In the past, I have written about the importance of context when it comes to sales objections and a basic understanding of the root of these common objections. We looked at the importance of context, time and value. We looked at how there isn’t a right time, just their time and our interruption of it, now let’s look at value, and how we can use it to make it easier to manage, handle and leverage them for more engagement. We’ll turn to Psychology 101 for understanding a common reason behind a lot of sales objections.
Don’t Take It Personally: Conditioned to Object
Understand that prospects are more rejecting the interruption than you specifically. Now let’s look at how they deal with those interruptions and the nature of the objections. In most instances, it is very much a Conditioned Response: they need to react to something effectively. In this case getting rid of us sellers, the interrupters. They find a way that is effective a majority of the time, in fact, 80% of the time; and once they do find the way that works to rid them of interruptions, they use it every time and without much thought. Much the way we swat a fly, stop at red lights, look up at a loud noise, all without much thought or effort, it is a Conditioned Response in reaction to a specific occurrence.
Just like when I set out with my wife to buy a new washer, had the specifics thought out, it was just down to picking the retailer. As I was walking into Sears, talking with my wife about one thing or another, we were “interrupted” by a very nice rep who asked, “May I help you?” Guess what I and 90% of people who are posed that question said? That’s right, “Just looking”, a Conditioned Response.
Five minutes later, having finished our chat and getting down to business, I looked around, no one in immediate sight, I looked at my wife and complained about the lack of service; even though not five minute before there was a very nice rep offering to help us, and I blew them off without any thought or effort, by saying that I was “just looking” – a Conditioned Response. Which is exactly what happens when we call a potential prospect unexpectedly, action – reaction.
Now consider that I went Sears willingly, looking for a washer, yet I dismissed the rep as they were trying to help me accomplish my objective. I ask you, is it possible that the prospects we call, or more specifically, interrupt, are as real with their objections?
Let the Sales Objection Happen
Again it comes down not to avoiding rejection, but how we handle it. Here is what I mean, let’s roll back the film: same store, same wife, same me, same clerk. She again asks the question and I give the same Conditioned Response, but this time she responds and offers up, “Well, if you tell me what you are looking for, I would be happy to show you”. Fifteen minutes and a few questions later, I walked out with a washer worth $800, where I had intended to spend only $500.
By handling my objection in a direct, confident and pre-planned way, the clerk was able to take an objection, a rejection, and turn it into a conversation. Further, once I used up my “Conditioned Response”, I was left to actually responding to her question directly rather than leaving it to reflex. This is what you want to do with your prospects: let them use up their Conditioned Response, deal with it, get past the reflex, and begin dealing with the real sales process. Once they have used the conditioned response, subsequent responses will be more real and genuine, not necessarily any more positive, but real, the start of a conversation.
Be Prepared For These Common Sales Objections
Here is some more good news, 80% of the time they will use the same Conditioned Response, it comes in one of five common objections that you will from here on think of as five common sales objections of the conditioned response variety, in no specific order:
- Status Quo
- Lack Of Interest
- No Time
- Bad Experience
- Wants to receive info First
Knowing that, as you master dealing with each of these, you will have the ability to deal with and take away 80% of the objections you face, and move closer to a real sales conversation.
Tibor Shanto is a Sales Performance Leader and Principal with Renbor Sales Solutions. Working with B2B sales organizations to build top sales performers through a focus on process, behavioral change, and execution. Tibor is the co-author of an award winning book on trigger events.