Sales tip – handling sales objections

Sales Tips

No matter how good you are at selling you will get some objections.  So, let’s review a couple of tips for handling them.  First, most major objections in any given sales environment are predictable, so know what they are and rehearse how to handle them.  This is particularly important for new sales reps.

The second tip is – have a standard process for handling them.  Although, there are many objection handling models out there, here is one that has a proven track record in major account sales.

  • Acknowledge. When a customer brings up an objection you can’t just blow by it and hope they will forget about it.  You need to acknowledge it and either handle it then and there or note that you recognize the concern and will get back to it.  And, you do need to get back to it.
  • Clarify. Too often a sales person will hear an objection and immediately try and “answer” it.  It is much better to acknowledge it but then ask questions to find out answers such as: “how important it is” – “why is the customer concerned – “what is driving the objection.”  Before you leave the clarification discussion, you need to make sure you and the customer have a shared vision of the objection.
  • Test a solution. Once a shared vision is obtained, propose a solution and test whether the customer is comfortable with how you have handled it.  Don’t assume.

The most important component of the ACT model is Clarifying.  Particularly when one is engaged in complex sales all aspects of the objection are frequently not initially surfaced.  In some cases even the customer is not totally clear about all facets of the objection; in such cases the clarifying discussion is particularly important.

If you want to read more about handling sales objections, check out our post: Less is more when handling objections.

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©2012 Sales Horizons, LLC

About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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