The phrase ‘overcoming objections’ out-clichés most other jargon in the misunderstood profession of selling.
‘Objections’ are, supposedly, the roadblocks … the counterpoint that prospects use as protection during their struggle not to become customers. In vampire lore garlic, holy water and the crucifix are equivalent to sales objections. Traditional salespeople have, down through history and to this very day, been cast as hunters and prospects their wary prey. Selling sand to Arabs and snow to Eskimos has long been the popular metaphor for recognizing talented, successful salespeople. Is it any wonder we often do our best to evade salespeople?
What are objections? Are they safeguard devices to fend of salespeople or are they really just the mental stepping-stones we all use to make decisions?
A prospect (an almost customer) objects for one of two basic reasons.
Reason #1. He lacks key logical facts to back up his emotional desire to buy. Objections in this case are the prospect’s way of asking the seller to furnish the logical facts he needs so he can comfortably sign on the dotted line.
Reason #2. She possesses all the logical facts she needs and is certain that a purchase is absolutely illogical. Objections in this case are the prospect’s way of postponing what she fears most … saying no to the salesperson. She’d much rather object or pretend to be interested and postpone a decision than say ”No.”
The seller’s first job is to differentiate between the two basic objection reasons. If it’s reason #1the seller must identify what logical facts the prospect needs and then determine if he can honestly deliver the necessary facts to close the sale. If it’s reason #2, the seller must convince the prospect that it is safe to say no and not pursue the sale any further.
Unfortunately, traditional salespeople rarely differentiate between the two reasons and treat every objection as a challenge to a battle of wits, serving to perpetuate the blood lust image of ’salespeople’. The mistake we as salespeople have made for too long is believing that objections are bad things … things to be overcome, when in fact they are valuable evidence that can quickly qualify or disqualify a potential sale. Quick, accurate qualification saves time, money, relationships and increases sales revenue and profit. Treating objections with patient respect would also go a long way to rebranding salespeople as allies instead of predators.
If you believe objections are to be overcome … guess again …. your closing rate will improve and you will earn the respect of your target audience, to say nothing of your self respect.