Tuesday, June 17, 2008

5 Steps to Overcoming the REAL Objection

In a perfect world when you're done with your presentation, the prospect says, "We'll take it!" signs a check, and sends you on your way. If only! Situations like this don't happen - and even if they do, the prospect almost always has some objections you have to overcome before they'll approve the sale.

What most people don't realize, according to sales trainer Rochelle Togo-Figa, is that "objections are a sign that the customer is interested, not the reverse." Unfortunately, many salespeople don't see it this way. "They're uncertain how to respond to the objection, so they come across unsure or end up giving away too much," says Togo-Figa.

Togo-Figa continues, "When an objection is raised, it's not necessarily a stop sign. The prospect may just be saying he or she has not been convinced yet and they want more information before making a buying decision."

Make sure you know what the real objection is, and then determine how you can prepare your response. Togo-Figa explains that often times objections like "I'm happy with my current vendor," "I want to think about it," or "Your price is too high" really mean "I don't have the money," "I think I can get a better deal elsewhere," or "I'm not impressed with your presentation." "Many times the prospect will not tell you the true objection, for fear of hurting your feelings," says Togo-Figa.

Here are 5 steps from Togo-Figa to uncover and overcome the REAL objections:

1. Listen carefully to the objection. Do you feel it is a valid objection or perhaps might be covering up the real objection? Try to find out by using this phrase: "Do you really mean..." or "Usually when a client tells me that, my experience has shown me they may have a concern about the price. Is that true for you?"

2. Get the prospect to commit to the objection. Reword the objection as a question. Example: "In other words, if price weren't an issue, would you be interested in working with me?" This gets the prospect to answer you directly and commit to the objection, so that you can begin to overcome it.

3. Determine whether it is the only stumbling block. Ask the prospect if the reason they've given is the only reason they're not doing business with you. Example: "If I could resolve this issue, are there any other issues standing in the way of our doing business?"

4. Answer the objection to resolve the issue and get agreement. Use everything you have in your sales toolbox to answer the prospect's objection. Show different cost options, prove benefits, present comparison charts, show testimonials, product knowledge, and believe in yourself.

5. Ask a closing question that confirms the sale. Make a non-pressuring statement that leads to the close. Example: "If I could..., would you be ready to go forward?" Or, "If I check with my office and it's a go, I'm assuming we have a deal. Is that right?" Using "if" when responding to an objection is a magical word. It takes the pressure off the prospect because you're not asking them to commit.

Rochelle Togo-Figa, the Sales Breakthrough Expert, is the creator of the Sales Breakthrough System. Visit her website at www.SalesBreakthroughs.com
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