It easily numbers among the top three questions asked, regardless of audience. It’s asked by executives and sales people alike and it was, in fact, the first question asked by the audience of franchise CEOs this past weekend in Nashville. It’s a question borne of the frustration of (ostensibly) making a good presentation but still hitting the brick wall.
“What is the best way to handle objections?”
The single BEST way to handle objections is not to create them in the first place. Preemptively answering the four questions most prospects have in the back of their minds during the course of the presentation is critical:
- Will your product do what you claim it will do?
- Am I justified in paying the price you’re asking me to pay?
- Am I justified in buying it right now?
- You’re paid to tell me nice things about your product. Who says so besides you?
If doing this, for whatever reason, falls short and an objection presents itself, consider the response that requires the most confidence, preparation, quick thinking, understanding and sales talent:
“That is exactly the reason why you should go with (this solution/our company/this timeframe).”
Do not be put off by the deafening silence and/or the incredulity forming on prospects’ faces. It’s normal, because this answer is completely unexpected and, for that reason, is much more powerful.
It exudes a tremendous amount of confidence, because you are flying directly into the storm. You are, with precision and logic, using the very argument the prospect has uttered to make and solidify the reasons to buy.
If your answer is well-reasoned, well-articulated AND the objection was real to begin with, you will have put to bed the concern the prospect has in buying. The logic is inescapable.
“Your price is higher than your competitors!” (Is it worth the price you’re asking me to pay?)
Answer: That’s exactly why this solution makes sense for you. We build the installation costs into the product so that you’re not surprised later on. This means …
“Your company screwed up royally last time we dealt with you.” (Will your product do what you say it will do?)
Answer: That is exactly the reason why you should use us. When we realized how poorly we managed that situation and how unhappy you were, it forced us to deeply examine our process and improve it. So now…
“We have been using the same vendor for the past two years.” (Am I justified in making the change and buying right now?)
Answer: That is exactly the reason you’ll want to test us. At some point in the future, the excellent delivery that you’ve been getting from current vendors is going to be disrupted, probably through no fault of their own. At that point, you’ll need a proven backup vendor to avoid a plant slowdown, and you won’t want to start on the fly. This means …
Keep in mind the answer must be completely true and accurate. If, as in the example above, the company re-engineered the process because of customers’ past poor experiences, feel free. If not, you cannot honestly and legitimately say so. If you do it anyway, you’ll proceed down an ugly path.
Reversing an objection is counterintuitive, highly effective and requires superior preparation and courage.
And that’s exactly the reason you should use it.
Patrick Morin is a partner with The Cross Partnership, a global consultancy that is engaged by private equity groups, boards of directors, and CEOs to improve the performance of their invested companies. The Cross Partnership works with select start-ups, growth companies, and turnarounds to stabilize operations and ramp up revenue and employee performance.