9 Techniques for Dealing With Objections-How and When? – by Lahat Tzvi

If all you have is a hammer in the hand, every other thing will seem to look like a nail.

If all you ever needed to solve an objection was the correct answer, that would be great. The customer would raise an objection, you would answer the objection, the customer would be convinced, you would provide the product/service and have a deal. If only it was so easy…we all wish it were that simple…

The truth is simple and perhaps unfortunate. There is not one answer that can solve all objections, but the good news is that the combination of technique and appropriate responses can improve and increase your chance to succeed.

When it comes to objections, in most cases, there is no intention of resistance to the seller, the product, or to the company. In fact, this is a natural phenomenon, normal, expected and automatically resulting from the interaction that takes place almost in every sales process. The customer has a concern about the decision, he is afraid to make mistakes and therefore objections appear.

In fact, the lack of objections may indicate a problematic situation resulting from a complete lack of interest and unwillingness to delve into the product or solution. In most cases, resistance contributes positively and is an excellent tool for the salesperson.

Apparently all over the world, 80% of objections are repetitive: “I would like to think about it”, “I don’t have the budget”, “We are already working with someone else” and so on. Maybe there is a specific objection to the product or the industry that you belong to; in this case you can recognize repeat objections. The issue is that most salespeople continue to provide the same answers and are surprised when they don’t work. Why do they continue to provide the same answers? Why are the salespeople surprised at the objections and why don’t they work differently?

Could be that the answer is hidden in the salesperson’s natural tendency to respond immediately to a customer’s objections. He has heard the same objections in the past, he is sure he knows the answer, the body fills with adrenaline and the natural reflex is to jump with the answer. The salesperson is sure that his answer will solve the concern of his customer, this has worked perfectly in some incidents, there is no reason why it won’t pass this time–classic mistake!

Hold a brief search on Google and you will find a number of methods and tools in how to deal with objections. Objections are divided into 8 different categories (value, price, needs, urgency, trust, fear of change, personal, risk) and there are 7 customer responses to objections (silence/no comment, pause, mistaken view, escape, doubt, fake resistance/smokescreen, real resistance), plus a method for dealing with objections (the basic one: receiving the customer objection, isolating the objection, provide an answer, ask for feedback). And dozens of answers to every objection. All of them are excellent and all professional salespeople must know all of them and control them well.

So how can this article add value for you?

It will make your sales process more organizational; it will describe the main technique on how to deal with objections and more importantly, when to use each technique! Consider the following image — you have packed a kit with different tools in it. Is it correct to use one tool for every action? Of course not. Exactly the same when it comes to techniques for dealing with objections–it is not correct to use just one technique each time when dealing with resistance. Someone wise once said: “If all you have is a hammer in the hand, every other thing will seem to look like a nail.”

Let’s take first the nine main techniques for dealing with objections. Note: Remember that objections may appear throughout the meeting and each meeting (also in a returning meeting). Technique to treat objections is as important as the answer itself. The following details each technique and explains how we can make use of various techniques and at the appropriate time.

Technique # 1: Pre-cure

If there is some returning objection, or you assume that the customer will bring it up during the meeting, it’s preferable that you bring it up yourself. When bringing up the objection yourself, you show the customer that you are not afraid of it, and that the customer will feel more confident with your answer. In addition, it will take away the sting that accompanies the customer resistance. For example: the product/service is more expensive than your competitors. You know that the client will raise the issue of price at some point and so you confront the yet unspoken objection: “Mr. Customer, I am very familiar with the market, the price level and the value that our customers receive from all of our products. I also know that we require more than our competitors and there is a reason. Clients who work with us are getting…(show real value to the customer). They choose us again and again because…(show value added), even though they always have the option to work with our competitors. I can guarantee you one thing, your choice will enable you…(show third value).

Technique # 2: If /Then…

This technique allows you to identify if it is a real objection or just a “smokescreen”. This is an important technique and is recommended because it will help you understand if you are facing a real objection or just a “fake” one (“smokescreen”).”Fake” objections are more difficult  to handle. “Real objections” are a lot easier to solve the customer’s concerns.

For example: The customer claims he cannot afford the deal. He does not have the budget needed, therefore if it was cheaper he would purchase the item. Your response: Mr. prospect, I cannot tell you I can, but let’s say I receive an approval to lower the cost; would you purchase? The customer’s response will let you know if you are dealing with a “real objection” or an excuse (“smokescreen”). If the answer is positive, you know the budget issue is real. Now you can add a number of techniques and answers that can bring the customer to a decision (For example: How expensive is expensive? / Let’s see what we are able to give up? / If I will be able to divide the payment into three payments, will this will help you? Etc.)

Technique # 3: Boomerang

Reversing the objection in order to decide: You take in what the customer has objected to and turn it around, so the resistance becomes the reason why he should buy.

