Learning how to overcome objection is a skill that we all, as human beings, must practice every day. No matter your profession, there will be others who object to your proposals, statements, decisions, etc. From an early age, we must learn ways to back up our own ideas and defeat objection in order to move forward. Whether you are a teenager asking to borrow your parents minivan for the night or a salesperson going in for the close, there is a formula that can be applied to overcome any kind of objection that you are faced with. Without further ado, here is the 3-step objection handling formula explained.
Step 1: Acknowledge
The first step to managing direct objection is to face the opposition head on. Don’t skirt around the issue, as it has now become your first obstacle to getting what you want and cannot be ignored. By ignoring an objection, you fail to reassure the opposing party that their concern is a non-issue and run the risk of coming up against further obstacles down the line. Address the objection and empathize with your prospect. By responding in a way that acknowledges your prospects concerns, you prove that you are actively listening and can provide a solution. You also earn their trust by not totally blowing off what to them, is a very important point.
Example: “I understand…(insert objection here).” + Connect + Progress
Step 2: Connect
Once you have acknowledged the initial objection, assure your prospect that this is not the first time you have heard this objection and solved it. To do this, group your prospect with others who have expressed a similar concern and explain how both parties moved forward together. In doing so, you are automatically placing your prospect into a group of others who have objected at first, but then have found a solution and later retracted their objection. They will now be able to relate to and identify with your current customer group. Take a look at the example below of the response for a prospect objecting due to budgetary issues. Explain to your prospect how others in a similar position were able to proceed when they realized the value of your solution.
Example: “I understand…” + “…some of our current clients didn’t initially have dollars in their budget either, but once they realized the extent of our capabilities and comprehensive value, they were able to justify reallocating some overlapping budgetary dollars.” + Progress
Step 3: Progress
Finally, be sure to continue the dialogue by proceeding with another question. An objection should never be the end of a conversation, but rather a statement that provides direction for moving forward. The more your prospect voices their concerns and objects to what you have to say, the more opportunity there is to learn what their needs are and determine if your capabilities would match up with their environment.
Example: “I understand…” + “…some of our current clients didn’t initially have dollars in their budget either, but once they realized the extent of our capabilities and comprehensive value, they were able to justify reallocating some overlapping budgetary dollars.” + “How much would you estimate that you spend performing this process now?”
In closing, it is important to understand the difference between an objection that can be resolved and an objection that disqualifies an account as a potential opportunity. For those that can be overcome, objection is never the end all be all. Have you developed a similar formula when overcoming objections? Any tips or tricks that you have learned along the way to help when overcoming sales objections? We would love to hear from you in order to revise our own strategies!