What's the best way to handle objections? Creating a sales process that kills objections before you ever hear them.
This means having the right lead qualification criteria in place so you are engaging your ideal customers, communicating the value of your product or service to engage your potential customers and structuring your presentations to provide the maximum value . You should absolutely wow your customer by intimately understanding what will help them and what they need to see to buy. You aren't selling, you are creating an opportunity for someone to buy from you.
Once you engage your potential customers, actively listen for signs of potential objections during every interaction. If your most common objection is about pricing, then you want to make sure that you effectively show the ROI of your product in a quantifiable way, like saving them time or increasing revenue. When you hear a potential customer talking about budget cuts, you know a price objection could be coming up. By listening closely for potential roadblocks on every deal you're working you can, address it immediately and resolve it.
These optimizations will go a long way in killing objections in your sales process. Unfortunately, no matter what you're selling, there will always be objections and your team needs to be prepared to handle them effectively.
There are 4 keys that every salesperson must keep in mind when they're handling objections:
- Have patience and pause before you answer - When you get an objection at the end of a presentation take the time to pause and think about what the objection means. At the end of a sales process anxiety is typically high for the buyer and the salesperson so take time to think about the path you want to go down and embrace the pause before you respond.
- Stay laser focused on the main objection - It's very important to not create other objections by trying to talk around one objection. The only way to close the deal is to address this objection, not gloss over it. Be very specific and thoughtful in your responses.
- Your tone is key – Speak slowly, calmly and put them at ease. Objections aren’t a no. They are a potential customer talking through their concerns about making a decision. Not making a decision is the easiest option. It's safe! Realize you are their partner in this process and you are there to help them make the best decision. Act like a therapist who calmly listens to the concerns and thoughtfully helps them move past their issue. You must keep the potential customer talking to you and feeling safe to express their concerns. Taking an argumentative stance or dismissive tone will force the potential customer to stop talking. And when they stop talking to you it's over. The customer will go away.
- The Golden Rule – You will never talk someone out of their objection. Even the best closers with the best techniques allow the potential customer to make the decision. As an expert salesperson you must create the opportunity for them to change their mind and you have to do this through questions! They must talk themselves through their own objection. Being a therapist and having a conversation while asking targeted thoughtful questions to allow the potential customer to explore a different thought process is the best way to help people buy.
These 4 keys are the basis for the LAARC framework for handling objections. Keeping these 4 things in mind and using the LAARC framework will help you overcome objections whenever you hear them. LAARC stands for:
- Acknowledge the Objection
- Ask a Question
- Respond to the Objection
- Confirm the Objection was Handled
L - Listen
All humans have an innate desire to be heard, and that applies to your sales potential customers as well. It’s important that you actually listen and think about the potential customer’s objection. It can be tempting to interject with a prepared response to their objection and move on to the next point, but that won’t move your deal forward.
You need to show the potential customer that you are listening to them and are taking their objection into account. There are many visual and auditory cues you can use to show the potential customer that you are listening. When meeting with a potential customer in person, look them in the eye and nod as you hear their objection. When talking over the phone, the key thing is not to interrupt them. You can also throw in a “Mhmm” to assure them that you are listening.
A - Acknowledge
The next step is to acknowledge the potential customer’s objection to show that you understood it. You want to show potential customer’s that you listened and understood their objection clearly. You also want to assure them that their objection is valid.
This does not mean that you confirm their objection and then try to get past it, but simply acknowledge that if their objection was true and did apply to the product that you’re selling, it would definitely be an issue. Let’s take one of the most common objects as an example: price.
Objection - this price is waaaaay too expensive
Acknowledge - Well, I definitely don’t want to you to buy something that’s going to be too expensive, no one wants to waste money.
A - Ask a question
Objections are rarely cut and dry. Behind every objection is fear, disbelief, or misunderstanding. A price objection is really a value objection. A potential customer that understands and believes in the value of your product and its ability to help their business will not be extremely price sensitive. Unless the potential customer truly does not have the budget for what you’re offering, price objections are usually a sign of a failure to communicate value. You want to ask a question that will help you get to the root of their objection so you can move past it.
Ask a Question - I’m curious why do you think this price is too expensive?
R - Respond
This is where you can use any prepared objection you have to turn the objection around. Your response should also acknowledge the potential customer’s answer to your question.
Respond - Interestingly a lot of my customers felt the same way until they realized how much time savings they could achieve with our CRM integrations and dialing features. Once they realized that through data they could make better sales decisions, improve sales team performance and track the outcomes of their sales calls, they found that they were able to dramatically increase revenue per salesperson.
C - Confirm
This is the step that many salespeople tend to overlook by responding to an objection and then immediately moving to the next step in the sales process. You need to confirm that the objection is truly handled and not just assume that your response worked.
Ask a simple and clear question that will let you know if the objection is handled. If the objection is price related, you want to confirm that you effectively showed the value of your product enough to make the price a nonissue. If the objection is about a feature request, you want to confirm that you effectively showed that the potential customer can achieve the outcome they want without that feature.
Confirm - Okay, so do you think that by investing $89 dollars per month with us you’d make a lot more in return?
Transition to Close
Once you get a yes to the confirmation, you can move forward in closing the deal. Skipping this confirmation step will weaken your objection handling and decrease your conversion rate to the next step. If you hear a no to this confirmation, you need to repeat this process.