What does it mean when your “Future Customer” OBJECTS? (Part 2)
OBJECTIONS – How do you handle them?
There are a number of different types of Objections. In this article I want to highlight a few of them and give you a couple different ways of handling them. The various methods for dealing with Objections, although varied, do in many ways dovetail into each other.
Remember that Objections are really only your future customer asking you to answer questions they have regarding how your value proposition will support them to satisfy a need, meet an objective or solve a specific challenge. The more prepared you are before any sales encounter, the easier it will be to respond proactively rather than reactively to any Objections.
Objections related to Value
Accept that all Objections are your future customers (Prospects) attempting to get more clarity about the VALUE you will deliver and how this will help them to:
- Improve their profitability
- Reduce costs
- Improve the efficiency or effectiveness of their team or organization
- Help them to solve a challenge or find a better solution
Example: – Clarifying Value
We offer a blended approach to sales training, which includes elements of classroom-based training, with online training and audio books.
An Objection, which we encounter, is as follows:
Your sales training sounds great, but my concern is around the level of engagement by my sales team members. “How do we know whether they actually engage with the online training system or the audio books”?
RESTATE – If I understand you correctly, you are concerned that your sales team will not engage with either the Online Sales Training Solution or the audio books? What is the reason you believe that your sales team will not actively engage with those two systems?
From experience I know that my sales team is inherently lazy and they do not easily engage with any additional work we ask them to perform.
CLARIFY – Have you ever asked your sales team to engage with training materials, like our Online Sales Training Solution or audio books before? What was their response and level of engagement, when you asked them to do this training?
No we have never done any similar training before, I am just concerned that my sales team will not engage with any training materials after hours.
EXPLORE: – If I understand you correctly, you have never engaged in similar training, but you are concerned that your sales team will not readily engage with any additional training after hours. What leads you to believe that your sales team won’t see the benefits that will accrue to them and that they won’t use the training materials to support them to optimize their sales abilities and increase their earning potential?
Well I don’t have anything concrete to go on, as we have not actually tried any similar training in the past. I am just basing my concern on how my sales team responds to any new admin or CRM systems, we have introduced in the past.
RESPOND: I am really glad that you have raised this concern. In my experience the way your sales team will engage with our sales training is not the same as the way they would respond to any new admin or CRM system. We ensure that we show your sales team all the benefits, which will accrue to them, as a result of using all the sales tools. We also help them to see how they will directly benefit from improved sales. This supports them to “WANT” to use all the tools and techniques. From our experience, the majority of sales team members do engage with our training tools.
How do you feel about a system that will allow you to track the level of engagement of each team member in the Online Sales Training Solution, on a weekly basis?
Wow! In addition to the fact that they will be shown the benefits around why they should actively participate in the training. Having a system that would give me regular weekly feedback as to the level of participation in the online sales system would be amazing.
As you can imagine, after dealing with objections in this way, closing the sale is relatively simple.
Unpacking and understanding the above example
- By RESTATING what the customer said, you ensure that you have completely understood them and you know exactly what the concern or question is. If you rush into an explanation, you may have misunderstood their concern and may compound the situation by telling them about something that was not an issue. From the example above, it became clear that the real concern was not about the sales team engaging with training, but was actually related to how they responded to admin or the introduction of a new CRM system.
- By further CLARIFYING your understanding, you are able to support your future customer to see that this is a different situation, to the one that is causing their concern in the first place. You get to know that they have never engaged in similar training in the past and your future customer also sees that their concern is not justified, as they are utilizing a different set of circumstances to judge the level of participation of their sales team in future training. This is far more effective way to allay any concerns, than would be the case if you rambled on and tried to tell them that their team will definitely engage with your training.
- When you respond with a question, where you seek to EXPLORE things a little more, you do not only gain more insights into what the real objection or concern is, but you also encourage your future customer to re-examine the concern too. This re-examination gives them an opportunity to find answers to their questions, without you even having to answer.
- Finally when you RESPOND, you have a complete understanding around what the actual concern, objection or question is. Your future customer has also begun to develop a better appreciation that their concern or objection is not justified; in the context they initially viewed it. In other words, when you utilize this process to handle or mitigate OBJECTIONS you not only ensure that you completely understand the question or objection, but you gradually allow your future customer to gain the answers or insights they need.
In part 3 of this series of articles, I will highlight how to utilize a consultative process, which will help your future customer to see just how committed you are towards providing a complete solution.