Overcoming customer objections is key to making sales. A good salesperson is prepared to handle customer objections as they arise. A great salesperson anticipates customer objections and defuses them even before they can be raised.
The first step is to identify customer objections. Anyone who has contact with your customers can be helpful in this step. That means salespersons, service staff, administrative personnel and others. List the objections that customers bring up. Which are most common? How were they dealt with? You may find that salespersons are dealing with objections in different ways. Do not assume that only one way is correct.
Think negatively. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and imagine everything that might possibly cause you to hesitate before buying. Encourage staff to brainstorm about objections customers might raise.
Consider hidden objections. Customers may be uncomfortable about stating some objections, and hide behind others. For example, they may raise a false objection to avoid admitting they think the price is too high. Dealing with the unstated objection up front takes it off the table. For example, you might show how you get better results than cheaper services, or that your product is more durable than others and will have a longer useful life.
Hidden objections may include issues that are not truly objections, but are obstacles to making the sale. For example, is it difficult for customers to understand what your product or service does? Are choices and pricing options too complicated for them to easily grasp? In those cases, customers may simply say no rather than admit they are confused and take the time to study. It is your job to make buying simple for them.
Once you know what the objections are, deal with them. Information to preemptively address objections may be presented in your advertising, brochures, Web site, or presentation.
A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on your Web site or in other marketing materials is a powerful way to head off customer objections by providing them the answers they need. Are they concerned that they might not be able to get maintenance or service in their area? Show a list or map of service centers. Do they wonder what happens if the product turns out to be wrong for them? Let them know about your return policy or satisfaction guarantee.
Responding to some objections may require changing the way you do things. If the purchasing process is too complicated, streamline it. If there are too many choices, group some of the most popular options into packages.
Remember that you can not be all things to all people. Some objections raised by customers may indicate that your product is simply not a good fit for them. Do not contort your business to fit the needs of a small group of customers who are not representative of your core market.
Addressing customers’ concerns before they raise them, perhaps even before customers have thought of them, will show that you understand their needs and it will be easier to close the sale.