I didn’t always love objections. In fact, they used to scare the buh-geezus out of me.
I vividly remember my early days of cold calling when I would start the day pumped up and ready to rock it, only to be met with objection after objection which would leave me feeling defeated and disappointed.
I took the objections personally, they tripped me up, they made me nervous and instantly made me regret my life choices. I’d apologize for the inconvenience and go crawl under a rock.
However, I knew that if I wanted to have a career selling anything (which I did) I needed to form a better relationship with objections.
So over the years (through some trial and error) I’ve found techniques and systems that have helped me transform the fear into warm, fuzzy feelings. I now love getting objections and today I am breaking down why and the exact strategies I’ve used to make the switch.
Change the meaning
First and foremost, what’s the meaning you’ve put on getting objections? Do you believe they are negative and are ultimately leading to a NO? How does the thought of getting objections make you feel? Anxious?
I feel you. It is natural, however, to be successful in sales you need to change the meaning of what an objection is and put a positive perspective on it.
Please hear me on this, never assume an objection is a NO. Change the meaning and believe that an objection is simply the prospect’s way of telling you that they need more information.
I get excited when an objection comes up because I know I am on track and it presents the opportunity to keep the conversation going. I want you to be happy when you hear an objection because it is not a NO.
Think of objections as a way to better serve the client. It is an invitation to dig deeper, have a more meaningful conversation and a way to build trust.
Objections are an important part of the selling process. Embrace them.
Take a moment to put it into perspective. Even if you can’t fully believe that objections are a good thing, just trust me and believe they are great anyway. Maybe even put the following on a post-it note and look at it every morning:
Objections are opportunities.
Next, I want you to create and keep a list of all the objections you get (or think you possibly could get).
Seriously, have a notebook next to your phone, in your car, or wherever you are prospecting. Anytime you hear an objection, jot it down. This is important because you will start seeing patterns and commonalities.
My guess is that the common threads include: time, money, need, and trust, I know because these are the ones I typically see. However, do this exercise. It is important to know what they are for your specific industry.
Keeping track of the common objections will help you identify them better in the future and will help you start feeling more comfortable as they come up.
Having a list of potential objections is great so you can be more aware of them, but what is even better is preparing your responses to each objection and practicing them.
Preparation is what is going to get you excited when an objection comes up.
So grab that notebook and for each objection write out every possible response you can think of. Think in terms of what’s in it for the prospect and the value they will get.
You can even enlist the help of a mentor, colleague, or friend to brainstorm ideas. The goal here is not to invalidate the objection but to find the opportunities within them. With that in mind, note that many of the responses might be best phrased as questions and that is great.
Once you’ve dialed in on a few potential responses/questions, rehearse them in front of a mirror, say them to your dog, record a voice memo to yourself and play them back, or role play with someone.
Get so prepared that you’ll be eager to have the objection come up because you’ll know just what to say.
Get ahead of them
A great way to handle an objection is before it even gets brought up. If you notice that the same 2 or 3 objections ALWAYS get brought up weave those objections (and your prepared responses) into your sales presentation.
Bonus: This shows your prospect that you are thinking about the sale from their perspective which helps you build the relationship and gain trust faster.
A fun way of doing this is through telling stories or using case studies. For this using the Felt- Found formula works wonders.
For example, let’s say you’re doing a real estate listing presentation (borrowing from my own experience) and you know you are up against a larger national firm. You’ve noticed that being with a smaller/local firm has been a common objection. You could add in something like the following when talking about your firm.
We pride ourselves on being a local firm, yet some of our current clients originally felt that they needed a larger firm with more of a national presence, however they have found that with us we are able to be more agile and have better pulse on the market.
Tah-dah… just adapt this to your own industry or situation. Find ways to integrate your most common injections into the conversation before they are even brought up and it will change the entire interaction.
Ask better questions
Remember like 20 second ago when I mentioned many of your responses to objections might be best phrased as questions? Well, I want to dive a little deeper into that.
Experts say that it takes at least 4-5 layers of questions to really uncover the pain or nature of an objection. So don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
Ask open ended questions, then ask clarifying questions. Be like a 5 year old and ask a ton of questions. (Side note, never just use “why?” as your question, it will always put the prospect on the defensive).
It’s a beautiful thing when you can lead a prospect to overcome their own objection and sometimes all that takes is questions.
Need help with asking better questions? Grab my free guide: The Ultimate List of Sales Call Questions. Inside you’ll find tons of great questions including clarifying and objection seeking questions.
Use the 2 Second Rule
One Mississippi, Two Mississippi.
That is how long I want you to wait before responding to any objection or question for that matter.
When I first started out I found that I would get so flustered when objections came up. I’d be so in my head trying to think of a response and then blurt it out so fast so that I wouldn’t forget what I wanted to say and I’d often interrupt the prospect. Not only was I being rude I wasn’t really listening. It was terrible.
So just pause for two seconds. Slow it down.
When I started doing this I noticed such a difference. If you maintain a calm demeanor amid a flurry of sales objections, you’ll build trust with your customer and be able to respond in such a better way.
This one is huge. When you can move from your head into your heart in sales everything can change. When you can get grateful for every objection you will go from hating them to loving them.
Be grateful that you have an opportunity to serve your prospect better. Objections give you that.
Be grateful that you are learning how to become a better salesperson. Objections do that.
Simply be grateful for objections.
So there you have it. My top 7 techniques to loving objections.
I hope they help you welcome objections, have better conversations and build stronger relationships.
Here’s to never letting an objection trip you up again!