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How to Deal With Objections While Prospecting

Too often, junior reps deal poorly with resistance from prospects on a cold call.

The messaging about the “right” approach is mixed, and that makes it difficult for less experienced sales professionals.

On the one hand, they have been told to overcome objections, on the other, they have read that overcoming objections is not what sales is about anymore.

I don’t see it as so black and white.

This article focuses on a simple idea for dealing with objections that will help reps get better at dealing with resistance on cold calls right away.

The mistake I witness most commonly is reps taking the awkward and ineffective middle road when dealing with an objection.

They do not either really push back or confront the objection. Instead they awkwardly press on, pretending there was no objection. This may sound aggressive, but it really is the most passive approach you can take on a call.

 

Example – Ineffective Approach to Objections “The Middle of the Road Approach”

 

Prospect: I am not sure we need more case studies

Rep: Totally understand, not everyone does. I would be happy to show you how having more is beneficial.

 

This is a weak approach because we neither learn nor teach anything.

The rep is just aimlessly pushing towards some next step in the hope of it working in the future.

The worst part is, if the prospect says no more directly, you don’t even know why, or if the reason for saying “no” is legitimate or just a brushoff.

If the prospect says yes, but it turns out they do have enough case studies, you are still just delaying the inevitable and will learn later that it is not a fit anyway.

Hopefully you can see why this middle of the road response has serious shortcomings.

 

2 Effective approaches to dealing with objections:

  • Aim to learn more about why they resisted, with the goal of possibly showing them why the objection might be invalid
  • Trial DQ / full DQ

Let’s look at an example of each:

1. Example – Learn and show

 

Prospect: I am not sure we need more case studies

Rep: Totally understand, not everyone does. How many case studies do you have?

Prospect: About 10

Rep: Got it, many of our clients thought that was enough. But what they found is that with 10 examples, sales reps were not able to share content that was relevant to the prospect, they were using pretty generic examples. Would you say that is true for your team?

 

Now, if the prospect maintains he has enough and that this is not a fit, you can move to the trial DQ, or just disqualify. If your value proposition does resonate, you can move forward in your sales cycle

 

2. Example – Trial DQ

 

Prospect: I am not sure we need more case studies

Rep: Got it. If with 10 case studies, you already feel your sales reps are able to use them effectively and share relevant examples, this wouldn’t be a good fit for you

 

The goal is to make the prospect directly state that they understands the value proposition, and reject it. You can feel confident walking away.

 

Conclusion

The two examples I have outlined are a much better way to approach objections.

Taking this approach may feel difficult at first – as if you are pushing back and wasting their time by making them answer more questions. But it is actually much more respectful to the prospect’s time to get down to talkin’ turkey when an objection arises.

Finally, this approach will help you as a sales rep because you will learn more about your prospects, set a better tone upfront, and make sure you are concentrating your time on the right people.

Julian Co-Founder & CEO

Julian has focused his career on B2B sales and sales management, specifically bringing new technologies to market. After years as an elite sales rep, he began leading teams, specifically focused on coaching sales reps on how to be direct, credible, and respected throughout the sales process. Julian conceived of and designed SuccessKit when running an 18 person sales-team at Axial, a b2b startup, as a way to help sales reps have better conversations by utilizing customer success examples and other content more effectively.

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