Presented by Jim Linn HANDLING OBJECTIONS AT THE CLOSE Objections, a sign that a prospect has been listening to you. But how do you handle them? The way you address them could mean the difference of closing the sale or not. Kinder Brothers International has a 5 step process for handling objections at the close (listed below). Below is an excerpt from our eLearning course, Professional Sales Process, on handling objections at the close. STEP ONE – LISTEN TO DIMINISH There should be no knee-jerk responses, no quick moves. Never interrupt the prospect, even when you know what is coming and have a response in mind. Be encouraged that the objection is being voiced; it’s evidence that your prospect is listening and thinking. An objection focuses attention on those areas where the prospect requires more information and understanding. Listening to the objection establishes empathy. How you listen is important. Lean forward, nod your head in agreement with the prospect and let your facial expression register “I’m taking your objection seriously.” This earns respect. STEP TWO – RESTATE TO CLARIFY “I want to make certain I understand how you feel and this is what I hear you saying …” You paraphrase and in the process clarify. This does several things for you. It tells the prospect you have been listening and that you understand what was said. Also, it makes it clear that you don’t accept the objection as being final. It gives you time to organize your thoughts, and this can be helpful. This restating step puts you in step with the prospect. It will help you avoid arguments. No one ever convinced a prospect by arguing, so stay in the prospect’s corner. Guide him or her to better understanding by providing more information. Do this by tackling the objection, not tackling the prospect. STEP THREE – ISOLATE TO IDENTIFY “If we could handle this to your satisfaction, is there anything keeping you from moving forward today?” This helps you decide if this is the only objection, as well as the real objection. There are always two reasons a prospect has for not deciding upon your recommendation — the reason that sounds good, and the real reason. STEP FOUR – MOTIVATE TO ACTIVATE Use an illustration, example, or story. Your objective in this stage is to make sure you have a prospect who is now sold on your recommendation. This prospect may or may not be ready to buy — but they are sold. STEP FIVE – POSITION TO ASSIST Since your prospect is now sold, you are positioned to play the role of an “assistant buyer.” This positions you to move to Closing Step No. 3, Strategic Move where you make this statement: “If you have no further questions, there are 2 questions I’d like to ask you …” The only reason for answering an objection is to complete the sale. Properly executed, the first four steps have moved your prospect into a position where it is more reasonable for him or her to say yes than to say no. The most important factor in stimulating action is your confidence. Always assume your prospect is going to buy now. Proceed as if all you must do is settle the few questions of minor importance. Your attitude can make this closing sale easy and natural.