Tag Archive | "Handling Objections"

Brag About Objections

In sales, especially in vehicle sales, it’s critical to understand that the buyer’s perception is everything. Our cars, trucks and vans are not just modes of transportation. They are status symbols. They tell the world who we are and what we care about.

Some care most about fuel efficiency and small environmental footprints. Others are more concerned about safety. Some people want their vehicles to be second homes and are primarily concerned with how many people and how much stuff they can haul with them. Still others care more about style. Different people choose a vehicle for very different reasons. The salesperson’s job is to learn what their reasons are, then help them find a good fit.

Many of today’s buyers are being drawn to vehicles with highly technological advancements. They want driving their cars to be as convenient and comfortable as using their smartphones. While manufacturers are intelligent to follow this trend, the majority of buyers with technological experience are likely to have certain fears about that technology.

We’ve all experienced situations where technology failed us. Perhaps our mobile phone service cuts out in certain parts of the country. Maybe we’ve had our computers lock up or even crash. Software challenges may have decreased our efficiency or even cause us to miss a promised deadline. Even more common are situations where the user simply doesn’t quite use the technology correctly. This is known as user or operator error. That type of challenge can be the most frustrating because it can be hard to admit you did something wrong or that you simply don’t understand something that you thought you did.

So the excitement for the technological advancements in vehicles is tempered by a certain level of doubt about its reliability. Because of the volume of information available online, and not just what’s posted by the manufacturer’s marketing department, potential buyers may approach you with information from blogs or friends about the challenges they’ve had with your vehicles.

They’re actually walking in the door with a handful of objections and practically daring you to tell them they’re wrong. Many salespeople cower internally (and some do it externally) when faced with buyers who say they’re interested in a vehicle you know has had some bad press. But that’s not the way to handle it.

When you know there is or has been a challenge with any aspect of your product, it’s your job to know how it is or has been resolved. Knowledge is power when properly applied. The application of this knowledge is not to be reserved until after you have presented the benefits of the vehicle. It’s during the presentation. Don’t anxiously await the buyer’s objection about the challenge. Bring it up yourself.

This may seem counterintuitive but it works quite well. By bringing up and bragging about a known objection before the client does, you are proactively dealing with an objection that could stall the sale later. You, in effect, take away the objection.

Let’s say that the vehicles you sell have touch screens and that there have been some challenges with those screens not working as well as anticipated. It doesn’t matter if the challenge was technological or operator error, the challenge is out there and your buyer has possibly read reviews about it. Don’t ask if they have read about it because that will likely take you and the buyer off on what could be a lengthy side discourse on the challenge. You just want to bring it up, brag about how the manufacturer is handling it or did handle it, and get back on track with the forward movement of the sale.

It might sound something like this:

“Mike and Sara, I see how interested you are in the touch screen navigation. It’s a great feature of this vehicle. As with much new technology, there were some issues with it in the beginning. I’m sure you’re familiar with upgrades and fixes with your computers and phones. Manufacturers have handled vehicle technology issues the same way. They are constantly working to make the technological aspects of their vehicles more user-friendly and more reliable. If you’ve heard some negative press about our touch screen navigation system, don’t let it keep you from enjoying all the benefits of this vehicle. The manufacturer has already made great improvements based on consumer feedback and will continue to do so.”

See how nice that is? You haven’t committed to anything specific. But you addressed an objection they may have been waiting to spring on you when they feel motivated to make the purchase. They may be thinking it’ll be a negotiating point to help lower the investment for the vehicle. Not anymore. You’re one step ahead of them and have just eliminated what could have been a powerful reason for them to say no to the purchase. You’ve bragged about the objection, handled it, and are now prepared to keep the sale moving forward.

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Don’t Be Afraid of ‘No’

Objections Are OK – They’re Just A Normal Part of the Selling Process

Closing the sale and overcoming a customer’s objections sound like two different topics. But closing the sale and handling objections always work together, and it takes effective skills at both to make more sales.

Most salespeople are so afraid of objections that they say and do all the wrong things. That’s too bad because in sales, knowing how to handle objections correctly is one of the most important skills you need to develop.

A customer having an objection doesn’t cause you to miss the sale. It’s how you handle their objection that determines whether you make the sale or miss it.

Getting a ‘no’ doesn’t mean they don’t like you or that they aren’t going to buy from you, so don’t burden yourself with all of those feelings of ‘rejection.’

Just assume what I just said is true and you’ll sell a lot more and earn a lot more in your career. ‘No’ simply means…

Based on the information you’ve given me so far, I can’t say ‘yes’ – tell me more and ask me again later!

Since 80 percent of all sales are made after the fifth attempt to close and overcome the objection, especially remember that…

Persistence eliminates resistance!

Your Habits Cause Most Of The Objections

Most real objections are created by salespeople. There’s a statistically correct and incorrect response when you get an objection. Toss out the right response, and objections just disappear, or you bypass them until later.

If you incorrectly respond to a question or an objection the first time it comes up though, it’ll become a bigger issue, and it may become almost impossible to overcome on the spot and/or later in the sales process.

