“I can’t afford it.”
“I don’t have the time.”
“I don’t think this will benefit me.”
“My existing service is just fine.”
“Your competition is cheaper.”
“I don’t think I should be upgrading.”
“I just don’t need it.”
These are all statements we’ve probably all uttered to various customer service professionals ourselves. So, imagine how many times your team is being faced with these very common objections every single day?
With research indicating that customer expectations are continuing to rise, and that consumers are more savvy and educated about the decisions they need to make, being faced with a myriad of objections from clients can be challenging and confronting.
However, dealing with objections successfully is one of the key indicators that your training is not only comprehensive, but also highly effective.
Objections are good!
The biggest mistake we often make is automatically deciding that objections are a bad thing. If customer service professionals handle objections by being passive – or even worse, defensive – then they’re taking the objection at face value and completely missing the point. Objections are good for your business!
If a client is disinterested in your product, they won't even bother to object, they will be silent and not show any engagement with you or your team.
However, if a customer has clear objections, it means they currently have a lack of information and are willing to express their concerns. It also gives you an opportunity to answer them and flesh out any perceived issues. While a client is identifying issues that need to be resolved, the sales person’s role is to manage them, and manage them well.
These 5 steps will help you develop the skills to treat objections like the opportunities they truly are.
Before your team can manage customer’s objections, you need to know what they are likely to object to. Make it your business to always be aware of any objections they will make, and address them upfront in your sales presentation. For example, your team can explain how your product is superior, what benefits it will provide, and its long-term value for money. You could also implement an “Objection Document” that contains the top 10 objections you’re likely to face. Being prepared for these key objections will allow your team to answer them confidently when delivering presentations.
When faced with an objection, it’s critical to respectfully listen and verbally acknowledge any concerns. Shutting down objections with a defensive attitude will instantly turn off the lines of communication. Using empathy will allow your team to connect with your customers, show they genuinely care for their concerns, and help them to move forward with exploring their concerns.
The art of being curious is one of the most crucial assets any service professional can possess. Research has revealed that it takes at least 4-5 layers of questions to really unlock the nature of any objection. With this in mind, it’s important your team is asking detailed, open-ended questions until the cause of the objection is uncovered. After re-stating the objection, your team can feed the objection back to the client, and ask them to confirm that they’ve understood them correctly.
Once all objections are understood, this is an opportunity to answer them calmly, confidently and creatively. This is the moment to mitigate any blockages with statistics, industry research, and even analogies. In fact, using analogies – such as “if you were buying a new car, would you buy a cheaper one if it meant sacrificing quality, workmanship and reliability” – is a highly successful way of re-framing your customer’s thinking. Summarising the bigger picture for your clients, showing them the long-term value, and always providing them with customer success stories to demonstrate how satisfied your existing clients are all critical components of the process.
Once your team has listened, acknowledged, explored, answered and summarised any objections, they can calmly re-direct the natural flow of the conversation. Objection management should never be the key focus of any presentation, and re-directing the conversation with ease demonstrates your team has the knowledge, skills and confidence to focus on their bigger task: closing the sale!
At Workstar, we get excited about developing experiential solutions that help people in every industry learn to identify, acknowledge and overcome customer objections. If you’d like to chat to us about our award-winning approach, click the button below
Institute Of Customer Service, Customer Satisfaction Index (2014)
Efti, Steli (2013), ‘Manage Any Sales Objection Successfully!’
Spreiter, Daryl (2013), ‘6 Techniques for Effective Objection Handling’
Fleschner, Malcolm, ‘Two Useful Tips to Handle Customer Objections’