For Example: (From the investment field): The customer points out that he doesn’t want to find himself in a couple of years with less money in the fund. Your answer will be: “You makes a very important point and for that very reason, you should choose to invest your money in a stable company, a company that works for you and takes care of your money. To put your savings in a fund with high risk will not serve your interest, Right?”

Technique # 4: Feel, Felt, Found

The right time to use this technique is when the customer raises any concern. On one hand, you want to give the customer legitimization to bring up the concern; on the other hand, you want to show him that this is an unwarranted concern. The guiding principle of this technique is the use of “evidence” of how other customers in the past were afraid, just like the customer, but found no justification for their concern.

For example: The customer is afraid to work with a new supplier. Your response: I understand how you feel. You are hesitant to work with another supplier and that is natural. Most of our clients were working with another supplier before they started working with us, they felt just like you. The solution that we came up with worked for them and I believe it will work well for you, too. We have started working parallel to the current supplier, they started splitting their orders in the beginning and discovered that by working with us it was a lot more efficient. The service that they receive from us is much better …(point out an additional value). Shall we begin with our “small” order?

Technique # 5: Ignoring the Objection

In certain stages and situations of the conversation/meeting, you should ignore the objection, pay no attention to it at all.

For example: In the beginning of the meeting the customer declares that all he cares about is the price. Your response: Mr. Prospect, the price is an important issue. I’ll address the issue of price, but first, with your permission, I’d like to ask you a few questions….” Another option for response: the customer says, “It is probably expensive!” Your answer: “In fact I think you will be surprised. Let’s check if the product/service is suitable for you and we’ll tackle price afterwards. Allow me to ask….”

Technique # 6: Yet/However

In this technique you don’t get into a conflict. Instead, you bring up a perspective for discussion. You agree with what the customer raised, so as not get into a conflict, but then bring up a different point of thought (you can say: “Yes, but…”).

For example: The customer tells you his friend advised him and he has decided to do business with someone else.

Your response: “I am happy you have consulted with a friend that you trust. It is always good to have someone close that can give you direction. Yet, I can tell you what all the experts say–you should hear a second opinion, like you would with a doctor. There are many different solutions/products and it could be that your friend is not familiar with all of them. For example, there are many changing aspects when checking.

Technique # 7: Cognitive Dissonance

The main purpose of the technique is to create contradiction and conflict between the customer’s perception/declaration and actual behavior. In this technique you bring up a situation that will let the customer see things from a different perspective. The goal is to produce a contradiction between the customer’s declaration and his decision. If you decide to use this technique, make sure you do it gently and you do not “blame” the client.

For example: “You have said that one of the main concerns you have is to work with a local company because of delivery times, which is very important. Please help me understand how your decision to work with a company that is located in…and whose delivery time is…satisfies your interests?

Technique # 8: It’s a Common Mistake

Sometimes the client brings up points about the product/service, which are not correct. It is not polite to say to the customer, “You don’t understand” or confront him about his lack of knowledge There is a preferable technique, more gentle and effective. Smile and tell the customer: “It is a common mistake”.

For example: The customer declares some sort of fact regarding the product/service. Your response: “This is a common mistake. I am aware of this complaint and I have heard it in the past. In fact…”

Technique # 9: Direct Confrontation

There sometimes comes a point where you cannot avoid a direct confrontation. You need to do it right and gently.

Summary:

The nine techniques are designed to help you deal effectively with objections. This is the first part. The second part, perhaps even more important, shows you when to use each technique. Excessive use of techniques, or worse, using them at the wrong time, can completely derail the deal. (It is not recommended to use more than two techniques in any given situation.)

The following list below coordinates for your use (basic sales process). The table indicates those techniques that are recommended according to the sales-process stage you are in. Good Luck!

List coordinates (basic sales process):

Opening of the Meeting :

Technique # 1: Pre-cure 
Technique # 5: Ignoring the Objection
Technique # 8: It’s a Common Mistake

Identification of Needs:

Technique # 3: Boomerang
Technique # 4: Feel, Felt, Found
Technique # 5: Ignoring the Objection
Technique # 6: Yet/However
Technique # 7: Cognitive Dissonance
Technique # 8: It’s a Common Mistake

Presentation of the Solution:

Technique # 6: Yet/However 
Technique # 9: Direct Confrontation

Agreement to Work Together:

Technique # 2: If /Then
Technique # 3: Boomerang
Technique # 4: Feel, Felt, Found
Technique # 7: Cognitive Dissonance
Technique # 8: It’s a Common Mistake
Technique # 9: Direct Confrontation

 

Lahat Tzvi of Israel is a leading authority on sales and strategy. He helps companies, managements and salespeople achieve and exceed their goals by changing their business games. His expertise and success in twelve different industries in the complex and B2B sales field has brought him a reputation for excellence and as a pro sales leader. Lahat’s company, Tfisot Group, is the first choice of companies and executive management when it’s come to sales performance. He can be reached at: http://tfisot.comLinkedIn, and Twitter.

 

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