Examples of a few wrong ways to answer simple common questions that you’ll pay for later in closing or negotiating:

  • I like the car, but it’s a lot of money, how low can you go? Don’t worry – we’ve never lost a deal because of price.
  • What’s my trade worth? What did you want for it?
  • Do you have one of these in white? No, but I can get you one.
  • What would payments run on this? What did you want to spend?

Yeah, I know. Each of those answers is what most of us were taught to respond with – and that’s the problem. There’s a better way.

Let’s look at how you can take a common objection and turn it around so you can close on it again to make the sale.

Early in the process…

• “It’s a lot of money.” If this comes up before they’ve found a vehicle they’re ready to take home, bypass the objection.

First, answer their question: “To get you accurate information, let’s make sure this is the vehicle you want to own (no bridge) who wants to drive first Bob, you or Betty?” Continue to build rapport, investigate, present, demonstrate, build value, introduce them to people in service, etc.

If it comes after they’ve selected a vehicle…

You’ve started closing on the demo at your Landmark, they parked in the Sold Line and you’re getting your Action Closes and they bring up the same objection. Instead of bypassing it this time, you’ll rephrase the objection to budget and close.

“Like I said before, this is a lot of money.” Rephrase to Budget: “It sounds like you’re like me and everybody else, it sounds like you guys are on a budget, am I right?” “Yes, absolutely.”

Now Isolate: “So Bob, if we sat down and went over the figures and you both felt your budget could handle it (Isolate) other than fitting this into your budget is there any other reason we couldn’t put all this shopping behind you and send you home in this brand new truck right now?” “No, I guess if it worked out, sure we’d take it…But what do you think they’ll give us for our trade?”

Bypass the trade question and close: “Let’s get all of the information on our car and yours and we’ll go see – were we registering this in one name or two?” “Both names.”

Let’s look at a couple of other good responses…

“What’s my trade worth?” Answer and bypass: “That’s one thing I can guarantee you I don’t know. The good news is we have the highest bidder in town who buys all of our vehicles, we’ll have him take a look at it as soon as he’s free.”

“Do you have a white one of (these)?” Answer, bypass and expand your inventory: “Let’s go see, so who’s the lucky one, who gets the new car this time. Bob, is it for you or Betty?” “For me.” “Congratulations, and what’s your second favorite color?” “Silver, or maybe that off-white color you have.”

“What would payments run on this?” Answer and bypass: “That’s going to depend on equipment and speaking of equipment, what’s the feature you like best on the car you’re driving now?” “Back up camera.” “Really, why is that?” (They explain.)

“Yeah, but…” Why wouldn’t we want to get payments, trade values, or color out of the way before we spend extra time with them? Because 86 percent of the people are flexible on color and equipment, they always take less for their trade, and always make higher payments. Plus, the more excited they are about the vehicle, the more they raise their sights. Get them excited first and they’ll buy ‘silver’ – and find a way to pay for it.

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Objections Equal Desire

Early in my selling career, I had this dream. In it, I met with a married couple to offer my product – and they were so wonderful! They thoroughly enjoyed my presentation. They agreed to everything I mentioned. They didn’t ask any questions or give any objections. The whole transaction was completed and in record time. They approved everything, gave me several qualified leads and thanked me as they left my office. What a wonderful dream!

Somehow, I don’t think I was alone in having a dream of that sort. Most new salespeople think that’s what selling is like. Unfortunately, some veteran salespeople keep looking for that dream to come true as well, and it holds them back from achieving the level of success that’s possible with a bit of education.

I begin every seminar by reminding my students that there are seven steps in the selling process.

  1. Prospecting
  2. Original Contact
  3. Qualification
  4. Presentation
  5. Handling Objections
  6. Closing
  7. Getting Referrals

Please take note that handling objections is a step. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any salesperson.

Understanding how to handle objections is critical to your success. But, before we go any further, let me help you change your perspective about them. When you hear the word “objection,” do you think of lawyers jumping out of their seats on television? They’re effectively stopping the forward movement of a trial. It’s an interruption.

It’s human nature to object, hesitate, stall or procrastinate when making any decision that impacts our money. We have to feel absolutely confident that what we are replacing that money with will give us all the benefits we want. I know that’s true about me, so why should I expect my prospective clients to be any different?

My success rate in sales increased tremendously when I came to expect to hear concerns instead of fearing them. When I began to listen for them, to anticipate their arrival, I was amazed to learn that I was hearing basically the same three or four concerns in nearly every situation. That’s when I began doing some serious analysis. I spent a few hours thinking about each of those concerns. Why were my prospects saying these things and what could I do or say to help them get comfortably past these points?

I began by putting myself in their positions and discovered most prospects were objecting because of one basic emotion that was being triggered: FEAR. They were afraid to make an irreversible decision. They were afraid to make a commitment with their money. They were afraid the product wouldn’t live up to their expectations. They were afraid I was a “take-the-money-and-run” salesperson whom they’d never be able to reach again when they had questions about my product after they owned it.

