Friday, 1 February 2013

Use objections to close more sales

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan/

In a previous blog I outlined 5 steps to handling objections or concerns which is how I prefer to approach them, but if you are just handling them, you are missing a great opportunity to increase your close rate and shorten your sales cycle. 

Essentially, most objections/concerns are, first and foremost, an indication that at some level the prospect has or is considering buying your product/service and as sales professionals we should welcome these opportunities to progress the sale. 

Even as a consultative or strategic seller, at some stage within the sale process, prospects will raise concerns about how your product or service will meet their needs and fit into their business. It is these concerns that should then become the foundation for the rest of your pitch. By identifying and putting to rest prospects concerns you are far more likely to close the sale. In addition, if you can uncover and deal with the majority of their concerns early on within the sale process, you are also likely to reduce the length (time) of the sales cycle.

The main reason why it’s so important to work through objections/concerns is because it helps you quite naturally work toward a really strong close, the kind where the prospect themselves realise they are out of reasons not to buy. 

Personally, I always press a prospect to uncover any concerns they have in my initial presentation. If I can deal with them then and there, I can generally be at the negotiation stage of the process within that first meeting. Even if I can’t overcome their concerns there and then, I would rather know exactly what I need to answer in our next correspondence, then having walked out of the meeting leaving a prospect with unaired concerns. 

How often have you been in that situation where you never hear back from a prospect, despite having initially thought that you nailed the presentation? 

I would suggest more often than not it is because you left the prospect with concerns, which unanswered, can lead the prospect to discount your offering, or worse still, choose a competitor because they did a better job addressing their concerns. 

Objections often provide another valuable insight, FEAR. It is not uncommon for a prospects objection to reveal broader business issues, which can then be leveraged to your advantage.
With all the positives that can be gained from uncovering and then working through prospects concerns, it poses a big question. If it’s so effective why does everyone not do it. Easy answer, FEAR. All too often a sales representative will walk out of meeting without pressing for objections/concerns because they don’t want to hear them. It’s the fear that a concern may uncover a flaw in your pitch or a mismatch with your product and the prospects needs. 

But consider this- what should you be more scared of- wasting time on a prospect that’s not right for the business or a little rejection which can actually bring closure and allow you to move to potentially more prosperous prospects? 

As always Only My Opinion and I would love your thoughts, comments and or abuse.
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