Issue 25: Blank Look Edition

Objection Handling – Revisited

to see the whole issue check out the web version of Issue 25: Blank Look Edition

In sales training classes, many times people twist the topic around to the #1 Issue they are having – and as salespeople are into instant gratification – RIGHT NOW.

Most of the time this brings up things like:

  • “. . . but they tell me they’re happy with their supplier”
  • “I keep being told they only buy insert what you don’t sell here
  • “Why do they keep saying they’ll think it over and never make a decision?”
  • “No one has any money”
  • “All day people say our prices are too high”

In sales (and in life) typically things keep showing up until we learn how to deal with them. The funny thing is that after we figure it out, it isn’t that the objections go away – rather it is they no longer bother or worry us, because we have figured out how to deal with them.

If you were to keep track of the objections you hear for one week, my experience shows there are 3-5 that keep popping up for you.

You have probably heard the Chinese Proverb

Give a man a fish and
you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and
you feed him for a lifetime.

The same is true of objections; copy someone else’s response to a specific objection and move on from that one, learn a process for objection handling and deal with them ALL.

So we’ve reworded the proverb

Give a salesperson a response and
they can handle one objection.
Teach a salesperson to create their own and
you eliminate objections for a lifetime.
Objections Aren’t Questions;
Don’t Answer Them!

Objections are always in the form of a statement, the prospect or customer has not asked us anything.

That being said, most salespeople begin to defend their position, product, or service… yup, sounds a lot like an argument.

PLUS, if someone says “my favorite color is blue,” you don’t respond with “no it isn’t it’s red.” Do you?

WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW – Once someone has stated an objection, their brain has been turned OFF.

Yup, they haven’t hit the release button on their phone to hang up on you – but they sure have done that in their brain.

Not only are they no longer listening, every defense is up against anything you might come out and say next.

Your #1 OBJECTIVE needs to be, turning their brain BACK ON.

Objection handling is NOT about changing their mind… it is about keeping the conversation going. A conversation is an exchange of ideas, if their brain isn’t on – no exchange can take place.


Here is my easy three step objection handling technique:

  1. Acknowledge– the prospect has a valid point.I’m not saying agree with them, but it is CRITICAL that you let them know you’ve heard what they said. Prove that you’re listening, that you’ve heard them.
  2. Tell A Story– get the prospect reengaged in the conversation.Give an example of a prospect who later became a customer from the same situation. Use yourself and how you buy as a story. Don’t have your own story – borrow one from a teammate.
  3. Ask A Question– to turn the prospect’s brain back on.The question MUST be insightful, something they haven’t created an automagic answer to (you know those sales questions that are similar to the greeter at Old Navy who says “may I help you with something today?” – you already know your blow off answer don’t you!).

Sales isn’t rocket science, but it does take effort. A trainer when I first started in sales, Pete Morrissey, said that 1 in 10, yes that is only 10% of people in a training class actually DO ANYTHING with the information they’ve learned.

If what you’re doing is working – keep doing it! Before you decide that is true for you… how are you defining “working”?

If you have one objection that makes you stumble every time you hear it, take the time to go through the 3 steps and create your own way to handle it – THEN, use it every – single – time you hear that objection, until it rolls off your tongue with ease.

Of course at that point you’ll keep using it because it has become habit. The objection will no longer bother you, you’ll move on with your day and sell stuff!

Stop looking like a deer in headlights – that blank look doesn’t ever need to happen again when you hear an objection!

2 thoughts on “Issue 25: Blank Look Edition

  1. I agree with what you say Lynn.
    It’s important to practice and refine your responses to an objection and they do need to roll off your tongue naturally.

    And yes, acknowledge objection and follow with a good question shows respect and then opens up their mind.

    Now comes my caveat. I do not believe in learning one response to an objection. I believe in learning how to generate a multitude of responses and letting your unconscious mind decide in the spur of the moment which one to use.

    The problem with learning one approach is the old story that “he who is good with a hammer soon thinks everything is a nail”. A salesperson needs to be flexible. And two customers may well come up with the same objection and it may well mean something completely different to each of them.

    All the best, Greg

    • Greg, thanks for the feedback – I appreciate your insight! Your Sales Objections site has a wealth of information “Breathe – Don’t panic.” is a critical 1st response. Regards, Lynn

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