There are three types of sales objections you must learn to identify before trying to handle objections from your prospects.
The smokescreen is by far the most common of the types of sales objection you’ll come across. It’s a false objection used to disguise the real one.
Two common examples of a smokescreen are when a prospect says your solution costs too much or when they tell you they’re not interested.
The best way to quickly judge if you’re dealing with a smokescreen is to ask yourself if there is a reason behind the objection.
For example, a prospect saying your solution costs too much could be that they don’t have the budget, but it could also be that they don’t see the value.
The same goes for when a prospect tells you they’re not interested.
There could be a considerable number of reasons behind this objection ranging from them having a bad day to having recently purchased another solution.
You just don’t know.
When you fail to spot a smokescreen, you waste a lot of time and energy trying to overcome the wrong objection without coming closer to making the sale.
Another classic example of a potential smoke screen is when a seemingly hot prospect starts nitpicking at the small details of your solution, such as the features and functionality.
You may find that despite your suggested workarounds, the prospect just claims it’s not sufficient and walks away from the deal. In reality, there was probably another reason why they did not go ahead with your solution.
2. Real Objections
The most significant types of sales objections you must overcome are the real ones.
Thankfully there are a small number of real objections compared to smoke screens, so unless you offer a weak solution, you should be able to master overcoming all of them in a short space of time.
When handling sales objections, you must pay particular attention to your prospect’s tone. If they move fast and aggressive, you do the same.
If they move slow and cautious, you move slow and cautious, remembering to speed up again when you’ve overcome the objection.
Objections can relate to time, cost, service, features, and many other areas of your solution, which is why you need to master how to handle them accordingly and why your product and market knowledge needs to be sharp.
3. Brick Walls
You’ll also come across sales objections you cannot overcome.
These are what I refer to as ‘Brick Walls’.
An example of a brick-wall objection would be if you worked in real estate and had a prospect who wanted to buy a house but had no money and could not get credit from the bank.
There would be very little you could do about this situation, and the likely outcome would be that the sale wouldn’t happen.
The best salespeople will always try to find workarounds to make a deal happen. However, it’s important not to frustrate yourself with brick-wall objections by trying too hard.
You can try to find your way over, under, or around a brick wall objection, but do not waste your time and energy trying to break through it unless it’s worth a substantial amount.
If you come across a brick-wall objection at the end of the sales process, you likely failed to qualify your prospect efficiently, so rather than getting frustrated with your prospect, learn from your lesson and move on.
I witnessed a classic example of this a few months back when role-playing with a team of experienced salespeople for one of my clients.
I knew the client offered a software solution that didn’t work on Mac computers without having to install a Windows operating system.
For some companies, this workaround is no problem, but for most, it’s a complete brick wall.
Not one of the salespeople asked me about what computers my company worked with as part of their qualifying questions.
As a result, I hit them with the objection after 15 to 20 wasted minutes of the call, and there wasn’t any reason to continue.
I strongly recommend you write down as many of the common brick walls you know that can kill a potential sale and ensure you’re raising these potential objections as part of your early qualifying questions with new prospects.
It can save you a lot of wasted time and frustration.
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