How to Properly Handle Customer Objections During a Sales Pitch

It’s easy to view customer objections as a roadblock to your sales pitch. Without a proper strategy, these oppositions can, at best, make for an uncomfortable exchange. At worst, they’ll stop the conversation dead in its tracks. However, an effective sales strategy can help you handle customer objections at any stage. You can then use the concerns to gain a better understanding of the client’s needs.

Don’t look at sales resistance in a negative light. Instead, consider the information that’s exchanged as a key insight into the true needs of a prospective client. Incorporate common concerns into your sales pitch and prepare ways to properly handle customer objections as they come up. This will help you showcase your product as the valuable solution you know it is.

learn how to handle customer objections
Photographer: Kittisak Jirasittichai

What Are Sales Objections?

Sales objections are concerns prospective clients may have about your product. These pushbacks often arise from a lack of information. Many objections may sound final, but if you listen closely, you’ll find clues about the client hidden within the responses. Specifically, clients may respond with no interest but share a piece of information that can give more insight.

Common objections might include:

  • “It’s too expensive.”
  • “I already have XYZ.” (a competitor’s service)
  • “It’s not the right time.”

Though it might not seem like it, each opposition offers valuable information about your prospective client’s willingness to at least engage in conversation. More importantly, the information shared in these statements gives clues regarding the clients’ actual needs.

While these may seem like insurmountable roadblocks, more often they’re valid concerns you need to address. To best handle customer objections, enter the pitch prepared. Do your research so you can anticipate and understand reservations your client may have. Then, create a plan for how you might alleviate some of the worry involved.

Consider the feedback as a normal, expected part of the sales process so you can adequately prepare. Adding details to your presentation that address common objections is a proactive way to show you understand the customer.

Handling Sales Objections

Navigating pushback on your sales pitch can seem like a daunting task, especially if you perceive the interaction as conflict. Instead, consider the conversation to be just that—a conversation in which you’re extracting the true needs of your client. Properly handling objections during your pitch can leave a positive lasting impression, which can then lead to successful sales.

You’ll want to handle customer objections in a way that lets the sales presentation continue. It’s important to view objections as feedback that allows you to continue to engage your client. Leading the conversation with an open ear communicates that you’re on the same team and sincerely trying to help.

It’s crucial to express confidence as well as sincerity as you attempt to overcome client objections. It’s also equally crucial to avoid becoming defensive. For instance, in your conversation, convey that you and your client have mutual goals. Then, emphasize that you’d love the opportunity to work together to realize those goals.

To navigate these conversations, consider using one of these four approaches to handle the objection:

  1. Understand the customer’s concern.
  2. Empathize with the customer.
  3. Let the customer ask questions.
  4. Know what to do when they’re just not interested.

Understand the Customer’s Concern

Building rapport with the customer in the days or weeks leading up to the pitch is a critical step that can help you successfully navigate concerns. Forging a connection will help you handle customer objections with a genuine understanding of their concerns. Then, do your best to convey your understanding. This is crucial to gaining the trust of your client.

By effectively communicating that you’re on the same side as your client, you can begin to build mutual trust. For example, frame the problem as “my client and I vs. the problem” instead of “me vs. my client’s worries.” By placing yourself on the same team as the client, it becomes clear you’re working for their benefit—not just yours.

There are a few critical ways you can convey understanding. Ultimately, you want to tailor your verbal and nonverbal communication so it’s collaborative rather than combative. For instance, don’t directly ask what their concerns are, with the sole goal of defending your product. Instead, it’s far more productive to ask constructive questions that will lead all parties to arrive at a common goal. Questions like, “What are we hoping to accomplish?” and “What obstacles do you think we’ll have to overcome?” are inclusive and collaborative. They can also go a long way in ditching the stereotypical pushy sales approach.

When it comes to body language, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, maintaining personal space avoids giving off an intrusive demeanor and helps make the client feel less pressured. Nodding, listening and maintaining eye contact are all essential practices for successful nonverbal communication as well. Mirroring your client’s body language has also been known to help lessen tension and will make your client feel at ease.

Empathize With the Customer

To further demonstrate a sincere understanding of your prospects’ concerns, be empathetic throughout the exchange. Listen actively and do your best to recognize their issues as legitimate problems—problems you want to help solve. Be prepared to ask questions that clearly communicate your interest in their concerns, and be ready to respond concisely with accurate information.

