What derails many sales conversations is an objection that comes from out of the blue and takes you by surprise. You have to either scramble to find a satisfactory answer or tell the prospect you’ll get back to them later, both of which are far from ideal.
If instead, you can anticipate what objections the prospect will raise and answer them quickly and confidently, you’ll have a much smoother sales process. The key is to anticipate and prepare.
Start with a Positive Attitude
Part of being prepared is coming to the encounter with the right attitude. An objection isn’t an attack on you or your product. In fact, it’s a good thing. It means the prospect is interested enough to raise objections. Remember, the goal is not to sell the product but to help the prospect make the right decision. Their objections are helping this process.
Know the Prospect Well
How well do you know the prospect? If you’ve made a full customer profile, you’ll be able to guess what questions or comments they may have. You’ll also know their needs and what is most important to them, so you can address their objections in a satisfactory way. You’ll learn this better through experience, but start with a solid customer profile.
Take Good Notes
Once you start having sales conversations with customers, take good notes on the objections they raise. Make a list of these comments and questions so you can prepare for the next time you hear them. You can get ready to answer them, but also include in your presentation any information that would quell the objection before it’s raised.
Know the Greatest Hits
One way to anticipate issues is to know what people commonly are concerned about. The most common are:
- Price – Naturally, you should be prepared for people to say the price is too high. Be ready to explain the value and justify the cost.
- Lack of Need – The prospect may feel they don’t need the product at this time.
- Trust – A major purpose of your sales presentation should be aimed at demonstrating to the prospect that you’re trustworthy and the product will function as expected.
Create a Cheat Sheet
Success in sales depends on you knowing your product inside out. It’s hard to know everything and it slows down the sales conversation when you have to check and get back to the prospect on something. One way to mitigate this is to create a “cheat sheet” with product information that’s easy to see at a glance.
It’s a Conversation, Not a Struggle
Keep in mind that you’re not disagreeing with or struggling against the prospect. Sales is a collaborative process where you’re working together to find the best solution to the customer’s needs. You’re presenting a possible solution (your product) and working with the prospect to determine whether it’s the right one for them.