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By Liz Stone June 15, 2016

The Real Reason for Prospect Objections: Do Your Reps Get It?

If you’re experiencing low close rates from your sales team, the likelihood is that your reps aren’t able to respond to prospect objections. Objections are both the toughest and most standard part of a sale, and can occur from first call/email to final negotiations, ranging from a basic “not interested” to highly technical.

Talk-to-the-hand-000029370722_Small.jpgThere are many reasons why your sales team may be unable to respond to objections. They may not understand the prospect and their needs, thus applying the wrong response. They may not have a response at all, and give up once a seemingly unanswerable objection is given. They may be giving a response that they are comfortable with and have used for a long time, but that doesn’t actually work (and perhaps never did). Training your reps the best way to respond to your unique prospect’s objections at every stage in the sales process is critical to success.

This blog explores the basis behind objections, as most objections stated by a prospect are not actually what the prospect is objecting to. The best sales reps truly L-I-S-T-E-N to the objection, and understand what the prospect is actually saying. At this point, they can identify the implications of the objection, the best responses and references to use, and how to lead into the objection for best results (best friend approach, use fear factor, tell a story, etc.)

 The basis behind most surface-level objections falls under the following sentiments:

  • Misunderstanding:
    • The prospect doesn’t “get” what you are selling but don’t want to admit it
    • The value of your service/product is unclear, or not resonating with the prospect
    • They have an existing impression, possibly planted by a competitor, that needs to be corrected
  • Fear:
    • Everyone has some fear of the unknown; the prospect may be afraid that they will make the wrong decision using your service, causing a negative effect on them
    • The risk of your offering appears to outweigh the benefit
  • Mistrust:
    • People like people; a sensed lack of empathy and/or honesty coming from the sales person harbors mistrust on behalf of the prospect
    • They’ve had a bad experience with a similar provider/product in the past and don't think you're any different
  • Resistance to Change:
    • The prospect doesn’t understand understand the need for change and think things are fine just the way they are; “if it’s not broken, why fix it?” mentality
    • They are used to doing things a certain way; either stuck in routine or simply content with status quo
    • They are complacent and don’t realize they have a problem or opportunity for improvement
  • Fatigue:
    • The prospect may feel overwhelmed or overworked, and don't want to take on another responsibility
    • They are bombarded by emails/calls on a daily basis, and just want to get the sales rep off the phone

Do your sales reps know how to listen? Do they understand the basis behind the prospect’s objection, and how to tailor a response that captures their interest and personally resonates with them? Are they giving a canned response that no longer (and perhaps never) worked because it’s all they know?

Objection handling is a big component of our Paint-the-Picture® playbook. If this is an area your reps struggle in, sign up for a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our experts to learn how this can be resolved for improved close rates.

Topics: Sales Management, Sales Success, Sales Playbook, Sales Strategy


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