Jan 07

8 tips for handling customer objections during the sales proces

Posted by Caroline Longstaffe at Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Customers’ objections are a normal part of the sales process. Here are Integratis’ 8 tips to develop the skills and strategies to handle objections effectively and be more successful in selling.

sales skills, handling objections, listening skills

1. Confidence

Confidence is critical in all aspects of the sales process but especially when handling objections. People assess your confidence by your body language in 3 ways:

  • Your Manner: remain calm, welcoming the concern.

  • Your Expression: don’t panic or look alarmed but equally don’t be dismissive or overconfident.

  • Your Tone of Voice: remain serious and unwavering, conveying your wish to resolve the customer’s concerns.

2. Listening skills

Never respond to an objection until you are sure you understand it. Listen attentively, it will show your sincerity and desire to understand the concern. Let the customer do the talking! Make eye contact; be aware of your facial expression, posture, and stance. Take notes and refer to them. Stay focused on the customer; be sensitive to their feelings, noting their body language, and facial expressions. Don’t interrupt but try to summarize when appropriate using your notes to show you were listening.

3. Acknowledge the customer’s concern

Never ignore the objection always acknowledge it. Be sincere and empathize, go with the flow, not against it. Mentally walk with the customer. If applicable use reference stories and validate the concern.

4. Question

Ask questions to clarify your grasp of the customer’s concern. Make this dialogue two-way, verifying you both share and understand the objection and its’ root cause. Use open questions to help you to explore and probe. For example: “Who else do you think would be concerned about this?” Use closed questions to help you get straight to the point: For example: “This sounds as though it’s a big issue for you right now, am I right?”

5. Restate

Restating often uncovers a hidden objection because it shows you care and encourages customers to talk further, revealing other concerns. First paraphrase the initial objection to reinforce your sincerity. Then summarise the subsequent dialogue focusing on how you have clarified the concern. Finally state the real objection, as agreed to by the customer during the discussion reconfirming your understanding of the issue. At this point consider a ‘trial close’ - “if I was able to put your mind at ease on this issue, would that mean that you are comfortable with the remainder of what we have discussed?”

6. Respond

sales skills, listen then respond when handling objections

 Responding is especially critical if the objection is linked to a competitive comparison. A good response can demonstrate that you can do all that the competition can do….and more! Be confident and positive in your response or agree to return to the issue later; either later in the meeting (whenever possible), or in a later meeting (in which case you should set this meeting up before closing the call. Then confirm that the customer is satisfied and comfortable with your response.

7. Appropriate responses

If the customer is sceptical provide proof regarding what you have told them and always answer any misunderstandings. If there are product concerns, emphasize product benefits and value. If it appears that a decision is not going to be made create a sense of urgency, stress the business benefits and always check you are talking to the right person!

8. Know when not to respond

Don’t respond if you don’t fully understand the objection, keep asking questions until you do. If you realize that you will need to address the concern later in the meeting, seek the customer’s agreement to do so. When you don’t have a convincing response agree a plan with the customer to address the issue later, checking you have grasped the main objection and have addressed all other concerns. If you have to adopt this approach, make sure you make an appointment to get back to the customer.

Maybe you have further sales objection handling techniques you would like to share? We would love to hear from you!


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