Partners in Performance Blog

How to Avoid Being Stumped by Client Objections

Client-ObjectionsThe boy scout motto ‘Be Prepared’ couldn’t be truer for sales. Especially when it comes to handling objections. There is no excuse for struggling with the same client objections over and over again. And yet it’s astonishing to see that professional sales people don’t develop a proactive strategy for handling these common objections.

Reactive Objection Handling

In my work coaching sales people, I find that many follow this common pattern:

  • Dread objections and pray they won’t come up
  • Get defensive when they surface
  • Struggle with a response and lack confidence
  • Don’t listen and the client doesn’t feel heard
  • Client isn’t satisfied
  • Limited or no success

Objection Prevention

Of course the best strategy for handling objections is to prevent them! Or at least to minimize them. Sales people are their own worst enemy if they don’t have a customer centric mindset and a process that ensures ample skill and time for discovery. How else can you link your solutions to the needs of your client if you’ve asked lame questions and only scratch the surface of what really matters to your client?

No matter how well you have honed your sales process skills and are conducting your sales meetings like a professional, those pesky objections are still going to surface. But instead of thinking of them as ‘pesky’ problems, top sales performers embrace objections and even ‘smoke’ them out with questions like “if something were to get in your way of moving forward what might that be?

Successful sales people put themselves on the same side of the desk and collaborate with clients to find solutions to their problems.

Shifting limiting assumptions around objections is the first step to success. Having a proactive strategy is the second. Having a process to handle objections when they surface in the meeting is the third – more to come on that one in the next blog post.

Proactive Strategy for Objection Handling

One of the preparation steps for my Intentional Selling workshops is to give participants brief pre-work which includes identifying the top 3 objections they typically encounter. And here is what I have found. When the list of 30 or so objections are consolidated there are really only 6 – 8 objections themes. They may be worded slightly differently but there are consistent patterns. It’s not as if you have to come up with a strategy for 30. That would be overwhelming. But 6 or so? That is easily done.

And if it’s not something you have done…

  • Isn’t it worth the time and investment to create a plan for handling each one of those 6 or so objections?
  • Isn’t it the sales leader’s responsibility to equip their team (and especially their new hires) to come up with the ‘Book Answer’ which is the best possible answer for each of those objections?
  • Does it not make sense to create an Objection Handling Sales Tool which documents the common objections and the ‘Book Answers’ for each one?

I feel so strongly about the importance of preparing for objections, that I’ll take your calls and questions and see if I can’t help walk you through the steps to creating a proactive strategy. Free until my ear gets tired or my phone goes dead. What have you got to lose? Call me. 907-877-5808.

This entry was posted by Tanja Parsley on November 13, 2014 in Handling Objections, Intentional Selling™, Sales Skills. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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