9 years ago
January 6, 2015

Sales Objections Are Not Your Friend

If you are frequently met with objections, look back several steps for the real problem.

Rhys Metler

This guest blog is by Michael Caron, Founder and Partner Northbound Learning.

Northbound Learning is a sales learning and development company with a single purpose—to grow sales in your organization by growing your salespeople. 

Michael is known as a direct, down-to-earth, entrepreneurial business leader with over 15 years of progressive sales and sales management experience. Michael is driven by a passion for constant learning and personal growth and has deep direct selling experience to both small business and C-level executives of multinationals. 

If you are frequently met with objections, look back several steps for the real problem.

“Can you teach my team how to handle objections?  They don’t know what to do and we’re losing deals.”  I’ve heard this countless times.  It seems I can’t talk to a sales manager about training without the topic of handling objections coming up.  Why is it such a problem?  Mostly because the salesperson did a poor job in all the steps leading up to the objection.  We all run into objections largely because the customer isn’t convinced that you can solve his problem.   

Before starting Northbound, I had taken literally dozens of sales programs covering the topic of objections.  Most were terrible, with the trainers often claiming that objections can help the sale by clarifying areas of concern.  One even went so far as to claim that, “objections are our friends” and the more you get, the better because it indicates interest from the customer.  If this doesn’t strike you as ludicrous just yet, let me put it in different terms.  If someone was wanting a date with a special someone, would it indicate interest if the person exclaimed, “Well, you dress kinda funny and you’re too short for me.”  Using the skewed logic of this trainer, that comment might lead one to think, “Wow, this person must really like me!”

Don’t be fooled for one moment thinking that you’ve done well by being on the receiving end of an objection which, coincidentally, is only two letters away from “rejection!”  Naturally, knowing the objection is better than not knowing but let’s be clear, objection prevention is best.

In a Utopian selling situation, you would have deftly uncovered problems, issues, goals and preferences at the beginning stage and once the customer has a full appreciation of these, along with the negative impact they are causing him, you would explain with unshakeable evidence why you are the best option for their solving.  In this case, why would there be an objection?  A problem is married to a suitable partner … your solution.

Research done by Neil Rackham, the founder of the SPIN Selling model, proved that sales call success varied inversely with the number of objections.  In simpler terms, fewer objections led to more sales.  If handling objections with a few moments of well practiced words made the sale, sales would be a pretty easy career!  

While there are techniques you can use to overcome most objections (which I will cover in my upcoming webinar “How to Handle Objections and Remain Friends”), the best strategy is to get better skilled at the steps leading up to the point of objections.  The next time you are met with an objection, review the call after and ask yourself, “What could I have done to help prevent that objection from coming up?”

Here’s your action item for this week:

1. At your next sales meeting, discuss the 3 most common objections you and your colleagues receive.  Then brainstorm on ways to prevent them from coming up as often.

Learn more or register for my free webinar, “How to Handle Objections and Remain Friends” by clicking here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.