Objections can bring us up short. Most often heard in the context of a sales conversation, an objection can bring a pitch to an end and remove the potential for a conversion – unless effectively dealt with. Objections can also arise in many other situations, from team members objecting to a plan to a manager who raises objections to a request for a pay rise or a promotion. Whatever the context, how can you become an expert at objection handling?
Why is it important to handle objections?
Objections are basically roadblocks. Whether your goal is to achieve a sale with a customer, or to convince someone to try another process or idea to get to an objective, when there’s an objection in the way then nothing can go any further. The longer a person holds an objection, the more entrenched it can become and the more difficult it will be to shift. So, it’s important to deal with objections as soon as they arise – and to be alert to the fact that they could arise at any moment. Dealt with in the right way, objections don’t have to become obstacles. Sometimes, they may even open a channel to getting to your ideal destination more quickly.
How can you become an expert at handling objections?
Welcome objections rather than avoiding them
This means not just being prepared for someone to raise an objection but also proactively encouraging them to voice that objection early on. So, you might ask if someone has any concerns to something you’ve suggested, or to the product you’re trying to sell, rather than waiting for them to bring it up. The sooner you deal with the objection after it forms in the mind of the person you’re speaking to, the easier it will be to get past it.
Listen, Acknowledge, Explore, Respond
Hearing objections raised may make you feel like instantly trying to shut them down but sometimes this can just make a situation worse. Instead, start by listening to the objection so that you understand exactly what the problem is. Acknowledge that the objection has been raised and then explore some of the reasons for it. When you’re ready, respond thoughtfully. You’ll have more chance of being listened to if you’ve already listened to what was said and a better opportunity to get through to someone if you present your response in a thoughtful way.
Keep track of common objections
This is a useful tactic if you’re in an environment, such as sales, where you’re hearing many of the same objections repeatedly. If you start tracking them you’ll be able to identify the most common objections and be prepared for them next time around. It may be useful to role play responses to objections so that you can refine them in a way that will make your replies more effective.
Whatever the context, the ability to handle objections is essential. Our Objection Handling Skills course helps you to find the best possible answer in every situation so that you’re not held back by the objections you face.