When talking with business operators and sales teams I find that many are not as prepared to handle objections as they should be. I am not talking about being unprepared for the tricky or difficult stumbling blocks. Most business operators and sales teams seem to lack preparation for the everyday questions and objections that are an inevitable part of the sales process and importantly making a sale.
This can be an expensive oversight and also does not display a high regard for your customer’s time.
Remember that your customers have needs or problems and they are generally looking to find and embrace a solution that they can feel comfortable with. So be prepared to make them comfortable.
The Objections Register
In my July article, 7 Tools to Improve your Sales I introduced the concept of The Objections Register.
The need for the Objections Register was based on the premise that all business operators and sales teams know that they are going to be faced with numerous objections during the day-to-day process of closing sales.
If there were no objections to your selling efforts your biggest problem would be how you are going to keep up with counting all of your money.
The Objections Register in 5 Key Steps
The idea behind The Objections Register can be summarised in five key steps, namely:
- The first step is to simply brainstorm all of the objections that you or your sales team are likely to be faced with.
- Step two is to prioritise the most frequent and the most difficult objections.
- Step three is to analyse and think through the most effective solutions and responses to these objections (i.e. How to actually handle the specific objection)
- The next step is to simply summarise your list of objections and solutions in one place in the right order of priority. This is called your Objections Register.
- The last step is to continually use and update The Objections Register.
Three great uses for your Objections Register
Where we have installed the concept of The Objections Register with business operators and sales teams we have found it useful in the following three main areas.
Developing solutions for high-priority objections
Firstly, as a mechanism to force the business operator and/or sales team to think through and develop solutions to frequent and difficult objections.
Sharing team experiences and knowledge is a great way to develop solutions and approaches to handle difficult objections that help provide the customer with the information that they need to proceed.
Keeping your list of objections and solutions updated
Secondly, centralising your list of high-priority objections and solutions makes it easy for you to keep your register continually updated. New and emerging objections and their solutions can be added to the register as the marketplace evolves. Likewise, improved solutions to existing objections can be added to the register after team brainstorming and/or training sessions.
As a training tool
Thirdly, having all of your high-priority objections and solutions in an easy to find place makes it a very effective training tool for existing and new staff during their induction program.
It makes sense to ensure that all staff in a sales or customer interaction capacity are trained to expect and be able to provide solutions for high-priority objections.
How do you get good at handling Objections?
Two words are important when striving to excel at handling objections, namely, Preparation and Practice.
Preparation is about getting organised for objections before you are face-to-face with the customer (Refer The Objections Register above).
There are two types of practice that are quite handy here. First there is the type of practice that money can’t buy. By this I mean real life experience gained from years of handling objections face-to-face with customers. The second type of practice refers to sales training and in particular Sales Role Playing. Yes the dreaded Sales Role Playing.
Sales Role Playing based on well prepared solutions and responses to high-priority objections can boost sales team confidence and achieve rapid skills development.
Integrating regular Sales Role Playing into your routine sales meetings and sales training sessions is one of the most effective tools for increasing sales performance in handling objections.
This of course is where your Objections Register comes in handy.