In the financial services industry, you’ll hear a lot of objections as to why someone doesn’t have the time to sit down with you or why they are not going with your recommendation. Objections are a part of the industry that you can’t change.
Some objections are real. A prospect may not feel as if they have time right now. They may not be able to increase their budget right now. And some may be trying to brush you off. After all, it’s easier for some people to say they don’t have the time to sit down than it is just to say no.
A lot of training and articles around objections are about language. It’s what to say and how to respond. If you want more guidance on responding to objections, contact your business coach, because we have great examples! But today, we want to focus on something that is just as important, but not addressed as much. It’s how you view objections as opportunities.
What great salespeople realize is that objections are often positive. It means the door is still open. Your prospect hasn't given you a hard no. They haven’t closed the door. They are still engaged in the conversation.
Sure, they may be trying to close the door. They may be thinking they don’t need what you have to offer, but it doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. In fact, even if your prospect isn't trying to brush you off, their objection gives you the ability to keep the conversation alive!
Objections are opportunities. Often, salespeople get too caught up in how to respond to the objection or are so bummed about the objection, they forget their goal isn’t to sell or get a “yes” now. It’s to develop a relationship that leads to a “yes” later. And it’s okay if that takes time. It’s okay, IF you can keep the conversation moving forward.
Once you accept objections are a part of the process it’s time to look at how you leverage them. Regardless of language, there are three important tips to remember when handling objections:
Be Curious - Ask questions! Objections are expressions of a problem. Often, when prospects give an objection such as no time or no money they are just expressing a symptom. When you dig into understanding their needs, you can put the focus on what’s important to them. Ask questions with the intent of learning more about them and the underlying reasons for the objection. When you ask questions, and are sincere, the prospect will soon understand you are not just selling them something, but you care about them and their situation.
Think Solution - When your prospect tells you their underlying problem make sure you are a creative problem solver. They don’t have time. How can you make it quicker? How can you make this work for them? They can’t increase their budget. What else can they do? Are there options to make it more affordable? Do they even know how much it might cost? Can they take a smaller step towards the optimal solution? Solve the root issue and not just the symptoms. If you’re focused on solutions that work for your prospect, the language will develop as you talk.
Be in Control - Don’t fall into the trap of letting your prospect lead the conversation. You need to be looking for opportunities which allow you to lead the prospect to the next steps. Granted, you don’t want to be too aggressive, but if you’re too passive you’re going to miss opportunities. You have to be assertive and confident. And never get defensive! Remember, when a prospect states an objection, they are still engaged in the conversation. The last thing you want to do is get defensive and have the prospect end the conversation. The next step is ALWAYS your responsibility. Never leave the prospect the duty of following up with you or a vague we’ll talk in the future. Instead, let them know that you’ll follow up and when. Always be in control of the next step.