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Be Pro-Active With Objections


There’s only one person who is qualified to handle a prospect’s stalls and objections, and it’s not the salesperson. It’s the prospect.

If stalls and objections frequently come up in your sales calls, it’s a good idea to bring them up before the prospect has the opportunity. If you’re familiar with our books, you’d remember Sandler Rule #23: “Defuse the Bomb Before it Blows Up”, and that’s exactly what I’m talking about here.

If you bring them up first, several good things happen:

  1. You establish credibility. The prospect sees that you're not afraid to bring up stalls and objections, even before you're asked. You’re not trying to sell them something they don’t need; you’re not skirting the issue, trying to avoid potential reasons for not making the sale.
  2. You remain in control, not the prospect. When you ask the question, you’re in control of it. You can prepare for it, rather than be caught off guard trying to justify an answer or convince the prospect otherwise.
  3. You can save time and get down to business faster and easier. Why wait for it to come up at the end when you can deal with it head on upfront? If the stall or objection means your prospect is disqualified, we don’t waste any time on them. Alternatively, it leads to a deeper conversation that allows us to better understand the prospect’s issue, and get to the heart of their needs.

Here’s an example of how you can handle stalls and objections up-front:

"Kim, sometimes when I talk to people about what we do – and it may not be the case here – sometimes they tell me one of the following: They see all vendors as being the same; they hate the idea of going through the process of who to select to provide this product (or service); they had a bad experience the last time they tried someone new; or they’re not sure which direction or application will be best for them. Which of these, if any, is a concern to you?"

The idea is to take three or four of the most common objections – those that you hear most often – and phrase them in a multiple-choice question that prompts the prospect to select one or more. This technique smokes out an objection that might get in the way of your progress later in the presentation.

When your prospect selects one of the objections, respond by saying:

"Really? I’m surprised by your answer. Why did you pick that one?"

When we probe a few more times, we can find out the real objection. Then, decide if the prospect’s objection will be a problem, or if you can handle it later in the presentation.