How to Handle Customer Objections
Prospects are likely to raise objections during the buying journey, yet these objections provide critical opportunities for you to discover the real reasons you may not make sales.
This is where the “Feel, Felt, Found” methodology can help retain some of those prospects that are slipping away, especially when coupled with metrics and data during the last stage. Here’s how you should execute the “Feel, Felt, Found" methodology.
Feel, Felt, Found
Prospective Customer: I’m just not convinced that your product can solve my pain points.
Sales rep: I understand how you feel.
Saying this demonstrates empathy and shows that you heard what the prospective customer is saying and that you can relate. People want to be understood, especially when they are describing their pain points and skepticism. Saying this is a great way of disarming them, setting you up for the next step.
Sales rep (continued): In fact, Steve, a customer I just worked with, felt the exact same way as you do.
Again, this not only demonstrates empathy, but also makes the prospective customer feel more comfortable in the knowledge that they are not the only one who has felt this way before. Their objection is a common one. Your confidence in acknowledging this also suggests that you are comfortable dealing with this objection, and that the situation is fluid.
Sales rep (continued): I demonstrated X, Y and Z capabilities of our product to Steve and he found that the we could not only solve the issues he was facing, but we even made his life easier in these other areas.
The ‘found’ part of this methodology is critical. For starters, referring to a specific customer provides social proof – if other people are finding success with it, this skeptic will be more convinced. Additionally, Steve is now doing most of the selling, alleviating the your sales burden.
Where “found” really has potential to succeed, however, is when quantitative data is cited, with demonstrable proof in the proverbial pudding.
[Second Example] Sales rep: I understand your need to increase your average deal size. A lot of people we've talked to have expressed this concern and weren’t sure that we could handle it. In fact, Steve Richard of Vorsight found that after starting with Scoutsheet, their average deal size increased from $16k to $25k – a 56% increase!
There is a partial truth in every statement. When responding to objections, avoid using the word “but” when you respond to a statement that you don’t think is entirely correct. Instead use the word “and”. The word “and” is less often perceived as an opposing statement and is more likely to be perceived as agreeing to the earlier statement, but while adding additional information. For example, don’t say “Yes, we are expensive, but it is worth the cost.” Instead say “Yes, we are a premium solution…and…others have found that we’ve saved them 10x the cost.”
Power of “Because”
Using the word “because” in a response to an objection, even if you don’t have a convincing reason will help persuade your audience. In a recent study, a researcher wanted to see how many people would let him cut in line to use the Xerox machine. He asked the following three questions over and over again and kept track of the percent of people that let him cut in line.
- May I use the Xerox machine? – 60% of respondents said yes
- May I use the Xerox machine because I need to make some copies? – 93% of respondents said yes
- May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush? – 94% of respondents said yes
Railroading is responding too quickly to a question that you receive in a conversation or demo. It is bad and makes it look like you are trying to sell to them. Take time to listen to their concerns and ask two or three questions for every one response you give.