Once on a sales call when the prospect stated what I took as an objection, I paused. While I attempted to piece together my rebuttal to his objection, the prospect interjected. He told me he’d been in sales most of his life and he had a piece of advice for me. He said if I stopped thinking of client concerns as objections and saw them as questions, selling was a lot easier. If it wasn’t an objection, I didn’t have to rebut. We weren’t in court. If it was a question all I had to do was answer it. He was right because he didn’t have sales objections, he had questions.
8 Steps to Answering Client Questions
- The first step to overcoming sales objections is to stop thinking of them as sales objections. Change your mindset and your language. When the word objection is used most people automatically think the next step is to give a rebuttal. However, when a customer’s inquiry is seen as a question we’re more likely to answer them than to rebut
- Do your research before the sales call. Know the prospect and the problems they may encounter before you contact them.
- Listen to your prospect. Before you can answer their questions, you need to understand their needs, wants, and desires.
- Don’t jump to an answer. Consider the prospect’s question and give your best answer.
- Be honest. If you don’t have the answer the prospect wants—tell them so. If the answer they want might not be in their best interest—they need to know why.
- Check their understanding and position. After you answer their question politely ask if they have any other questions.
- Don’t freak out. I’ve heard salespeople say they hated objections. They shouldn’t. Because questions are good; they show that the prospect is engaged, and considering the product or service. A flat out no is bad; questions are good.
- After answering the client’s question, move on. Don’t oversell—get on with your presentation. .
Change Seldom Happens Overnight
I wish I could tell you I took my customers advice to heart and immediately changed my rebutting ways, but that’s not what happened. I continued to use the old objection system of restating objections in favorable terms and then going immediately back to my pitch. At least for me, it was a slow process, but I eventually learned that it was better to answer questions, solve problems, and be helpful then it was to rebuttal. How do you overcome objections, do you answer them as questions?