Prospect – Working with objections is a key skill for any sales professional. Even if the prospect tells you no definitively, competent work with objections helps to maintain a useful contact for the future and to learn a valuable lesson from the situation. The main thing to remember: the encounter with rejection is not a reason to lose the initiative. As long as the dialogue is not over, there is still a chance to make a deal.
Causes of Refusals
The first thing to do when you face a client’s “no” is to identify the reason for the refusal. It is not always a rational reason, more often it is an emotional one:
- mistrust – the natural reaction to any proposal from an unfamiliar (or even a complete stranger), who, moreover, is obviously trying to benefit from the situation primarily for himself;
- lack of interest – the one who is offering has not managed to find the needs of the potential client;
- lack of understanding – occurs if the benefits of the product and the potential benefits (for the client) of the proposal were not presented to the client.
The primary task, breaking through the barrier of emotional reactions, is to find the rational reasons for objections. Despite the abundance of rational reasons, their main bases are:
- Price – the lion’s share of objections are based on this point. “Too expensive!” – the sales representative can hear first. Behind the dissatisfaction with the price is usually the fact that the customer doesn’t realize the value of the product or offer. In this case, it is a bad tactic to offer a discount, because in this way the product (offer) is even more devalued in the eyes of the potential client. However, we should not rule out cases where the price is really high or the client is afraid to “lose face” by agreeing to a deal without bargaining.
- Time – the client does not refuse the deal in principle, but is not ready to make it now. In this case, the right thing to do is to clarify exactly when the client is ready to consider an offer. Perhaps he is already bound by a contract with your competitors. Lack of specifics, on the other hand, makes it clear that the client is just trying to get away with hiding his true motives.
- The product – it is often on its properties that a rejection is based. You should thoroughly check if the client really got the point of the offer. Perhaps the reason for the rejection was a trivial misunderstanding.
Once you understand the reason for refusal, you can move on to work with objections.
A typical algorithm for dealing with objections is as follows:
- Don’t get into an argument – let the client talk, don’t interrupt him or try to change his mind, activate the auditory channel as much as possible, because the client himself shares information with you and gives invaluable clues.
- Become an ally of the client – show that you are on his side and fighting for mutual benefits. Make it clear that you accept and respect his opinion, even if you do not fully agree with him. This builds mutual trust.
- Be specific – don’t settle for general excuses. For example, the client says, “It’s expensive,” ask – what is it about, compared to what? The answer to these questions will be the starting point for further substantive conversation.
- Make sure you understand each other – perhaps the stumbling block is that “one says potato, the other says potato. It is necessary to ask the questions like “did I understand you in the right way…?” Repeat the client’s objections in your own words-maybe he meant something completely different.
- Take the ace up your sleeve – make sure you have documented product benefits, credible and compelling case studies, etc. at hand. Present them at the right time.
- Leave room for maneuvering – make the customer feel like they’ve outbid you, for example, by “knocking out” a discount (which you were going to give them anyway).
What to do If “No” Really Means No
Sometimes the client’s refusal is final, and nothing can be done about it. Attempts to overcome insurmountable objections will only lead to unnecessary expenditure of labor and time. Sometimes you have to retreat on one flank in order to succeed on the other – such tactics are much more effective than trying to punch through a concrete wall with your forehead.
It also happens, and it is important to recognize such a situation in time to make the most of it.:
- find out who might be interested in your proposal;
- ask for feedback;
- ask if it is possible to renegotiate in the future;
- thank the unsuccessful customer for their time;
- be sure to review the situation with your sales team;
- enter the circumstances of the failure in the CRM platform (e.g. based on Pandadoc) for further analytical work.
And do not forget to draw conclusions. The result will be the optimization of the sales process and the work of the team as a whole, which is sure to have the most positive effect on the state of your business.