How to Handle Objections in Sales Calls

Sales objections can derail a seller in seconds, but with the correct responses, they can help build trust and move the sales process forward. In this episode of Sales B12™, Caryn and Jack discuss importance of an objection manual, how use it to overcome them and close more deals.

The talking points include:

Caryn: Hi, everybody! Welcome to this episode of Sales B12. I’m Caryn Kopp here with Jack Daly, and this is the one dose of sales you don’t want to miss. Today we’re discussing how to prepare an objection manual to help you overcome the most important objections you face in the sales process. Jack, take it away.

Jack: It’s always funny when we get to do these, Caryn; they’re not rehearsed because we’ve been in the game for so long, and it’s spontaneous. As I listened to your intro about overcoming sales objections, I thought, “You wrote the book on it!” I met you when you provided me with the book you wrote on objections, The Path to the Cash!® Manual, and asked me, “Hey, if you’re comfortable, could you do a testimonial?” That was the beginning relationship more than a decade ago. If anybody knows this space, it’s you!

2 Truths About Sales Objections

1. They are Predictable

Here’s what I will tell you. There’s hardly anything in a sales call you couldn’t anticipate before you get there. And if you buy into that, there’s no reason not to be better prepared for damn near anything that goes on during a sales call.
The top salespeople don’t like me to say this, but it’s true; they are canned. They say the same thing, the same way, each time they encounter a specific situation. The beauty is that they don’t sound canned. It sounds like it’s the first time they’ve ever said it.

2. There Aren’t as Many as You Think.

Here’s the good news: many sellers think there are a million or infinite objections out there. The reality is there are very few.

If you’re going to get prepared for objections, identify the top ten objections you face and put them into a playbook. Some companies can’t even get to a legitimate ten objections when building their playbooks. I challenge my audiences to identify more than fifteen sales objections; no audience has ever done it.

How to Tease Out the Best Responses

(02:15) If there are less than 10 sales objections in any given situation, why not figure out what they are and then figure out the best two responses for each? Here’s how to find the best two responses to sales objections:

  • Get your salespeople involved and make it a collective effort.
  • Don’t take the first one or two answers given.
  • Challenge every word.
  • Practice it.

Don’t throw your objections into the playbook before you work through the responses – they have to earn the right to be in it. If you do that with just ten objections and teach your salespeople how to address them, you’ll be off and running.

Caryn (02:53): Jack, you talk about the three Ps of objections: practice, practice, practice. I talk about the 3 Ps as pre-think, prepare, and practice. If you can pre-think the objections you will face, you can also pre-think the answers. Then, it’s not enough to just know the answers; you must be ready to come out with them in a performance moment.

I always say that language + delivery = outcome. You get the best outcome if you have the right words and deliver them as if they were the first time.

Know When to Push Forward and When to Bail

After you make the sales objection list, it’s time for the CEO to look at each objection and let everybody know when it’s okay to give up. For example, when sellers hear a prospect say, “I already have a contract for that,” they’ll often say, “Okay, I’ll call you in three years,” when the CEO prefers sellers roll up their sleeves to see if there is an opportunity now.

(03:59) Just because prospects say they have a contract in place with another vendor doesn’t mean they’re happy with that vendor. Almost every contract has an early out. There could still be an opportunity for you. Keep digging! If they are not in a position to switch vendors, they may need something ancillary that the contract doesn’t cover. Keep asking!

You can also ask questions such as the contract renewal date and who will be involved in the decision. Ask to meet with those involved in the decision to get their input on what more they will be looking for when the contract renews. That will give you some insight into how happy they are with their current vendor.

Make sure the CEO has provided input to the sellers as to when it’s ok to give up… so sellers don’t give up too soon!

Track and Analyze Objections

You can reduce and sometimes eliminate objections if you track the objections you face during the sales process. For example, if you get the same objection 75% of the time, such as “I’m not interested,” you may not be saying anything which is all that interesting. Or you may not be talking to the right people.

To reduce the number of times you face a particular objection, consider changing the target, message, or offering. Think about this when you’re putting your playbook together.

Jack (06:28): Let’s just put the playbook aside for a minute and talk about some essential things here.

50% or more of success at selling has nothing to do with the playbook: it has to do with our attitude. And if, attitudinally, we believe that we’re just going to get hammered with objections and will fall short, then don’t make the call. You’re not prepared. Buyers can sniff out whether a salesperson is unsure of whether they’ve got the goods.

You have to find a way to get your head in the right shape that believes, “There are very few objections, and we’ve identified the majority of them, and I know the best responses. I’m going to go through the front door to that prospect and nail this deal.” It’s essential to have that self-talk to be effective on a sales call.

See Objections for What They Are: Buying Signals

Here’s the second thing: objections are buying signals. Understanding that makes dealing with them that much easier. Disinterest or apathy is the worst thing you can encounter as a salesperson.

Objections are the prospect saying, “I would like to do business with you. If you can solve this, I’m good to go.” If you’re prepared and mentally ready, when a buyer throws out an objection, you understand that you just haven’t done a good job telling them why your solution can solve their pain. If you can figure out how to do that, it’s a game-set match, and you’re done.

Caryn (08:47): Right. And then you never have to let an objection get in the way of your success.

Thank you, everybody, for listening to this episode of Sales B12, and I invite you to listen to the other episodes and get even more content to help you sell more in less time and be happier.

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 Caryn      Jack

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