To naturally garner trust within the relationship, it’s critical to exhibit empathy. Similar to a technique called “sales mirroring,” demonstrating compassion will humanize your sales approach. As a result, you’ll increase your likeability, improve rapport and help boost sales.

Sales mirroring involves mimicking a client’s body language, positioning, tone of voice and communication style to make them feel more comfortable. By the same means, positioning yourself alongside your client as a teammate sends the message that you’re on the same team, working to solve a mutual problem. This gives the conversation more authenticity and allows the client to feel directly involved in the outcome.

Remember, to be truly empathetic involves intentional listening and sincere responses. Be fully equipped with the knowledge to address and handle customer objections and concerns, but don’t script your response. Be in the moment, and be sincere.

Let the Customer Ask Questions

Even with the best rapport, it’s vital to have an engaging sales presentation as well. In fact, a good working relationship with your client is even more reason to deliver your solutions in a meaningful, effective manner. Having a working relationship built on mutual trust will lay the foundation for productive, successful sales presentations.

In addition, show genuine excitement for your product or service. When you’re excited, your clients will get excited. Selling with a sincere belief in your product makes customers more likely to buy.

To facilitate meaningful conversations of shared value, look at the role of a sales rep from a different perspective. It’s not enough for sales reps to focus only on selling—that’s not their job. The responsibility of a sales rep is to educate. It’s about helping prospective clients fix their problems.

Head Off Objections With an Interactive Presentation

An engaging sales presentation is central to accomplishing this goal, especially considering the nature of sales and marketing today. Sharing visual components on a digital platform will ensure your presentation resonates as current, reliable and modern.

For ease of use and editing, brand consistency and a visually appealing format, traditional sales presentations should be revitalized and streamlined into a digital format. Providing your sales pitch in such a manner gives the client more control. And, a more interactive experience offers engaging ways to answer questions before they arise.

Questions may inevitably lead to objections. But by providing sales information in a modern, digital format, your sales reps will have the tools necessary to handle customer objections through modernized product education. When questions arise, consider it an opportunity to get to the bottom of your prospect’s true needs. Ideally, you’ll find that your product is the exact solution they’ve been looking for.

It’s clever to follow up with open-ended questions of your own as well. This technique will help the conversation flow and might also help pinpoint additional needs the customer has yet to express.

actively listening to objections during a sales pitch
Photographer: Ground Picture

What if They’re Just Not Interested?

At times, customers may remain uninterested, despite your best efforts. In this scenario, the best course of action is to shift your efforts toward building a positive rapport, while planting seeds of valuable information for a later date.

When determining whether to give up on a lead, consider whether it’s in your best interest to let them go. For instance, if a client persists with objections, ask yourself whether they are a good fit for your organization. Will your product or service actually benefit them? Is the lead even worth the effort?

In addition, while you may have addressed all concerns through the course of the presentation, sometimes people still need more time. At a minimum, a successful sales pitch should leave a client with valuable information and a good impression of your service and sales team. A positive, enlightening exchange won’t always result in a sale, but it will keep your company’s name top-of-mind for future business opportunities—especially if the customer felt heard and understood.

Keep Customers Listening With Ingage

The sales process is never linear, but customer pushback is a reasonable expectation. This is especially true if sales presentation materials are dated, bulky and ineffectual. One way to handle customer objections is to reframe those objections as areas for further discussion and clarification.

There are also several ways to reassure your clients through communication tactics expressed with heartfelt empathy. Engaging, innovative sales presentations can be utilized in tandem with such tactics, bringing the power of technological modernization to the hands of your skilled sales team. Using these approaches, you can turn prospective customer objections into conversions.

Ingage is the industry leader in sales presentation software and boasts a streamlined approach to interactive content creation. With access to a variety of samples, users can seamlessly utilize the expertly designed content provided by Ingage to style and formalize their digital presentations.

In a world where brand names have immense influence in an industry, it has never been more critical to standardize sales delivery channels. Ingage gives customers the means to present content in an aesthetically pleasing format that’s interactive, modern and consistent with branding guidelines. When used in conjunction with physical sales materials, Ingage enables sales reps to have a highly immersive presentation experience.

Though it’s typical for businesses to handle the task of finding new customers, Ingage helps make the most of all customer contacts through tools that are as inventive as they are practical. Contact us today for a free demo.

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