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Overcoming Sales Objections

Jeff Beals is an international award-winning author, keynote speaker, and accomplished sales consultant. He has spoken in five countries and 41 states. His work has appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Men’s Health, Chicago Tribune, and The New York Times.

There are three main reasons for objections: one is good, one is neutral, and the third is bad.

Fortunately, the vast majority of objections, especially if they occur later in the process, are good.

Bad objections are barriers or roadblocks used by the prospect to get away from the salesperson or to stop the process. Typically, these objections are used to convey that the client is turned off by the product, scared of doing the deal, or flat-out uninterested. These are reasons or arguments as to why a person does not want to work with you. When you receive this type of objection, it’s usually rather obvious. These objections are telling you that the deal has a low likelihood of happening and that you may be wasting your time to pursue this client any further.

Sometimes, an objection can sound bad but really isn’t. It’s actually neutral. A prospect might want to delay the decision until a later time for a very legitimate reason. A prospect might be interested in what you are selling but just doesn’t have the time to deal with it right now. They might give you a soft no just because they are under too much pressure to deal with you.

Any “no” that comes out of these situations should be taken with a grain of salt. Give the prospect some space by asking when you should meet again. Then be sure to follow up.

The lion’s share of other objections are positive. To a sales neophyte, they might look and sound bad on the surface, but they are really quite encouraging. In fact, good objections are so important to the selling process that you ought to be concerned if you don’t receive any. It may be a sign that the prospect is not as interested as you think.

Good objections are actually concerns and questions dressed up as problem statements. Prospects use these objections to make sure they are receiving all the information they need from the sales presenter. They also use them to reassure themselves about a decision they have already made.

In other words, the prospect likes you and your product/service and believes you can provide value by solving their problems. At that point, prospects just want to be 100% sure that they understand exactly what you’ll do. These good objections are last-ditch efforts to verify that everything is as great as they think it is. Assuming the salesperson answers the objections reasonably, it’s a done deal.

Whether the objective is bad, good or neutral, avoid acting annoyed, troubled, or irritated by it. Try not to be flustered by the objection. If you are caught off guard, you can always look up the information or bring in a colleague for assistance. Never be patronizing or condescending in your answers. It’s a good idea to prepare for a wide variety of objections and rehearse your responses. Have answers ready to go that can either reassure prospects, reverse negative feelings, or nudge them across the finish line.