It’s often the “sticky” part of a sales conversation…when your buyer states the dreaded “but.” This is when you can make or break the sale the moment you open your mouth. That’s why I’m sure you’ll want to keep reading for this very important “What Not to Do When You Hear a Sales Objection.”
Although the “but” can come anytime, it seems toughest after you’ve completed a productive review of the buyer’s problems, opportunities, wants, and needs and then demonstrated on how specifically your solution will address them, followed some sort of initial agreement that your solution is viable. Then the buyer pauses, and says, “Yes, but…”
Now is the telling point of your real approach to sales and your genuine desire to guide the buyer in working through this objection or concern.
Sellers tell me the “buts” or objections get them out of sorts or off their game me because:
- The objection may seem like the end of the sales opportunity.
- It seems like a personal attack.
- There’s uncertainty about how to really “handle” it. (I won’t give my rant here about the fact that NO one wants to be handled or overcome).
And the buyer… they have their own struggles or fears at this time:
- Will they be taken seriously?
- Will hard sales tactics now surface (a fight reaction)?
- Will their request for more information be ignored (causing a flight reaction)?
- Will this objection create a hard barrier that keeps them from buying your solution?
For both parties in this exchange, there is a lot at risk at this moment. This is why a collaborative selling approach continues to be important. In collaborative selling, the Stop, Drop, and Roll response is extremely effective when faced with objections as I’ve explained in previous articles. This approach ensures that your mind is engaged, before your mouth.
There are several big DON’Ts when you hear an objection.
When you respond to an objection, don’t start with:
- No, that’s not possible because…
- I can’t…
- That’s not something we can do.
It seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? Of course on paper it does, yet “in the moment” we hear these responses all the time as we review sales calls.
Instead, your first words should be an acknowledgment or “I hear you…” such as:
- Okay, if I understand what you’re saying…
- Thanks for letting me know…
- That’s interesting…
None of these statements agrees nor disagrees; they are neutral and should immediately be followed by a paraphrase of what they told you.
What not to do when you hear a sales objection is to start with words which stop your opportunity, the buyer from listening, or your sale. Instead respond with words that keep the conversation open to set the stage and problem solve through the objection with your buyer.