How ironic it is that the more we try to overcome resistance, the more we actually create it.
You know what I mean….our prospect raises an objection, and the first thing we do is think about how we can neutralize it by cleverly overcoming it.
Like many people who sell, when we hear a tough objection, we immediately panic and start thinking “Roadblock ahead!” But trying to counter objections by selling harder really can lose you the sale.
My article shows you that thinking about “concerns” rather than “objections” will not only help you learn your prospects’ truth but will also decrease your stress level.
Traditional approaches to selling teach us that we’re suppose to “counter” or “get past” or “overcome” objections. Why? Because we’ve already decided that our prospect should buy what we have to offer. So we try to convince them that what they’re telling us shouldn’t matter.
“Objections” or “Concerns”
The problem is, that’s where you often lose them, because reacting to “objections” almost inevitably lets prospects pigeonhole you as “salesperson”. Think about it for a moment. When prospects raise an objection and you cleverly dismiss it, what often happens? They come up with even more objections. When you dismiss those, they may suddenly remember that they have another appointment, or that they have to make an important call. Or they may agree to your offer….and then a day or two later you get a message that they’re not going to go forward after all. That’s probably the most demoralizing outcome of all, because you thought you “had” that sale, and they’ve reneged on you.
What’s happening here?
It’s about sales pressure. When you’re so focused on making the sale that you counter a prospect’s objections, you’re pressuring them. It’s that simple.
I’d like to share with you a different perspective on how to view objections.
Objections aren’t roadblocks, red flags, or stop signs. They’re an opportunity to learn more about your prospect’s truth so you and they can decide whether the solution you’re offering can solve their problem or issue. In fact, we should probably stop using the term “objections” entirely and start talking about “concerns”, because that’s what objections really are. But for you to be able to look at objections this way, you have to let go of the traditional goal of selling, which is to make the sale.
When we adopt the mindset that objections are another way to learn about a prospect’s truth, we stop panicking and falling into the trap of pressuring them that chases them away. When we respond to objections in a way that invites them to share more about their situation with us, we sustain and enhance the relationship of mutual trust and openness we’ve shared so far. When we don’t fall into the traditional “I’ve got to rescue this sale” reaction, we free ourselves to continue the process of discovering whether we can help solve a problem.
Here’s another advantage of reframing how you view objections-they give you another opportunity to learn whether your prospect is a match for what you have to offer. When you stop trying to overcome objections and just listen, you may hear that there really is a problem around whether your product or service is a fit for them. In that case, you can talk further, or you may decide it would be best to wish them well and move on. This means that you can make better use of your time.
“This all sounds great”, you’re probably thinking. “But how do I actually do it?”
Here is a common objection and how you can respond in a way that avoids introducing sales pressure and open the conversation to more exploration of your prospect’s truth.
“Your price is too high”
Traditional sales approaches tell you to defend your pricing or to deny that it’s too high. Consider this response instead:
“You are right, it can be perceived as high, especially if you haven’t had a chance to experience the solution yet. The last thing I want to do is to have you feel any pressure from me, that I’m trying to persuade you otherwise. Maybe it might help if we took a look at the core issues this should solve for you and then identify what the return will be. That might provide you with a broader perspective on the pricing, would you be open to that?”
By inviting the other person to tell you more, instead of challenging or denying how they view things, you’re validating their viewpoint and reopening the conversation around the idea of why they feel the price is high. By not trying to counter the “objection,” you allow the dialogue to move back to a discussion that centers around whether you’re a good match for each other.
If you consider a different mindset that looks at “objections” as “concerns” you too may find that they can turn into gateways instead of roadblocks.