How to Handle Objections: Sales Objection Handling Tips
June 12th, 2023
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Do you know how to handle objections in the sales process?
While objection handling is one of the most complex (and sometimes frustrating) parts of the sales journey, it’s a crucial skill for any professional to master. After all, more prospects you speak to will have reasons why they don’t want to buy your product or service.
If your prospect didn’t have reservations about your solution’s value, price, or relevance to their needs, they would already be an active customer. Objection handling is a natural part of selling, but it can be difficult to master. Here’s everything you need to know to improve your sales results.
What are Sales Objections? Common Sales Objections
The first step in learning how to overcome a customer objection, is defining what sales objections actually are. Objections in sales are essentially any concern or issue that acts as a barrier to customers buying something from your business. They’re the roadblocks sales professionals need to overcome, to convince a customer to actually spend money.
Sales objections often arise because consumers aren’t fully aware of the value proposition of the product or solution being sold. Though the exact nature of each objection posed by a decision maker can vary, they often fall into one of the following four categories:
- Need: Your buyer doesn’t see a need for your product or solution because they haven’t identified a problem they need to solve, or they don’t understand your value.
- Urgency: Your prospect recognizes a potential problem, but they don’t think addressing the issue is urgent or particularly important.
- Trust: Your customer is uncertain whether they can rely on you to deliver a great service, or trust your product to deliver the right benefits.
- Money: Your product is too expensive for your customer’s budget, or the potential value of the item doesn’t match the price tag in their opinion.
What is Objection Handling?
Since objections in sales are incredibly common, sales professionals need to master strategies that help them to address and overcome these issues. Sales objection handling is the art of listening to customers, recognizing the problems they face, and responding in a way that drives the sale forward.
Companies often invest heavily in “objections training” methods to provide their sales teams with the skills they need to nurture prospects into active customers. Generally, trying to strong-arm customers into making a purchase rarely delivers results. However, taking an empathetic approach, built on actively listening to customers, understanding their concerns, and delivering value can increase sales.
Objection Handling Techniques: Tips for Sales Professionals
Overcoming sales objections requires sales professionals to cultivate a number of skills. They need to develop situational awareness and emotional intelligence, so they can connect with customers and build rapport. It’s also crucial to lead with empathy, reacting carefully to customer concerns so you can develop a foundation of trust and mutual respect.
While the strategies taught during sales training for objection handling are constantly evolving, some of the most effective techniques include:
- Practice active listening
Perhaps the most important step in handling objectives is actually listening to what the customer’s problem actually is. As prospects share their concerns with you, utilize active listening skills to get to the bottom of what they’re really saying.
A good strategy could be to repeat the statement back to your customer for clarification. For instance, if they say they’re concerned about the price, you could ask, “I’m hearing this solution doesn’t fit with your budget at this time, is that right?”
You can then ask questions to learn more about the crux of the problem.
For instance, if your customer expresses a concern about price, ask them why they think the price is too high, explain the value of the solution, and ask them whether they believe they would be able to make a purchase at a later date.
- Validate your prospect’s concerns
After you’ve confirmed you understand where your prospect is coming from, the next step is to show them you empathize with them. Validating your customer’s point of view doesn’t mean you have to agree that your product or service isn’t good enough.
Instead, simply acknowledge their concerns in a productive way. For instance, if your prospect is concerned that your solution might be difficult to implement, you can say: “I understand implementing new technology can be a daunting task. Many of our clients have expressed this concern before. However, we have a great tech team who can help with onboarding. Can I share some feedback we received from another company like yours?”
A response like this validates your customer’s concern, while also showing them you have a way to alleviate some of their fears.
- Gather plenty of useful information
Sometimes, customers see expressing a sales objection as a way to end the conversation. They tell you they’re not interested in buying your product or service for a specific reason, and then attempt to stop the discussion. If you’re going to change their mind, you need to keep the conversation going.
Asking open-end questions that give your customers more opportunities to talk about themselves and their issues, can help with overcoming objections. Ask them to explain why they came to a specific conclusion about your product. Dive into the details behind each statement.
For instance, if your customer says they don’t think your product is a good fit, ask them what their goals and pain points are, and what options they’ve considered as an alternative to your offer. This will give you the insights you need to create a more effective sales pitch.
- Earn trust and show authority
Many common sales objections stem from the fact that your customers simply don’t trust your product, solution, or company. Building trust, by developing a rapport with your prospect, can be an excellent way to overcome this issue.
You can showcase the value of your product by sharing case studies and reviews from other customers with similar issues to your current prospect. Alternatively, you could share information about your company’s accomplishments or credentials.
Even sharing valuable insights or data discovered by your business can be an excellent way to demonstrate credibility and authority, paving the way for trust.
- Track and monitor sales objections
One of the best ways for a sales rep to master objection handling, is to learn how to anticipate common objections in advance. The easiest way to do this is to pay attention to the common objections you hear the most when speaking to customers.
Paying attention to common sales objections will help you to determine exactly how you should pitch your product and connect with customers to avoid potential roadblocks. If you know what to anticipate, you can practice the right responses to nurture your customers.
You and your team can even create sales scripts specifically designed to improve objection handling, based on the data you collect.
How to Improve your Objection Handling Skills
Becoming an expert in objection handling takes time, commitment, and practice. You’ll need to develop excellent active listening skills, to ensure you can collect the right information from your prospects, and use it to guide the rest of the discussion.
It’s also a good idea to work on other sales skills. For instance, you won’t have to rely as heavily on objective handling techniques, if you’re already an expert at the discovery process. Knowing how to capture information about your customers, their pain points, and the goals they want to achieve before you reach out with an initial sales pitch will ensure you can create a more tailored sales strategy.
The more information you gather about each prospect, the more you can actively anticipate their objections, and position your product or solution in a way that addresses those concerns.
The other way to improve your objection handling skills, is to actively invest in sales training for objection handling. The best objections training sessions use tactics like role play and gamification to introduce sales professionals to common objections, and how to overcome them.
You might take part in an objections contest with your team, coming up with common reservations customers might have, and exploring creative ways to overcome them. You could also try roleplaying techniques, asking a team member to act as a customer with objections, so you can practice your techniques for facilitating the sales process with them.
Sales objection training can even be delivered online, with the help of sales professionals. At HSE, we offer a range of educational experiences designed to empower new and experienced sales professionals alike. The more you invest in training, the more prepared you’ll feel when you come face-to-face with a sales objection.
Learn how to handle objections from some of the best in the business! Join HSE today!
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