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Objection-handling process


Disciplines > Sales >  Objection-handling > Objection-handling process

Listen | Question | Think | Handle | Check | See also


This is an overall process to handle objections. See the objection-handling page for a list of methods for the detail of handling objections.

1. Listen

Stop! Do not try to jump in at the beginning - this may cause further objection. When you interrupt them, you are objecting to their objection. If you refuse to listen, then their next steps may well be towards the door.

Use active listening methods, nodding and physically showing interest.

They are trying to tell you something that will help you sell to them, which is a gift from them to you. If you do not listen, then their next step may well be towards the door.

2. Question

As appropriate, ask some questions. This not only shows you are interested in them, but it also gives you more information with which to make the sale. As you question them, watch carefully for body language that gives you more information about what they are thinking and feeling.

Remember that this is not an interrogation, and that giving them the 'third degree' will turn them off. So keep your questions light and relevant.

You might also tip the bucket at this time, asking them if there are any more concerns (=objections) that they have, and which, if you can resolve them, you might gain a close.

It is not always necessary to ask questions. Be deliberate about what you are doing if you do.

3. Think

Now before you dive into objection-handling, think! What methods will work best with them? Should you take a direct and confrontational approach or should you use the soft-soap to finesse the situation? Or maybe you should put it off to another day (but only if you can be sure that you can return to the selling situation).

Thinking is a good thing where you are adding a little pause into the proceedings, thus demonstrating how you are taking their objection seriously.

4. Handle

This stage may sometimes only be a few seconds after they object or it may require more time in the previous three steps. Now, when you are ready, use the objection-handling method that you believe will work best. Or make up your own. You are under no obligation to try and force-fit a method where it is unlikely to work.

5. Check

Finally, check to find out whether your objection-handling worked! Ask if you have answered their question. Ask if there are any more concerns. As necessary, handle outstanding objections.

Then go for the close.

See also

Questioning techniques, Closing techniques, Objection-handling

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