Overcoming Objections: When do we do that?


Seeing a Future ObjectionAs salespersons we know that occasionally (really more often that we like) we are going to get an Objection.  The question is, “When do we handle those objections.”  For many years professional salespersons have followed a practice of handling objections at four different times in the sales process.  Understanding exactly which objections should be handled at which places in the sales process is another of those great sales techniques.

The four times to answer an objection are: (1) before it comes up, (2) immediately when it comes up, (3) at the end of your presentation by postponing your answer during your presentation and (4) never.  The following paragraphs should shed some light on each method.

If we are selling a product or service that seems to trigger a specific objection on almost every presentation, than that is exactly the type of objection that may best be handled by covering it before it comes up.  We may refer to this process in a military term as “pre-empting their strike.”  Now, I must give you a warning about pre-empting objections.  It is possible that you may actually bring the objection into a prospect’s mind that may not have thought of it.  That is why we should only use this technique when an objection comes up very, very frequently.  For example, let’s say we are selling residential real estate and we have a listed home with a small master bedroom.  We get the objection about how small the master bedroom is very often.  So we want to pre-empt that objection.  As we are walking our prospects toward the master bedroom we could say something like this: “Mr. & Mrs. Jones, you will find that the master bedroom is wonderfully intimate in design.  In addition with the ease of getting about, you will find that it will not break the bank to furnish it.” Pre-empting an objection can be a great sales technique.

Most of our objections should be identified as those to be answered when they come up.  Obviously, as professional salespersons, we should know exactly what objections we are likely to get and we should have well rehearsed word tracks to handle them as they do.  You will find many objection handling word tracks in other articles on this site.  At this point let’s just cover the basic behaviors when we get an objection and plan to answer it now.  First, relax.  Read the articles on why we get objections and you will be more comfortable when they pop up.  Second, be confident.  If we know our techniques, we will be able to maintain control of the sales process.  Third, use the “Cushion – Technique – Close” method for handling the objection.  This may be found by using the “Search” box of the site.  Finally, either we write the order or we lead our prospects back to where we want them to be in the sales process.

Sometimes we will get an objection that would be answered in a few more minutes of our sales process.  An Order Taker will usually change their presentation by answering the objection at this point.  A Professional Salesperson would most likely use a great sales technique by saying something like: “Mr. Prospect that is a good question.  In fact in just a moment I am going to cover that very point.” Then the Professional Salesperson continues in complete control of their presentation.  An additional benefit of this practice is that it sends a very subtle message to the prospect that all of his questions will be answered … and … that interrupting this salesperson is NOT in his best interest.

Last but not least is the time when we never answer an objection.  There are times during our sales presentation when a prospect will make a less than complimentary comment regarding our product or say they do not like something about our product.  If these comments or objections are about a feature that you have no ability to change … and … they are about a feature that does not really contribute to the benefits of the product, it is best to ignore the comment all together.  Here is an example.  Let’s assume we are selling cars.  We are demonstrating the controls of the seating.  The prospect says, “That carpeting doesn’t seem very soft.” Assuming it is the standard carpet that comes in all models and we cannot do anything about it, we should say and or do the following.  So as not to appear rude, we simply acknowledge that the prospect said something by saying, “Okay.” Then we move to the very next feature and continue with our sales presentation.  “You will find that the mirror controls are just as well designed as the seat controls.  You will be able to …..” Were we to address the softness of the carpet issue we would turn over control of our presentation to the prospect, lose sales momentum and give them a useless victory.

We need to categorize our objections as to the best time to address them.  We should create exceptionally good word tracks to handle the objections.  Then we will be using the great sales techniques that separate the Professional Salespersons from the Order Takers.

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