Answering Objections

One of the major contributors to call reluctance is lack of confidence in handling objections. In sales workshops I often ask salespeople, “What happens when someone gives you an objection you know the answer to, an answer that clinches the sale?” It’s all you can do to let the prospect finish the objection before you answer it!

Thus a key way to overcome call reluctance – not to mention to make the sales “game” more enjoyable and rewarding – is to know how to answer objections. Answering objections involves two steps: first, we have to determine where the objection is coming from; then we have to address the objection accordingly.

When prospects voice an objection, they are either saying, “I don’t want to talk to another salesperson today!” or, “Tell me again why I should buy.” The first type of objection is a barrier; the second is a buying sign.

Answering “barrier” objections. Often the barrier objection doesn’t make any sense, or focuses on things that have no relevance to the prospect’s business concerns. In fact, they are designed to throw salespeople off track to get rid of them! Examples: “Your price is too high” … “I don’t like your format” … “You’re not Number One” … “Radio doesn’t work.” Whenever a businessperson finds an objection that works – no matter how ridiculous it may seem – he or she will continue using it.

When such an objection is raised, you want to deal with the objection briefly (perhaps dismissively, if you can pull it off) and get back on track. Some experienced salespeople can even communicate to the prospect (though not in so many words), “You and I both know that’s a bogus objection.”

Answering buying-sign objections. Genuine objections relate to your presentation or to the prospect’s business. They show that the prospect is interested in what you are saying, but needs further convincing. Examples: “I don’t know that your station [this schedule, etc.] will get me results” … “I don’t want to run at those times” … “That’s too much money for me.”

When answering buying-sign objections, first pause as though considering what the prospect has said (even if – especially if – you already know what you’re going to say). Next, validate the objection by saying something like, “That’s a good point [question] …” Then, give the response. (It’s a good idea to take some time in sales meetings to share objections you’ve heard and responses that work – and which objections are which!)