“Yes, it sounds great, but…” That “but” just negated the rest of the sentence. What this customer is really saying is that there are still objections to buying your product/service. That “but” just became the most important part of your sale.
The world is full of “buts”:
- But I am still worried about your price
- But you are not a preferred vendor
- But I am not the only decision maker
That “but” is actually a good thing because it can bring you closer to closing the sale. The words that follow the ‘but’ often reveal the genuine reasons why someone is not willing to make the commitment to buy. When you hear that word, it is time to handle the objection objectively. First, acknowledge what you heard. You don’t want to dismiss it or ignore it. By acknowledging it, you let your customer/prospect know that you heard what they said.
Next you want to clarify what you heard. If you think you understand, then restate it in a way that captures the essence of that concern. If you are not clear in what you heard, then ask clarifying questions to gain a deeper understanding. You don’t want to assume you know exactly what the customer is saying without first confirming that you understand. Not only could you go off on a tangent and lose your customer’s interest, but you may bring up some other objection that your customer had not originally considered that makes your customer even more reluctant to buy.
Once you have gained an understanding (or gained reinforcement that you know what the stated objection is), then you want to respond. Reframe the issue or deal with any misperceptions. It is best to be prepared. There are likely only a handful of objections that you routinely encounter. Torture your words when responding. Try to look at the objection from your customer’s point of view—and then offer something that overcomes the concern. For example, customers frequently may refer to price as a concern. You may want to raise the issue of the cost of doing nothing or not buying this product. The key is to be prepared.
And there will be some objections that you cannot overcome. Acknowledge them honestly. For example, your product may be a twice a day medication when the physician wants a once a day pill. Obviously, you cannot change the attributes of your product. But you can ask the physician if some of the patients who may be a good fit for your product already take other meds twice a day. In that case, taking a drug once or twice a day probably doesn’t matter. Then ask the physician if he would consider using your product for those patients where twice a day dosing will likely not be a problem.
Listen carefully to those “buts”. They present a challenge to you as a sales person. If you learn how to respond to these effectively, you’ll increase the likelihood of making the sale.