Unless you’re the world’s most perfect salesperson, chances are you’ve run into objections before that have threatened to derail the entire sales process. Really, is there anything more frustrating than a prospect that seems ready to buy tossing up a “game changer” statement that puts the future of your sale into question?
In fact, as a salesperson, you should welcome these objections, as they give you a chance to sharpen your sales skills and increase your likelihood of converting more prospects to buyers in the future. Don’t panic when you encounter these roadblocks – instead, welcome them as learning opportunities and be prepared to beat your buyers at their own games.
The following are three of the most common sales objections you’ll encounter, whether you’re selling low cost products, high value services or anything in between. Practice your responses to each of these objections using popular NLP techniques so that you’ll be prepared to encounter them in the real world.
Objection #1 – “I need more time to decide…”
Especially when you’re selling big ticket items, one of the most common objections you’ll see is the classic “stall” maneuver. If your prospect says that he needs more time to think about something, be aware that he’s usually subconsciously using this technique to cover up an even bigger concern.
For example, your prospect may be stalling because he doesn’t feel he can trust you, or because he doesn’t completely understand how your offering will help him specifically. In either case, he’s attempting to exit the situation without hurting your feelings and addressing what’s really on his mind.
In this situation, your best bet is to keep him talking. If you give the prospect time to think and promise to return later to follow up, the odds are there isn’t going to be a “later”. To prevent this from occuring, get in the habit of asking more questions whenever objections are presented. Consider the following example:
“What was it about my proposal that you wanted to think over? Is there anything I can explain better to make the benefits of my product clearer right now?”
By keeping your prospect engaged in the conversation, you should be able to uncover his true objections and meet them head on in order to keep the sales process rolling.
Objection #2 – “I can’t afford this right now…”
Ideally, your sales process should make the value of the product or service you’re selling so crystal clear that your prospect simply can’t wait to close the deal in order to start saving time or money.
But if you find yourself constantly having to justify the cost of the item you’re selling, you could benefit from an NLP technique known as “pre-framing”. Most people are familiar with the idea of “re-framing” an argument – that is, taking a stated objection and spinning the way it’s phrased in order to minimize its impact. The problem here is that the objection has already been stated, and often it’s difficult to recover once the argument is out in the open.
Instead, by “pre-framing” your expected objections, you take the power away from these arguments by tearing them down before they can even be presented. For example, if you anticipate that price will be a concern, consider the following “pre-frame”:
“Although I know that price might seem high compared to my competitors, you have to look at the long term savings. Over five years, my product has the potential to save your company over $10,000 – far more than what my competitors can guarantee.”
By addressing the specific objections you anticipate up front, you remove that from being a concern that has the potential to prevent your sales from occurring.
Objection #3 – “I’m just not sure I need your product…”
Has this one ever happened to you? You’ve gone through your sales pitch, carefully highlighting the benefits of your offerings – practically making it seem as if your prospect couldn’t live without the item or service you’re selling – only to hear, “I’m not sure I really need that…”
It’s frustrating for sure, but this objection can be solved through the use of “embedded commands” – an NLP technique that works by enclosing highly persuasive statements into seemingly ordinary speech in order to “soften the blow” and subtly shift your prospect past his objections.
As an example, say you followed up your prospect’s objection in this case with the following statement:
“I understand your objections, but let me take a quick second to review the benefits of my product so that you can buy with confidence.”
On the surface, it seems as if you’re just transitioning the conversation back to the benefits of your product or service. But in the process, you’ve also casually integrated the command, “buy with confidence” into your sales pitch, giving your buyer powerful subliminal cues that encourage him to close the deal.
Have you encountered any of these objections when selling? If so, how have you handled them in the past and how will you use NLP techniques to deal with them in the future?