There’s a very well-known motto in sales.
“If they accepted my proposal without any objection, I was too cheap”.
It’s in the purchaser DNA to object. Now, that can be done at completely different levels or arguments (valid or not) and therefore might require different approaches but there’s at least one common thing to bear in mind: the need of active listening and understanding the customer real doubt – often different of what he tells you – so you can work on the subject and take it out of the equation.
Listen. Don’t rush to answer on the spot. Don’t put yourself immediately in a defence or response mode. Hold your horses. Listen to him, watch him, and ask more details about his rejection. Quality issue? At what level? Specification? Processing formula? Machinery regulation?
Use one of the most successful “lean” approaches: the five why question process. For each answer go one layer deeper.
Let him talk. What is he objecting about? Focus on his arguments not his person. This is not a “arm wrestling” fight. This is positioning and how can you bridge your arguments with his objections. Very often people get emotional with objection (or rejections) and lose the direction of the all discussion and negotiation to a point that the opportunity is lost.
It’s not about you’re being right and he’s being wrong. It’s not about what you want. First and foremost is what he wants/needs. Listen to him and take it from there. Often times they have gaps and holes in their own objections. When you show real interest or try to uncover their objection they provide you info they wouldn’t otherwise. Often times they’re just testing the waters (and why shouldn’t they) to see how far would you go or how tough are you.
But bear in mind that often, they are right. You’re on “auto pilot” that you didn’t notice your proposal doesn’t meet their real needs (but yours). That technically there’s not a good fit. That quality wise it’s not what they need and therefore you need to involve your technical or quality people. That they are on a different quality level than the standard customer or need some additional feature.
That’s why it’s so important to listen and be genuinely grateful or open to discuss the objection. One way or the other it’s an improvement opportunity. For your company, for your product, for your services, for your package or for yourself as a sales person. It’s a unique chance to beat objection on a constructive manner.
Don’t let a “no” blind you or your ego. Pick it up and turn it into a yes. That’s what great sales people do.
But bear in mind as well the following:
– Is it worth the time/effort dedicated to that customer?
– Do you perceive that the objection is vague and none-sense?
– Does the customer or prospect really needs your product and is willing to value it if the objection is properly handled?
If the answer is no, thank them for their time, keep the door open but focus on your potential customers not on those who systematically use you to benchmark.
It’s useless to deal with objections of customers you don’t want, need or fit your business.