Objection, Expression Of Fears
Peter. “Let me be very clear with you: I just want to know more but please
understand that there is no chance I will buy such a new brand.”
Martial: “I understand, Sir, and it is already a privilege for me to be able to
present our brand to you. I am not sure that our brand can be considered as so new, with already 20 years of existence, and, most importantly, total recognition from the industry as being one of the most traditional, respected brands in true watchmaking heritage.”
Let’s be very happy and positive about all the possible objections. It’s because your customer has the intention to purchase that your customer tells you why he or she is not willing to buy. What if the customer simply walked away without telling the sales advisor anything, purely and simply to escape? The objections are at the center of the success: it’s a real and important conversational opportunity that is not to be missed.
- An objection is not always nice to hear.
Lisa: “You must be dumb to buy here when you know that it’s far more expensive than in Europe!”
An objection is an immediate expression of a fear, and therefore could be brutal and not always very nice to hear. You still have to keep a very positive mindset and see the positive side. Notably by changing customer’s remark into a nice question in your mind: “I don’t want to look stupid by buying here when everyone knows that it’s much cheaper to buy in Italy, where the handbag is produced. Could you please tell me, dear sales advisor, why I should buy here please?”
This is the perfect opportunity for any sales advisor to explain why the customer should buy now!
- An objection is sometimes violent, and it may seem like there is no answer.
Lisa: “I cannot buy it unless you give me 20% off. Just take it or leave it.”
Again, because you are a qualified sales advisor, do not consider an objection to be anything more than a question. There could be an element of negotiation in the remark, as is the case in Lisa’s remark above—but it is still fundamentally a question, formulated in a hurry and under the emotional stress of having to make a decision.
Lucy: “I would be delighted to offer you a welcoming accommodation if it were possible. And, I know that some brands do mark up prices and afterwards offer discounts so as to please customers. Ultimately, it’s a practice that does not help customers. We prefer to have fair pricing from the beginning with the objective of giving customers full confidence in our prices, worldwide.”
Take the objection positively, and again, turn it into a question: “Dear sales advisor, I don’t think that your price is fair and I believe that there is a possibility for you to offer me 20% so as to make me feel fully comfortable with my purchase. If you don’t, I will not feel reassured and therefore cannot take my decision.”
- An objection is sometimes unclear.
Lisa: “I don’t know why, but I just feel that this is not right.”
It’s absolutely normal to receive an unclear objection. Handling such objections is part of the expert sales advisor’s job description: helping a customer to clarify their desire, but also fears. The same rule applies: turn the objection into a question: “I still don’t feel comfortable enough to buy and suspect something is wrong. I don’t know exactly what, but there is still some worry at my level. Could you please assist me in understanding my hesitation?”
There are a few techniques to clarify these objections:
• Invitation to clarify
Lisa: “Clearly, if you are still hesitating, it means that there is still an
uncomfortable zone and thank you for telling me this. I can see that you love this handbag. Could it be some others factor which is causing you to hesitate such as our brand or the price?”
Express that you see the hesitation but do not understand why. This approach sometimes helps the customer to realize that actually there is nothing to worry about.
• “Imagining the consequences” question
Lucy: “Let me help you on this. Imagine you had decided to purchase this.
What could be the possible regrets?”
Lisa: “Looking at it this way, I guess I’m not very sure about the
Lucy: “I know that you were hesitating about this fuchsia bag and you were
thinking more about opting for red. I am not sure it would be as nice in red as it is in this very sharp, vibrant fuchsia. And, I’m not sure if it will go very well with your style. While this beautiful, trendy and modern fuchsia suits you particularly well—on this, I am sure. I am certain you will not regret the choice of this lively fuchsia. It’s the right one given that this model is from our brand.”
Lisa: “You are right.”
Most of the time the consequences of a decision are exaggerated in the mind of the customer. By imagining the possible consequences, customers might discover that, in fact, there is much less to worry about than they might
- An objection can be hidden.
The objection is very often hidden, or more exactly not expressed clearly enough. The most terrible one to hear is certainly: “Thank you, I will think about it.” This is often understood to be a “no.” It should firstly be interpreted as a timing objection: “Dear advisor, I consider that it’s clear enough on my side. But I will need more time to think about taking the decision.”
Michelle Taylor. “Thank you, that was quite an experience. We’ve just arrived in Paris and we do want to visit other nice boutiques.” (Here there is a hidden objection to the brand.)
Alice: “It’s a great pleasure to have met you and I am glad to
have helped you find this beautiful necklace; it’s perfect for you and your husband's wedding anniversary. I understand that you would like to take more time and browse other brands. We are extremely proud to be one of the very ‘happy few’ major jewelry maisons in Paris. I am not sure that there are many others that you will be able to compare with our maison!”
- An objection can be just emotional.
Paul Morgan: “Frankly speaking, but please don’t take it badly, I just don’t trust you or any financial institution. That is why I did not subscribe to any of the life insurance or long-term savings plans, or whatever you call it.”
It can happen that customers just throw out their emotional concerns and require reassurance. It is of course never personal. The customer is not overreacting: again it's an expression of a certain fear, and a particular way of asking a question: “Dear sales advisor, I don’t trust you because you represent financial institutions which I don’t trust. So don’t blame me for that. Can you tell me why I should trust you when I don’t trust any financial institution?”
Roger can also answer with empathy and a personal touch:
Roger: “Mr. Mason, I understand your position regarding financial institutions
and you know you are not the only one who distrusts them after the many bankruptcies and lack of ethical standards that everyone has heard about on the news. I am not here to defend my industry but I do want to invite you to see my bank as an individual company, doing its very best, and I am, as an honest and humble person, here to help you to find the best financial solutions.”
Golden Rule Corner
An objection is an expression of fear. You have to see it as a question, which is calling for an answer: reassurance.
- Terrible time objection.
John Hudson: “Okay, that was quite a good conversation. Give me more
time to think about it.”
Most sales advisors hear this objection and don’t even think of it as an objection. It should be understood as: “I’ve had enough for today but I am still not ready to take a decision. I don’t want to make a mistake and I am not sure that if I decide to purchase, it will be risk-free. I don’t see why I should decide now. Can you tell me?”
Henry Smith: “Thank you and I can see that you really like the car you
carefully selected. I can see that you are a wise person. Why not decide today?”