Sales leaders often identify ‘handling objections’ as one of the top 5 skills they want their team to learn, so we thought it might be a good idea to share some actionable pointers so you can tackle them in-house.
How do your team feel about objections?
We will kick off with this, as mindset is so important and how your team feels about handling objections is almost always overlooked.
Are your team ‘avoiding’ ‘objections’ as they see them as conflict? Are they worried about objections?
In personality profiling terms, people avoiding objections are likely to be people pleasers and prefer everyone to like them. They avoid any type of conflict and want to keep everyone happy. They will put their head in the sand and pretend all is OK.
If this is the case, then it’s highly likely they:
- will not be investigating enough in their discovery (they don’t want to unearth objections).
- will not be reading the client properly as they do not want to pick up on anything negative.
- ignore alarm bells (signs from the clients, things they do and say) because they do not want to tackle them.
Consequence of this:
- Pipeline full of maybes but the client is really screaming no.
- Doing a lot of work with no outcomes.
How do people pleasers avoid possible objections?
- At the time of engagement, they do not interweave discovery or ‘educational’ questions.
- They do not raise the client’s questions, concerns or areas that are unclear.
- They do not put the clients’ mind at ease, get client buy in and ensure the client is confident that your solution is the right one for them.
They instead push their gut feeling down and steamroll through with their presentation.
As a sales leader, what can do?
Be open to conversations about roadblocks
It’s important to welcome conversations in your team about client roadblocks, ensure they are comfortable sharing concerns, even if you feel you have covered the topic multiple times.
Your reps need to feel convinced your solution is what the client needs.
Otherwise: Rep not convinced = client not convinced.
Watch your language
Do not bag out the individual team member or the client. No ‘difficult client’. No ‘goodness we’ve told them 100 times’. Just empathy and compassion. A client can pick up on someone feeling annoyed or frustrated. After all, it’s our fault as the ‘seller’ if they don’t understand – not theirs! Our job is to make the sale easy – not hard!
Weekly meetings are a wonderful time to discuss objections.
- Ask each rep to state common objections/roadblocks they’ve experienced.
- Produce a FAQ manual and keep adding to it
- Practice scenarios daily, that’s right – this means you conduct a mini ‘what if a client said this?’ exercise.
It’s important to coach your team on the journey. Help them see the steps before the client said the objection – i.e., if a client says ‘it’s a bit pricey’, what were the sequence of steps before that happened?
You can ask questions including:
- Were you sold on the price yourself or projecting that you too, think it’s pricey?
- Did you understand the client’s situation first? i.e. Did you do a decent discovery- 95% of first interactions should be the client talking – not the rep. If your team don’t do this they will be assuming what the client’s needs and values are and ‘selling’ your solution ‘to’ them without hitting the mark.
- Did you ask the right questions? Were you present? Were you listening and understanding? Were you able to loop back to concerns by educating the client at the right time?
If you are wondering ‘when’s the right time’, it’s when the client sees you as the authority and trusted advisor, you earn that right. How do you earn that right? By asking the right questions. (A few other things also play out, but mainly it’s down to the questions).
If in doubt, every answer here leads to ‘ask more questions’ ‘be present’ ‘stop assuming’.
- When you understood what the client valued, did you then explain ‘what’s in it for them’, the outcome of having your solution (or outcome if they don’t) and did that conversation happen before the price was given so they saw the value?
This is one of many blogs and pieces of content we share about objections. The next few go onto step by step on different objections. (look out for them over the next few weeks).
What to do
Help your team by coaching them on all the objections that come up, start a easily accessible document so that the team can be armed and confident
Participate: Join us at our next 30 minute Handling Objections Masterclass, part of our 4-part series, on Tues 19 October at 9am >>>
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to request a gift of a code to jump on for free | and for your team
Learn the full picture: Join us on a Sales Accelerator program where we go into great depth over the 10 ways to handle an objection>>>
Contact us to understand this and other programs (coaching currently conducted virtually), including how to handle objections. >>>
Piece written by Charmaine Keegan, author of over 20 eBooks, is a sought-after guest speaker, panellist, and keynote. She is a Certified Trainer Extended Disc System, of Situational Leadership, of NLP (how we operate), Hypnotherapy (unconscious communication) and Timeline Therapy (recognising your beliefs about sales and money – and recognising that of your customer). She has studied the psychology of human behaviour and is considered an absolute authority and true expert on sales techniques. She has ‘walked the walk‘ so her content, programs and key notes are highly practical and focused on results.