Handling Objections and Making the Sale

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 5th, 2015 8 Comments

When it comes to the sales process, there’s a standard set of objections that every sales person is going to hear, no matter what is being sold.

The secret to success is to be prepared for these objections. The best way to be ready for them is to script them out in advance, handle them and memorize them. Top sales professionals do this all the time.

An objection doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a level of conflict. An objection isn’t the same as saying “no”. The potential buyer is actually seeking more information, feeling a little uneasy about making the commitment, and looking for a compelling reason to go ahead and buy.

As a salesperson, it’s important to understand what the customer is really saying when they object and to keep moving forward with the sales presentation. So when that common objection comes up, you know what the customer is really thinking and more importantly, exactly how to handle the situation. And that’s where scripting in advance comes in. You know what to say and how to say it as you get ready to close.

“It Costs Too Much”

If you’ve done a thorough job of selling value-to-price, this objection is usually concealing another, deeper reason for resistance. The buyer is either covering up something that is hard to put into words, or they just don’t really know how to verbally express themselves.

Many times it means “I can’t afford it”, which is different than telling you something is priced too high. They may feel guilty about spending that kind of money on the product or service, feeling as if they really aren’t good enough or worthy of the end product.

If you are hearing this objection too often, you’re talking to the wrong prospects. Your marketing is attracting the wrong kind of prospect.

“No Need”

America is the richest country in the world. Millions of Americans really don’t need anything. They drive a nice car. Have a closet full of clothes, all kinds of entertainment devices and toys for idle time. They live in fairly spacious homes with many modern conveniences, at least compared to the way the rest of the world lives. In fact, the higher the affluence level, the less likely they are to really need anything.

What does “no need” really mean? It means you haven’t sold them well enough. Face it, most people buy enormous quantities and a diversity of things that they don’t need, probably to feel better about themselves and their situation. The truth is people buy what they want, not necessarily what they need.

“I Need to Talk With …”

This objection comes up, particularly when a good sum of money is required, for instance, a down payment on a home, furnishings for several rooms, a new car or maybe a financial investment of some sort.

This one tends to be the result of lazy selling, or rushing to close a prospect that doesn’t have the ability to buy. There’s one way around this objection. The person who needs to be present (assuming it’s usually a spouse or significant other), needs to be there. End of story. It needs to be a mandatory part of a preliminary findings presentation. Otherwise, there’s no need to have the sales presentation.

Sometimes a sales person who is desperate, or possibly overconfident is going to say “just get me in front of someone, anyone, and I’ll close the deal.”

But that’s not the point. That just won’t work for anyone. It’s going to be ugly and uncomfortable, and possibly confrontational and certainly frustrating. In cases like this it’s important to qualify leads up front. Know in advance if some significant other also has to be in agreement before the presentation takes place and then make sure they’re in attendance, or the sale is going to fall apart right in front of you.

“This Won’t Work for Me”

Here’s another example of an objection that should be handled up-front during the preliminary presentation, when a sales person is qualifying the lead.

As far as countering this objection, testimonials are usually a strong weapon. If you’re taking your time and working your way through the script in advance, you’ll have plenty of ammunition in the way of customer/patient testimonials should this one come up.

Remember that the potential buyer is most heavily influenced by someone who looks like them, talks like them, walks like them, comes from the same neighborhood, same social-economic background, same religious beliefs and morals, etc. This is known as social proof or commonality. If you’re doing your homework you better be able to anticipate this kind of resistance and produce social proof or commonality as needed to match your prospect.

Hidden Objections

This is when a prospect believes in what you’re saying as a sales person. They believe the testimonials. But they don’t believe in themselves or trust in themselves.

It’s a hidden objection because most prospects are not willing to come right out and say this.

It all boils down to the “ghosts of disappointments past”. It’s the diet or exercise regimen they quit on. It’s the self-help book that they failed to follow through on. Or the online training course they didn’t get around to completing.

This objection may be the most valid of them all. It’s people realizing their limitations and recalling less-than-successful outcomes in the past. The best way to answer this kind of hesitation is to let your prospect off the hook. Tell them it’s not their fault and it’s in the past in a way that’s appropriate and encourage them to move on and remain positive and focused.

“I Have to Think About It”

This is similar to “it won’t work for me”. There is hesitation because of past failures. The blame goes on something that didn’t work out too well in the past, and it’s clouding the decision-making process, casting a dark shadow and stirring up uncomfortable memories.

You need to counter this with an answer that tells the prospect why this time is different. The prospect needs to rationalize this and come to an agreement with you.

