Objections are as much a part of your job as they are for any judge in a courtroom. For sales pros, they’re the reasons customers don’t want to move forward with their purchase. The trouble is that the objections your prospects cite and their true concerns are not always the same thing. Your challenge, then, is to seek out the true reason for each objection you hear.
As a professional, it’s your job to understand the real objection behind the spoken objection—don’t just respond to the stated concern. This assures you maintain credibility with the prospects and earn their trust to continue with them on their car-buying journey.
Picture the following scenario: You’re talking to a customer. They’re engaged in the discussion, you’re in the rhythm, and you’re feeling fine. Then, for some reason, they tell you they have some concerns about the manufacturer. They liked it five minutes ago, you think, so you launch into all the reasons why your product is so perfect. You make a foolproof case, but then they utter the dreaded six words, “We need to think about it.”
Why? Because you handled the wrong objection. You thought they did not like the overall manufacturer; that is, after all, what they seemed to be saying. However, that was not their true concern. If you had taken the time to dig a little deeper, you would have discovered that they do like your manufacturer; but they’re concerned that the car you showed them may not have great resale value. You did not seek the true concern, so you missed your opportunity to address it. Think back to the last time you addressed the spoken objection before seeking the true objection. Were you afraid of the customer’s concern? Did you think you understood the objection, only to find out later that you didn’t? Conversely, can you think of an example of a time when you asked clarifying questions and discovered that the objections weren’t as hard to address as you thought they were?
Whenever your prospects hesitate about your manufacturer, cars, or features, dig a little deeper and ask clarifying questions that help you uncover the real objection before you start defending your position. Seek the truth behind the objection by using clarifying questions such as, “Why are you concerned about _________?” and “What is it about the manufacturer (color, size, etc.) that bothers you?”
Never start talking without understanding the true objection. The best way to ensure that you have successfully sought the truth is to restate what you heard back to the customer. Whether you are right or wrong, the customer will tell you.
The good news is that your prospects aren’t on the stand in a courtroom, and they want you to know what they’re looking for. So do them a favor, and ask them questions that help them communicate what they already want you to know.
That’s right. You can handle the truth. And you must.
Jason Forrest is a sales trainer; management coach; member of the National Speakers Association’s Million Dollar Speakers Group; and the author of four books. One of Training magazine’s Top Young Trainers of 2012, Jason is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. In 2013, he won a Gold Stevie Award for Sales Training Leader of the Year. For more information, visit www.forrestpg.com or contact Jason at [email protected]
The above article is an excerpt from Jason Forrest’s new book, 40 Day Sales Dare for Auto Sales, available in September 2013.