General Strategy to Respond to Objections
Sometimes you get objections before you can prevent or preempt them. Other times, with new products or services, you intentionally blunder forward to collect objections so that you can understand how best to prevent and preempt them.
It's also true that the prospect may have a question or concern rather than an actual objection. In this case, the way in which you would handle these questions or concerns is the same way you would respond to it as though it were an objection. That's convenient.
When a person objects, it usually is powered by some unfavorable emotion. The stronger the emotion, the less access they have to the reasoning or logic part of their brain. For a response to be accepted, you'll first need to defuse the emotion.
Four Steps Common to all Responding Strategies
The secret to responding to objections, answering questions or concerns, and offering suggestions during problem solving is to earn your right to be heard.
A Psychological Truth: "If you sincerely try to understand another person's point of view first (not necessarily agree with it), then they become psychologically obligated to try to understand yours."
You earn this right using your Active Listening Skills, including:
- Acceptance Responses – show you're listening without interrupting ("Uh huh," "yes," etc.)
- Repeating – say back what they said to confirm accuracy. Repeating a phone number, for example.
- Paraphrasing content – say it back in your own words.
- Reflecting emotion – name the emotion. "That can be upsetting."
- Ask Clarifying Questions – "It happens a lot? Is that twice or three times a day?"
- Summarizing – repeat, reflect, and paraphrase the key points made.
The transition sentences used for responding are like those used for preempting objections in the objectives they accomplish, which are to:
- Support without agreeing.
- Help them save face.
- Prevent arguments.
- Pull rather than push (Judo strategy).
- Prepare them to receive new information.
Transition sentence examples for responding to objections:
- "Ordinarily, that would be my conclusion too, however . . ."
- "And that's exactly why I'm calling."
- "That's a good point, and I'm glad you brought it up. When I first looked at this information, I came to the same conclusion, and then I found out . . ."
- "That's an important point I want to be sure to cover."
- "And . . ." (never "but.")
3. Answer the Objection
Provide the missing or misunderstood information. You'll find this information in the upper right quadrant (Q2) of your Competitor Analysis (see the previous blog about Competitor Analysis). If you do not have a direct answer then it becomes an unanswerable objection which you'll learn to negotiate a tradeoff in an upcoming blog.
Once you've answered the objection, confirm agreement with your answer.
4. Confirm Your Answer
Get agreement that the new or reinterpreted information is valid and acceptable. You can do so by using standard Rhetorical Question Closes such as, "Isn't it?" "Wasn't it?" "Couldn't it?" and "Don't you agree?"
- "That makes sense, doesn't it?"
- "That's another possibility to consider, isn't it?"
- "This shows another way, don't you agree?"
- "And isn't this what you want to accomplish?"
You can also imply the rhetorical question. For example, just ending with "that makes sense," or "that's a possibility," and then remaining quiet until they respond will accomplish the same objective.
The emotion that is elicited to power the objection is the primary reason preventing and preempting strategies are much more potent than the strategy used to respond or overcome objections. There's no emotion involved.
The information for this blog comes from Chapter 4 of the Amazon Top 100 Bestselling book Objection Free Selling
Select this link to preview and buy the Book or eBook: Objection Free Selling
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Dr. Robert “Bob”
DeGroot, M.Ed., DCH
Author of 22 Best Selling eBooks
Sales Training International
© 2020 Robert P DeGroot