It goes back to the prospect not having trust in their judgement. They are replaying a movie in their minds and the ending is bad. You need to help them move through that. You may want to try and get a conditional sale out of it. It’s one way to get them to move forward. Basically you’re telling them “let’s move ahead with this and then if you think about it and it isn’t for you …” As a sales person, you’re trying to make them move away from bad past experience and forge ahead with their life.

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    Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

    8 Responses

    1. My biggest take away was…

      Remember that the potential buyer is most heavily influenced by someone who looks like them, talks like them, walks like them, comes from the same neighborhood, same social-economic background, same religious beliefs and morals, etc.

      I think it gives more clarity to the know, like, trust factors you need to entice prospects.

      This also reminds me that I really need to be clear about whom I am attracting as clients.


      • Darren Teale says:

        Yes Mellisa, in many ways speaking on and at their level is important I have found looking and sounding like their advisers works better and getting into the conversation that is already going on in their head.
        Now I sell to a wide social-economic group with the range of people I sell to I would have to change in and out of my suit about seven times a day, but by dressing in away that impress my most affluent client (and by the way this is what I want more of) and being comfortable in what I wear. I do adapt my language but, never my religious or moral beliefs. The most important thing is you must stay true to yourself and your belief in what you sell.
        Great that you have a well thought out pitch, it needs a little flexibility. It is effective for about 25-35% of the people if you have targeted your market correctly than your fine.
        If your familiar with the DISC system than you know where I’m coming from and yes..you get it you need a pitch for each personality type and know them well enough to blend them depending on who you are talking to.
        My years of selling can see benefits in your pitch standing predominately in the director category you took to long and gave me too much info. Direct and too the point whats the bottom line.
        The socializer’s mind went out the window “Give me a story tell me how it is going to make me look good” (even if it is after an accident or my world has just fallen apart).
        The Relater’s mind just went blank he just hang in there so as not to hurt your feelings they are looking for a story in how it will help other if he is in an accident how he won’t be a burden on others.
        Don’t be afraid to shock…
        Hey… after all I sell home security fearful and paranoid people are my best clients and I’m not backward in telling them a story to get them there. I am a firm believer in sales must have an entertainment value and the story must be part of the conversation already going no in their head. That makes it much easier to get them to the sale. As someone with a dominant personality type it did take me a lot of years to come to that way of thinking.
        After who gets paid better entertainers or teachers.

    2. Darren Teale says:

      Ok you’ve done it. I normally don’t comment on these postings.
      For most of my adult life I have been in sales although the there was over ten years where I wouldn’t admit it, then one day you wake up and my god…. what you enjoy most is making the deal and making other peoples lives a little better for knowing you.
      Objections are telling you that you are on the right path and that you have their attention. Held within the sales mastery unleashed course there is samples of scripts and ways of taking advantages of objections.
      Sales is also a process of continual improving and learning from your past mistakes and those others made or improvements they have made. It took me over twenty years to craft my scripts and follow up procedures in place by trial and error to get where I am this program being offered could have saved me a lot of time.
      Even with a high one on one conversion rates I still got more value out of this program than what I paid for it and I didn’t have a bonus being offered today.

    3. Guy Brown says:

      Your insights into what prospects are thinking when they give objections, plus, how the salesman should handle them are spot on (meaning they’re correct insights).

      Here’s a tip I learned, when I was selling disability insurance many years ago, on how to handle the “I need to talk to my….wife … partner” and the “Let me think about it” objections:

      Firstly, I eventually learned not to do battle with the prospect. Most salesmen would ask “Why….!” and automatically turn a nice, peaceful sales session into a useless debate.

      Now, I would recommend a salesman saying something along the lines of:

      Sidenote: I never started off countering an objection with “I understand…”
      It’s cliche, and most of the time a prospect feels the salesman is full of crap
      when he says it. Now back to my recommendation:

      “Mr. Jones, of course you should [“… talk to …..” or “Think about this. It’s a very important decision…”] that you and your …………… have to make. You have to be sure you’re making the proper decision and that this (product/service) is worth your time & money.

      “How long do you think it’ll take for you & your partner to digest all the information about the benefits that you, so far, have told me you think could be valuable to you?

      He says “A week, maybe two or so.”

      “All right. Would you say no longer than two weeks?”

      He says “Yea, no longer than two.”

      “My company will be glad to have you as a client. You’re not sure yet if you want us to be your company. So, allow me to do this for you. How would you like to enjoy all the benefits, features and advantages my company has to offer, plus, you and your partner won’t have to risk a nickel while you’re spending time thinking about whether or not you’d like to have us as your company?

      Now the prospect looks perplexed with that “What’s the catch?” expression, but
      says “OK!”