You see, concerns are defense mechanisms. They are ways for clients to tell you you’re moving too fast. They are ways the clients tell you they need more information before they can feel confident about going ahead with the vehicle.

I teach two don’ts and one do for handling every concern.

  1. DON’T argue. If this sounds silly to you, good. You already know this. But, even though you know it, do you fight with them in the back of your mind? If you do, eventually it will begin to show. When potential buyers object, they’re asking for more information. If the salesperson gets upset, sarcastic or applies pressure, he or she is, in essence, killing the sale.
  2. DON’T attack when you address concerns. Learn to develop a sensitivity as to how your potential buyers feel when they voice their concerns. Show your own concern for helping them, not a determination to prove them wrong. If you start fighting their feelings, their negative emotions will take over. Defense barriers will go up and you’ll have to work twice as hard to earn their business.
  3. DO lead them to address their own concerns. A true professional always tries to help buyers answer their own objections. Most prospects will do just that given time and a little more information. After all, deep down they want to go ahead. They wouldn’t waste their time objecting to something they didn’t want to own, would they? So, your job when you hear a concern is to ask the client to elaborate on it. Say something like this, “Mrs. Smith, obviously you have a reason for saying that. Would you mind sharing it with me?” This will get her talking about what’s behind her concern. Once you understand what’s really holding her back, you’ll be able to address that issue.

In many cases, when clients do elaborate on what’s bothering them, they’ll talk themselves right through the concern and set it aside without you ever having to say anything. Oftentimes, addressing a concern only involves reviewing points you already covered in a brief summary of your presentation.

The key is to stay calm and keep questioning what’s holding them back in a gentle, concerned manner until you find the real concern. Then, you address it and move on to closing the transaction.

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Addressing Client Concerns

How you address client concerns will have a powerful impact on your overall success level. In many cases, once concerns are addressed, the sale is made. You can go straight to asking for their approval on your paperwork.

The foundation of addressing client concerns is a simple, yet incredibly powerful six-step process that I’ve taught for many years. Read through them here. Then commit to re-reading them at least twice a day for a week.

Step #1: Hear Them Out

Let the client talk until you know as much as they do about their concern. If you try to address the concern before hearing all of what they have to say, you may end up answering a concern they don’t feel is all that important and/or bring up another concern they hadn’t even thought of.

You see, raising concerns is a defense mechanism. Buyers react to the urge to go ahead by slowing things down with a concern. So, let them get it all out before attempting to address any point they’ve raised.

If you feel they’re not telling you everything, encourage them to talk with phrases such as, “I see. Is there anything else that concerns you about this decision?” or “What concerns do you have about…” You want to know all the bad past experiences they’ve had, all their reasons for hesitation before you move on. If you don’t, you may find yourself back at this point again with this client.

Step #2: Feed it Back

Simply re-state their concern in your own words. “So your concern, John, is…” This accomplishes two things. First, you demonstrate that you really listened to the client. Second, you have the opportunity to get confirmation from them that you understand their concern. Having someone understand you makes you feel closer to him or her. It creates a bond or common ground of sorts. It warms them up to accepting your advice on the purchase.

Step #3: Question the Importance of the Concern

This step can be tricky if not handled properly. You must gently ask if this concern would keep them from making the decision to go ahead if it cannot be resolved. It could be this concern is not all that important and the client will dismiss it when they consider whether or not it would keep them from owning the vehicle. If it would stop the sale, you then proceed accordingly.

Step #4: Answer the Concern

Depending on the concern, you may be able to do this quickly or you may have to do a little research on behalf of the client. Either way, you need to demonstrate, above all else, a sincere desire to help them. You’re working for them at this point. You’re an industry expert and a research consultant at their disposal. This could also be a good time to ensure them that you wouldn’t want them to make a decision without having all the facts, or a decision that might not be exactly right for them.

In answering the concern, you must consider it like a close. You have to appeal to their logic, yet close them emotionally. You’re helping them to rationalize the importance of the concern and the value of your answer.

Step #5: Confirm the Answer

Once you see signs that they’re agreeable to your answer and that it makes sense to them, make a simple statement of that fact. You could say, “That makes sense, doesn’t it?” If they agree, the concern is now behind you. If they show any hesitation at all, you must go back to Step #4 and come up with a better answer.

If you feel there’s more they haven’t told you, warmly ask, “Obviously, there’s a reason for your continued hesitation. Would you mind sharing it with me?” It could be they’ve just come up with another concern and are uncomfortable telling you since they already told you above that it was their real final concern. Always, always give your potential clients opportunities to save face if you see that they’re feeling hesitant or uncomfortable in any way.

Step #6: Change Gears

Once the concern has been satisfactorily addressed, it’s time to move on. The simplest method I’ve ever used to move on to the next aspect of the sale is the phrase, “By the way…” Then, I move onto the next area of discussion, changing gears so-to-speak to move on to the close or the next decision that must be made before closing.

P.D.R. (Practice, Drill and Rehearse) these steps until they become natural to you. Try them with your spouse or children the next time a concern is raised. When you feel comfortable with the strategy, start applying it. You’ll be amazed at how much more effective you become at handling concerns.

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