A prospect that has a concern or an objection during the sales process is nothing new. We have all worked with an individual or company who brought up a concern when we thought we were on the verge of closing the deal. How we handle this concern will greatly impact our ability to overcome this obstacle and get the sale.
When a prospect initially comes out with their concern we need to be ready for it. I’m not saying every prospect will have an objection, but we must be prepared for any situation. Not being prepared could affect the way we handle the situation.
Let’s suppose you are in a Solution Presentation and have just gone over service levels and pricing when your prospect tells you he needs to talk with his business partner before making a final decision.
If you are not ready for this objection you may be tempted to pounce on the suspect and fight his objection, which most likely would cause you to lose this prospect forever. Or, you may take your prospect at his word and try and schedule another time to come back after he has a chance to visit with his business partner.
In either instance the conversation is wrapped up quickly after the objection and the odds of closing the deal are very small. In a recent blog Skip Anderson talked about why sales people often struggle with handling objections.
“One reason sellers fail at handling objections from customers successfully is that they aren’t able to extend the conversation long enough to adequately deal with issues in the objection.”I’m going to hold off,” for example, begs for a response, but you only have the opportunity to provide a response if you’re able to engineer enough hang time into the sales interaction.”
This is a brilliant statement by Mr. Anderson. Extending the conversation helps our prospects think about what their real objection is. By figuring out what the prospects real objection is helps us focus on it and solve it.
In the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System we extend the conversation by using verbal judo validation. Looking back at the example of the prospect needing to talk with his business partner we could use verbal judo validation by saying, “It makes perfect sense you want to make the best decision possible. Help me to understand what concerns your business partner may have.”
Using verbal judo validation keeps you from attacking your prospects objection, and it gives you a smooth transition into asking good open ended questions. By asking open ended questions it allows the prospect to time to think critically about what their real objection is.