      “Here’s what we can offer you. You and your partner will be able to enjoy the (beach house, sauna, widget, coverage, etc.,) for one full month, no strings attached. Which means that you’ll be able to take advantage of the ……. and the ……. and the ……… just as though you bought this (or became of member of___) today.

      “Will a month be long enough for you & your partner to evaluate what I’ve told you about today?

      He says “Yes,” unless the salesman hasn’t done his presentation properly.

      “Well, good. Here’s what I can do while you’re thinking about this. For one full month you’ll be on our books as a fully paid customer of (USA Insurance Company, for example ) which means that in case anything happens to you, or your partner or company you’ll be entitled to the full $1 million payout that we are now obligated to pay you. And in the meantime you can take a full month for you and your partner to think about it. You can shop around all you like. You could even be in the middle of making a phone call telling me you’ve decided not to become a client. And if you happen to throw your back out during the call – just as long as you haven’t officially said “No, I don’t want this” over the phone – you’re still going to get the benefits we agreed to pay you! How does that sound?

      He says “It sounds great. But what’s the catch? Who do I have to kill for all this?”

      “Here’s the “catch,” as you call it, Bob. You know that in order to become a client you’d have to pay $200 a month. But, you want to think about it like 90% of all our clients have wanted to do before they became our clients. We realize that’s the way people are. Myself included. So what we’re offering you today is this: Think about it, talk it over with whomever you want, shop around if you’d like. But while you’re doing that you know you’re not covered by us against unforseen disaster, correct?

      He says “Correct.”

      “Well, just give me $50 today for what we call a “good faith” offer by you and you’ll be covered as though you were a fulll-fledged $200 a month client. This way you’ll able to enjoy all the benefits of what I talked about starting right now, this very day. And if a month from now if you and your partner have still decided not to become a full-fledged client of ours we’ll give back your “good faith” payment promptly, no questions asked. As a matter of fact, if you’d like, we won’t even cash your check until the month is over and you actually tell us to do so. That’ll even give you more peace of mind. I think you’ll agree that to enjoy all that a full-fledged client is entitled to enjoy, but at 1/4th the price while at the same time still having enough time to come to a final decision is pretty fair. Wouldn’t you?

      He says “Sounds fair.”

      “OK, and from what I see here, is this the correct address I can deliver your finalized policy to in case you say “Yes”? re-starts the closing process.

      For a salesman offering a tangible product or service it’s an even easier close. That salesman can say “Mr. Jones…..but you can experience first hand what we’re offering. You’ll be able to see, hear, touch all that I’ve told you about. I think that would be even better than just reading our brochures, don’t you?”

      It doesn’t work all the time, but it does work often enough to save the salesman time trying to make repeat appointments with prospects who for all practical purposes have already said “No.” Repeat appointments are harder to make, in my opinion, than making the first-time appointments.

    4. David Hunter says:

      Thanks for translating the objections into sales language! haha

      It’s one thing I need to work on more… doing outside sales and memorizing all the objections and answers.

      • Darren Teale says:

        When you are consulting with your client write down there questions as they ask them, you will be surprised how much clearer they become and how similar the objections are between clients pay attention to how they phrase their questions and answers. I also write down the answers to the questions I ask.
        Checkout Dave Dee’s Physic salesman column.
        Then look at your sales scripts find ways to put the answers into the scripts but, put them as questions where it has the client answering it positively.
        Have you heard much about what we do do at ABC company?
        Did you know?
        Were you aware that xyz product solves this problem x by…..?
        Had you heard about …. (product) and that it can (Benefit)?
        What I like is where you are aware of bagging by competitors before the the objections is raised ” Are you aware of an independent study done by (consumer group/ university, industry body) showing that our product is X% better/ stronger/ more durable etc then our nearest competitor” Helpful if you have it and if your product is so much better than it will be knocked in the marketplace and it is well worth the investment to lobby a university or consumer group to do the testing.
        The more questions you ask the greater the control you have in the sale.
        Also add stories that involve customers using what you sell and how they benefited by having it and covering objections.
        A good couple of GKIC products “How to create Personality in Copy” & “The power of Copy unleashed”

        • David Hunter says:

          Thanks, Darren! I definitely need to write them down, review them, and come up with a script to overcome them. And, like you said, bring them up!

          Who, What, Where, When, Why, How. questions-Questions-QUESTIONS Just have to start asking them. haha

    5. Marie Jones says:

      The objection is not a bad thing as most of the salespeople think. When you get any objection from your prospects, it really is a good sign. The fact lies in that if they’re talking out their concern means they’re giving you a chance to answer it.
      I think if you hear the objection properly and answer it by exploring the reasoning, there are more possibilities that you can handle the objections.

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