Word
The prepared salesperson should never loose a sale because of a customer’s objection.
Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers was on to the most triumphant coaches in football history.
His secret to success? Over preparation.
Most professional events are won during the last two minutes of the game. While practicing, the Packers played five quarters, not the usual four. During the final quarter of the game when the opposing team began to war down, the Packers exceeded the competition because they were mentally and physically prepared to go the extra mile.
You must be overly prepared to win at the objector’s game. Objections happen during the final minutes of the selling game, so its not the time for you to wear down. Anticipate your objections, prepared your answers, internalize and memorize your reply, and you will move to the ranks of super achiever.