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Handling Buyer Resistance

Is there a universally accepted standard of procedure sales professionals should follow when handling buyer resistance? - by Bulldog
Here are some tips about resistance coming from my seminars on Split Second Selling(tm).

START is acronym that stands for the following:

S - Suggest a Time Out
T - Tactfully Deny
A - Admit it
R - Reverse
T – Time to Explain

First, suggest a timeout for both sides to consider the offer. Much like what you had learned in kindergarten when times are stressful children required a timeout. Providing a timeout for both sides will allow for thought and ample consideration for the agreement. On the buyer side it also gives them the opportunity to consider why they do not want to precede. On the selling side it gives you the opportunity to strategize how to turn around the injection.

Second, you can tactfully deny the objection. Even though you may not agree with the buyer’s opinion you must show some sympathy. Treat the buyer with respect but do not argue. Show them that you were concerned about the rejection and will do anything you can to understand why they feel the way they do. However, if information is misstated you can professionally correct it and still enabled the buyer to keep their self-esteem. Do remember the Dale Carnegie technique and an old Japanese business principle, “let the other person say face. “

Third, admit it. Sometimes you’ll run into objections that are true and perhaps unanswerable. Simply admit them and move on. If your prices are higher than your competitor admit it. If your inventory is less than a competitor, admit it. Honesty is the best policy and your buyer will appreciate your candor and sincerity.

Fourth, you can try to reverse the objection. There are many reasons why a buyer does not want to proceed. Fear, procrastination and loss are the major reasons. Perhaps you can lock into the reason and turn this into a reason why the buyer should reach a buying decision. For example, if a client offers an objection such as “they are happy with the competitor”, are they really that happy. If so, why did they agree to meet with you? With today’s competitive market and pressures, time is the one thing most people do not have. That said, there is an obvious reason why the client wanted to meet with you and it is not contentment with the vendor. Perhaps the fear and time of changing bothers the buyer. Perhaps it is the unknown of your organization that deters them from committing

Last, take the time to listen to the buyers concerns and question the objection. Objections are the best times to speak. Certainly, listening is key but now is the time to really get into conversation with the buyer. The best motivation for you is to continue to ask questions based on the wants and needs that they rose with you. Hone in on what the really want, and why they are speaking to you. Review your list of benefits and ensure that you bridge the benefit with their need. As you review the list with the buyer get them to affirm their interest. Review all the positives that you and your organization provide. Get the client to affirm this issue. Typically, when you get them saying “yes- yes” they are more likely to move forward.

Objections are just hurdles that are part of the sales race. Hurdlers do not go around their obstacle, neither should you! Sales professionals that anticipate objections are ready to address buyers concerns. Anticipating objections and having good follow-up questions at the ready and having good follow-up questions at the ready will help to uncover underlying concerns.

Drew Stevens - by Drew Stevens
There probably isn't a universal methodology for handling methodologies. But here's what I suggest:

1. Validate the prospect. The prospect will expect you to try to debate your way to a win. When you don't do that and instead validate the prospect, the dynamic of the discussion remains positive.

For instance:

Objection: "I need to talk to my wife."
Salesperson: "That's wise, I would want to do that, too"

2. Ask more questions to continue engagement.

Continuing in the vein above:

"What do you think your wife will say?"
"Aside from your wife, what do you think about this proposal?"
"What is it about the proposal that makes you feel uncomfortable?"
"Before you talk to your wife, what adjustments do we need to talk about?"
etc.

3. Isolate the objection. Is this truly the item that's preventing the transaction? Is it the true objection or a false objection? Are there other objections?

"If you speak to your wife and she agrees with the purchase, are you going to go ahead with the purchase?"

4. Provide additional or corrected information to answer the objection. As Brian Tracy says, treat the objection as a question.

5. Close again. If you've successfully met the buying criteria, or succeeded in having the buyer change their buying criteria, ask for the business again.

Best of luck. - by Skip Anderson
The diversity of responses here is always refreshing. thmbp2; - by Bulldog
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