Objections are like your heart beat that tells you whether you are in the race or need resuscitation. There are two strategies to neutralise Sales objections and they are
- UNCOVER OBJECTIONS: After an Objection is raised by the Buyer: This is based on the premise that we have two Ears and one mouth hence we must listen more than we speak. Or as Steven Covey wrote in his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Habit # 5 – “SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND AND THEN BE UNDERSTOOD”.
- BLOCK OBJECTIONS: Before an Objections is raised by the Buyer: This is based on pre-empting buyers concern and neutralizing it by Seller raising it. (Adopted from e-Book by Victor Antonia “Response Block Selling”). This is based on the premise that if a buyer raises an objection he owns it. And if he owns it; it is difficult to move him. Hence solution is Seller pre-empts and raise relevant objections embedded in customers mind and offer to resolve them during the course of his sales presentation.
Having said that both strategies; 1 and 2 involve knowing the SIX common objections. They are
- Price ( Too Expensive, No Budget)
- Time ( Too Busy)
- Need ( Customer is not aware he has the need)
- Urgency (I don’t know if we should buy now or later)
- Too Complicated (Difficult to use)
- Trust (If we should buy from you? If we should buy your product? Your company is New in business?)
OBJECTION STRATEGY # 1: Uncovering Objections is a SIX step process. Buyer raises an Objection (an assumption for the post) – Mr. Seller I don’t have the BUDGET/Delivery is too far/difficult to operate. Thereafter Seller sets the ball rolling …
- ACKNOWLEDGE: Seller Response – Statement: Buyer I understand you have a concern on Budget/ Delivery/Usability or Trust. (remember acknowledge is not agreeing)
- CLARIFY: Seller Response – Question: Mr. Buyer May I ask what do you mean or can you elaborate when you say Price is too high, Delivery is not acceptable or ….
- Buyer : I have already allocated my capex for this year
- QUALIFY: Seller Response – Question: Mr. Buyer is there any other concern you have or a concern that will stop you to make a purchase?
- Buyer: No that’s my main Objection now
- RESPONSE: Seller Response – Statement: Buyer Your concern is UNDERSTANDABLE but many of our clients IT Managers felt the same. And once we sat with them and worked out they agreed it was not at all expensive rather they received more and ROI was less than 9 months. And they could afford the solution.
- RECOMMEND: Seller Response – Statement: Buyer May I recommend that we hold workshop with your key stake holders to demonstrate the features and commercial benefits.
- Buyer: That sounds great.
- CLOSE: Seller Response – Question: buyer Can we schedule the workshop next week or January 2, 2016?
OBJECTION STRATEGY # 2: Blocking Objection: It is an informed outcome research on influence principle called “COMMITMENT AND CONSISTENCY” that says “ONCE A CUSTOMER VERBALIZES (Open and Vocal) HIS OPINION, HE ACTS CONSISTENCE WITH IT.” Hence during the course of your sales presentations raise the objection that could be in customers mind and own the objection. And then offer to resolve it.
RESEARCH TO SUPPORT BLOCKING OBJECTION STRATEGY:
Social Psychologist Morten Deutsch and Harold Gerard research. They drew few lines on the board and asked the audience to estimate the average length. Then they divided the audience into three groups.
- Group # 1: Asked to Commit to memory
- Group # 2: Write it down on Magic board
- Group # 3: Write it down, sign it and hand it over
Thereafter results were shown and Groups were asked to re-evaluate
- Group # 1: Who were asked to Commit to memory: They did not show any resistance and majority changed their estimate.
- Group # 2: Who were asked to write it down on Magic board: They displayed little resistance and finally many of them changed their estimate.
- Group # 3: Who were asked to write it down, sign it and hand it over: They displayed major resistance and finally very few changed their estimate.
The research came to the conclusion that people are very strong about their instincts and more open and vocal they express it; more likely they stick to it.
2nd research. Right after placing the bet you are more likely to believe that your horse will win. And since then many research have been carried out to support the hypothesis.
Based on the above finding there are four steps involved in Strategy BLOCKING THE OBJECTION: Assumption is Buyer has an objection in the mind: it’s too expensive
- RAISE THE OBJECTION: Mr. Buyer many of my clients tell me that we are more expensive than XYZ then it really depends on what you are buying.
- OFFER TO RESOLVE: Mr. Buyer Will you allow me to show you when we compare apple to apple it’s not that expensive.
- DEMONSTRATION/PROOF: Mr. Buyer let me walk you through the proof
- TIE DOWN: Mr. Buyer; based on what I have shown; you will believe that our product is not so expensive than the competition. Would you agree? Pause for the buyers response – verbal or non-verbal.
Both strategies work great. Work them and see what works for you and your buyers.