Objection handling is one of the basic skills of sales, yet I’m often amazed how many salespeople are lacking in this vital area. They might be given a little bit of training when they start in the role, often from the manager or director of the business, but then are pretty much left alone after that!
Yet out there in the field or on the phone, your salespeople are coming up against objections day after day – and price objections are one of the most common things they are likely to come up against.
When I listen to their calls, salespeople often fail to demonstrate the essential skills in objection handling, “fall over” at the first objection, get de-motivated, then blame their company or their product or service for their troubles! But often, the objection only arises because of the actions of the salesperson, so let consider the main reasons why this occurs.
Reason No 1 – They generate the price objection themselves!
Whenever I’m delivering sales training and listening to salespeople live on the phones, it often astounds me how often salespeople generate objections for themselves!
They may have been doing quite well on the appointment or phone call, then suddenly, something in either their voice tone or the words that they’ve just said generates a price objection from the client. It sounds crazy, but the salesperson virtually “asks” for that price objection!
The minute the salesperson asks any question about price, they’re taking the conversation towards price and guess what? A price objection! Watch out if you hear your salespeople utter any of the following…..
“How much do you currently pay for…..?”, “Can I give you a quote for…..?”, and the very worst one of all “what do I have to do to win your business?!!” They’ve just taken the conversation towards price! Is it any wonder they then get a price objection from the client?
Many salespeople generate price objections for themselves, then struggle to deal with them when they turn up! Yet it was their own fault for taking the conversation towards price in the first place.
Reason No 2 – They’re de-motivated and therefore only sell on price
If your salespeople are trying to generate new business, whether that’s on the phones or face-to-face, they can sometimes get de-motivated, especially when things aren’t going well. The longer this goes on for, the more de-motivated and despondent they get!
When they are feeling de-motivated and despondent, they struggle to believe that they’re much different from the competition, especially when they get told by potential customers “oh you guys are all the same” on a regular basis!
This leads to salespeople believing that the only difference between themselves and the competition is price! Therefore they only sell on price. Things like “if I can give you a better price for ‘x’ , can I have your business?” are uttered by the salesperson, and if by some stroke of luck they actually manage to win any business with that awful technique, if the only reason they won it was on price, they’re not going to keep it for very long, are they?
Reason No 3 – They don’t position the value well enough
Whenever they’re asking questions about the client and their current situation, or presenting your own product and service, it’s vital for your salespeople to be able to position the value in what you do. If they can’t clearly communicate the value in what you do, how on earth can you expect the client to see it as valuable?
If your salespeople don’t give the client any other reasons to buy other than price, how can we complain when the only difference they see is price – as that’s all the team are giving them!
Therefore your salespeople have to position the value in what you offer before they get drawn into a price discussion or ask the potential client to make a buying decision. Let’s face it, the potential client is always going to look at what they will get in return for their money invested, and if they don’t see the value in going for your solution, is it any wonder your salespeople are getting objections on price?
So What Can We Do About It?
As sales managers and directors, it’s important that you take a leading role in helping your salespeople avoid the mistakes listed above. Here are some suggestions you can put into place right now to prevent them from happening….
Andy’s Tip No 1 – Focus On What You Offer
Get your salespeople to focus on exactly what you offer your potential clients, apart from price! Whenever I ask salespeople “what makes you different?” they often have no idea! At the very least get your team to write a list and get them to look at it every day!
Andy’s Tip No 2 – Practice Objection Handling
Most salespeople’s objection handling skills are shocking. If you know your team are going to get price objections, put them to the test by checking their objection handling skills in your team meetings for example. However, be prepared to cringe at their current skill level however!
Andy’s Tip No 3 – Keep Their Motivation High
When things aren’t going well for a salesperson, one of the first things to suffer is their motivation levels. If they keep coming up against price objections, they’ll feel de-motivated, despondent and like it’s a real struggle. Staying on top of them and their motivation levels will be key to their success.
Follow the tips above and watch the figures of your sales team soar! I look forward to hearing about how you’ve implemented them and made them work for you!
Andy Preston is a leading authority on sales and sales management. You can see and hear more about Andy at www.andy-preston.com and his sales training company at www.outstanding-results.co.uk. If you’d like further help on this topic, or anything else sales-related, you can contact Andy through the website http://www.Andy-Preston.com using the "contact us" page. Good luck with your future sales!