How to Handle Objections in Sales


A customer or client often has genuine objections to your product or service. Do not look upon this as an insurmountable obstacle, but as an opportunity to guide the client in the right direction by overcoming those objections.

Misunderstandings

Objections sometimes arise through misunderstandings or misĀ­interpretations in both directions. If a customer says something like ‘Yes, but I’m not too sure …’ try to find out where the uncertainty lies by asking questions and probing into the area of doubt. It might be that the customer has misheard or mis-read something, or that you have not explained it clearly. It might be that you have not understood what the client meant. Keep clarifying until you do, and then clear up the misunderstanding.

Objections in Sales

For example, if the ‘Executive Luncheon’ client said, ‘I’m not too sure about salmon mousse as a starter’, it might be that you had given the impression that salmon mousse was the only starter available or that you had not understood that the client does not like fish. In either event by asking, ‘What would you prefer as a starter?’ you will probably elicit enough information to clear up the point.

Scepticism

Sometimes customers or clients are doubtful about the capacity of your product or service to meet their needs. If they say something like ‘Yes, but I can’t see how …’ you must reassure them by proving that your product or service will meet their needs.

This is the time to quote definite facts or demonstrate the product. You can show relevant tables of figures, make good estimates of time and/or money saved or literally demonstrate the product there and then.

If the ‘Executive Luncheon’ client said, ‘I don’t see how you can get the boardroom clear in a quarter of an hour’, you could quote other examples (named clients) of where you had done just that, or you could take the client quickly through the timings, emphasizing the fact that everything is brought in easily packed trays.

Price

One of the most common objections is the cost. You must be very sure in your own mind how low you can go in accepting a lower cost, and be flexible down to that point. You can emphasize the fact that VAT is recoverable (if it is); you should also re-state the agreed benefits to the customer. You might be able to go lower on one point (perhaps reduce the delivery charge) while sticking on another. Sometimes it is better to quote for the whole package, while emphasizing what the package contains. At others it is useful to ‘unbundle’ the package (cost each element separately) so the client can buy at least some of it.

Try not to let the customer buy only the least profitable parts of the package. For example, the ‘Executive Luncheon’ firm would be unwise to let the client provide the wine, because that is probably the most profitable part of the business. However, if such a deal were to lead to a long and good contract, the firm might decide to let it go this time and re-negotiate another time.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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