You are so close to closing the deal, and you know that you need the sale. Then it happens, the last-minute objection, and it’s a big one. Don’t get worried! Knowing how to handle these objections, these last-minute curveballs, will not only keep you from losing the sale but will also give you a chance to strengthen your relationship with your prospect.
“How can handling objections strengthen my relationship with a prospect or client?” The answer is by playing the long game. We need to build trust, and we need to build credibility. To do so, we have to have an understanding of what the person is feeling, what they’re thinking, and what they’re worried about. The problem is that most consumers, most prospects, and most clients will never tell you that. When you’re in a sales conversation and someone gives you an objection, that’s a little window. That’s a little piece of insight. That’s a little slice into how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. Knowing that arms you better to lead them through the process.
The more objections you get, the more insight you get. The more understanding you have about who you’re speaking to, the better off you actually are in getting the “yes” or getting the “no.” We don’t want “maybes”. The objection we get will help us understand how to help the person more to get them to that “yes,” or it’ll make it super clear that this is a “no,” in which case, you can send them on their way. You don’t want to give them something that they don’t need or something that’s not right for them. Getting to that “no” is just as good, but that only comes from being able to handle these objections.
Here are five ways to handle objections. Don’t just know them — you need to fall in love with them.
1. You have to listen.
Nothing is more frustrating when you thought it was going to go well and it doesn’t go well. But you have to stop, and you have to listen. Be patient. Don’t get thrown off your game. Don’t try to regain control. Instead, stop and listen because this is an opportunity for you to learn more about the real situation so that you can handle it. Don’t make the customer feel like you’re just dismissing it or setting aside. It’s also not about fixing the problem or their concern right away. Fixing things is an action, and right now, we’re only listening. It’s about making them feel heard and understood.
2. Dig deeper into the objection.
Part of being able to overcome a customer’s objection is to ensure that you really understand their problem. Try to get a good understanding of their actual concern. Clarify their point. Give their language back to them, and then have them agree that you actually understand it. Not only will this help them feel heard, but it’ll also put you on an even playing field where they start to turn to you as a trusted advisor.
3. Identify the real problem.
In most cases, the problem isn’t the real problem, right? What we’re saying isn’t really what’s going on. We’re being shallow. We don’t want to reveal too much. So the question you have to ask yourself is “What is the problem when the problem they’re giving me isn’t the real problem?” You want to be polite and not push too hard, but it makes sense to challenge some of these preconceived notions. Start to dig a little bit deeper, and play around the edges. You can say, “Help me understand. You’re saying this, and I understand that this is the problem. But why is this a problem? Why is this even an issue? Help me understand the backstory, so that way, I can help you arrive at a solution.” Recognize that the challenge or problem they’re giving you, in most cases, isn’t the real thing. If you want to be able to help them overcome this, you actually have to get to the real thing.
4. Take some time.
Don’t rush the process. Take some time to show up in a meeting or multiple meetings. People move through the sales process at their speed, not yours. Some people are willing to move quickly, and others need more time. Some people who seem like they are going to move quick suddenly give you an objection that has to be handled, and it takes more time. So give it time because their challenge is a challenge in their mind — even if it’s silly to you, even if it’s simple to you, even if you’ve overcome this challenge many times before. Give them the feeling that you respect the fact that this is a real challenge, and give them the time that they need to move through it. Consider what you can do to brainstorm some outcomes. Make it feel like you’re not glossing over this and that you’re giving it the time and the respect that it needs. That way, when we arrive at a solution, they feel that it’s actually properly considered, that you’ve taken everything into account and that you didn’t just rush through it to get the sale.
5. Offer an unbiased solution.
Nothing kills your credibility more than offering the solution that’s best for you and not for them. There is an old saying that goes, “If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” It means that if you only have one tool in your back pocket, you’re going to pull that one tool out for everything. I see this all the time with marketers. I’m a social media expert. What do you think the answer is to their business problems? Social media, right? We run a video production agency. What’s the answer? A video, right? We see this in all industries. People pull out the tool. They think that the tool they have is the answer to everything. However, sometimes the tool you have is not the answer, and that’s okay. You need to put yourself in a position for all these steps. That way, you can actually provide honest, transparent, and unbiased advice because we’re playing the long game.
In the long game, I would much rather send someone off, so that way, they can circle back around later when the opportunity actually aligns. Then try to squeeze them into something that’s 60 percent there. Here’s some language that I use. I say, “You know what? I’m a business owner as well. If it were me, I would want two or three solutions, like X, Y, and Z, and I would probably move forward with this for this reason. But it’s your choice.” Or if you want to try to close someone, you might say, “You know, what if we were able to do this and this? Do you think it would put us in a better position to be able to move forward? If this is really all that’s holding us up and we figure out a way to be able to do this and this, we’ll be able to move forward, right?”
In each of these situations, I put forward what I think is best for them. I ask myself what I would do in their situation if I were in their shoes. It may include me or not, but the choice is theirs. That protects my credibility. I don’t want to tarnish my relationship by quickly moving into a sales mode when, at the end of the day, all I want to do is help them out — whether that’s a yes (awesome, we got the deal) or a no, which is fine. Hopefully, it’s a no for now, and it’ll be a yes in the future. We’re just trying to move out of the land of maybes because maybes kill us. They waste our time. They waste our efforts. They give us false hope.
Remember, objections are the best. Don’t get worried. Don’t get angry.
This gives us the insight we need to strengthen our relationship. Understand the prospect, the client, or the consumer more. We need to put ourselves in a position where we’re actually offering real advice. The more you do this, the more you’ll come to understand that there are only six to ten objections that people give you. They come in different flavors, but they’re always the same problems. Moreover, you’ll come to understand how to overcome these objections and what the answer is. You’ll start to gain more confidence because you know that you can work around it and deliver on it.
It’s like muscle memory. The more you do, the more you’ll hear it, and the more you’ll come to understand exactly how to overcome it. But follow the steps still even if you have the answer. Listen. Don’t rush the process. Give things time. Make sure the person is heard. All of those things are important in strengthening your relationship with your prospect, customer, consumer, or whomever you’re speaking to. Learn how to overcome the objections.
Learn to love them because you know you can handle them. It’ll help you build more confidence. It’ll help you strengthen your close rate, and more than anything, you will be the trusted advisor that you set out to be.