Mastering objections: A six-step path to sales success

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In the world of sales, objections are a part of the game. They can either be roadblocks or stepping stones to success. The six-step method I'm about to share has been time-tested and championed by the renowned sales trainer, J. Douglas Edwards. It's a powerful tool that can tip the scales in your favor when dealing with objections.

Step 1: Listen attentively

When faced with an objection, the first and most crucial step is to listen. Don't interrupt, but rather, lend your full attention to the prospect's concerns. Approach the objection with empathy and understanding. Remember, this might be the thousandth time you've heard the objection, but it's the prospect's first time expressing it to you.

Step 2: Repeat the objection

Repeating the objection back to the prospect is a pivotal move. It often leads the prospect to self-discovery as they hear their objection voiced. Phrase it as a question, such as "It costs too much?" This not only validates their concerns but also invites more information sharing.

Step 3: Question for elaboration

Objections can sometimes be smokescreens for deeper concerns. Ask for clarification, saying something like, "If it weren't for [the objection], would you proceed today?" Give them space to express themselves fully.

Step 4: Deliver your prepared response

Once you've unraveled the objection's backstory, confidently present your well-prepared response. Your preparation will shine through, and your prospect will feel your expertise.

Step 5: Confirm the resolution

Addressing the objection is one thing, but you must ensure it no longer stands as a barrier to the sale. Ask a confirming question like, "That answers your question, doesn't it?" If the prospect isn't satisfied, it's crucial to address any lingering doubts before proceeding.

Step 6: Close the deal

Objection handling and closing go hand in hand. Once the objection is resolved, transition smoothly into the close. For example, ask, "Do you have any additional questions before we start the paperwork?" This ensures a seamless transition from objection handling to securing the deal.

Some final thoughts

In sales, victory often goes to the prepared. Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers thrived by over-preparation, and the same principle applies to sales. Most professional events are won in the final moments of the game. During practice, the Packers played five quarters instead of the usual four, ensuring they were mentally and physically ready to go the extra mile when needed.

Likewise, objections typically arise during the critical closing stages of a sale. It's not the time to wear down; it's the time to shine. Anticipate objections, prepare your responses, internalize them, and you'll ascend to the ranks of super-achievers in the world of sales.

Remember, nothing happens until somebody sells something!

Editor's Note: This article was written by Fred Haskett of TrueWinds Consulting.

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