7 Steps to Overcoming Objections
In essence there are two combat strategies regarding objections.
The first is pre-empting them – in other words, by anticipating and responding to the objection before the prospect has even had a chance to voice it.
The second is by dealing with the objection as it arises. If you are prepared to incorporate both strategies then you’ll encounter fewer objections and be more resourceful when they do arise. It is a seven step process.
Step 1 – Remain Silent
Gives you time to think and sometimes the customer may even answer their own objection for you. Thinking is a good thing where you are adding a little pause into the proceedings, because you are demonstrating that you are taking their objection seriously.
If you jump in too early you may cause a further objection. When you interrupt them, it feels as if you are objecting to their objection. If you refuse to listen you are creating a strong possibility that you will lose rapport. Use active listening methods, nodding and physically showing interest.
Remember, they are trying to tell you something that will help you sell to them, and they will be giving you more information about how to frame and re-position your selling proposition.
Step 2 – Gather Information
As appropriate, ask some questions to fully understand the objection, for example, “Tell me more about…” or “What do you mean?” This shows you are interested in them, and it also gives you more information about their objection.
If you ask a question that begins with “Why?” they will reinforce all the reasons for their objection, making it harder for you to respond to. Therefore, use open questions of any type, except those that start with this.
As you question them, watch carefully for body language that gives you non-verbal feedback about what they are really thinking and feeling. Keep your questions light and relevant, if you respond in a commanding, forthright manner, they’ll feel insignificant and closed to voicing any further objections.
Step 3 – Check Your Understanding
This lets the customer know that you understand their objection and are taking it seriously, for example, “So what you’re saying is…” This also helps to maintain good levels of rapport and conveys that you are seeking to properly understand their situation. This step is important because communication can get distorted and you’ll want to answer their objection rather than install a new one!