By Jeff Shore
Changing the Way We See Customer Objections
I’ve been in the sales world a long time. And one of the things I enjoy the most is working with salespeople on how to help their customers overcome purchase objections.
First of all, we need to understand that a customer without an objection is not a customer at all. Having an objection means the customer is engaged in the purchase process.
Every customer starts the purchase process with a perfect solution in mind. That perfection is, of course, unobtainable. Customer objections originate in that gap between the ideal the customer is looking for and what they think is actually being offered.
Take car shopping, for example. The customer has the perfect car in mind. They’ve got their ideal list of wants and needs. But when they start shopping, they see what is actually available in their price range.
Suppose I am looking for a pair of dress shoes that will keep my feet comfortable all day, that are fashionable, and that look great with a suit. Oh, and I don’t want to spend more than $200. That’s my ideal.
But when I’m standing in the store, what happens? I find a pair of shoes that look very nice and will look great with a suit, but I’m not sure they’ll be comfortable standing on my feet eight hours a day and they cost $275.00.
There’s a gap between my ideal and my perception of what’s available. That gap is as an objection.
Notice a key concept here. To this point, the shoe salesperson at the store had absolutely nothing to do the reasoning process. Customers typically discover their objections completely on their own.
This is something every salesperson needs to understand. Objections are not about the salesperson! It’s the normal experience every customer goes through as they recognize the gap between their ideal and their perception of what is available to them.
So the customer offers an objection that likely had nothing to do with you, the salesperson. Question: What is the most obvious observation we can make about our customer?
Answer? The customer is still standing there!
If the objection was a deal-killer, they would be gone. But if the customer is still there it must mean they’re still interested in buying.
By raising the objection, we need to understand what the customer is actually asking, “Help me! I don’t know what to do with this.” They want us to help them work through their objection.
At that point, we become their advocate, their advisor, and their partner in the purchase process. We work through their objections together.
We need to recognize that objections are normal, objections are natural, and objections are – most importantly – a plea for help.
And when you help your customer move past their objections, you get to change their world.