7 Important Methods Used by Salesman in Handling Customer’s Objections
Sometimes, the prospect raises some unexpected objections that even the most intelligent salesman fails to anticipate. However, once objections are raised they are to be clarified. A salesman in fact, cannot escape the responsibility of meeting or handling objections raised by the prospects, since it has to be done for mutual benefits.
There are several methods of handling objections. A few important methods are discussed below:
1. Direct Denial Method:
Normally a salesman should avoid confrontation or contradiction with the prospects. However, at times, it is essential to do the same while meeting objections. As the name implies, under this method the prospect is told that he is mistaken. This method is an offensive form of handling objections. Therefore, there remains a greater possibility of offending or hurting the feelings of the prospects.
This is particularly true when the customers are sensitive and belong to the fairer sex i.e. ladies. Therefore, this method can be used only in select cases while meeting objections. This method can be used successfully only when the prospects are broad minded and frank.
While using this method, every care must be taken so that the customer is not offended. No doubt, this type of direct denial of meeting objections becomes necessary in some select cases.
For example, if the prospect questions the genuineness of the product or the validity of its utility, it becomes almost essential for the salesman to directly contradict the same. The salesman can politely tell the prospect that this idea is wrong. Thus, direct denial based on facts and logic and presented sincerely and politely can be an effective method of answering objections of the prospects.
2. Indirect Denial or Yes… But Method:
This is one of the most popular and widely used methods of overcoming objections raised by the prospects. It is also often termed as side-stepping method. Under this method, initially the salesman agrees with the objections raised by the prospect but subsequently differs in a humble and polite manner.
No doubt, most people hate to be contradicted or denied on their faces but can be conquered through convincing. This method suits such situations. This method is popularly known as ‘Yes ….but method ‘ or ‘you are right but … method’, or ‘I agree but …method’. This method has the inherent strength of making the prospect understand that the salesman clearly realises the objection.
To satisfy the customer, the salesman meets the objection with further explanations and additional demonstrations. For example, the salesman may say, i agree with you Mr……… But in this case ….or You are quite right sir, but don’t you also think that …’. This method is nothing but denying tactfully and politely the objections without offending the prospect.
3. Reverse Position Method:
This is also known as ‘why method’ or ‘question method’. Under this method, instead of explaining the objections, the salesman asks the prospect questions relating to the objections such as ‘why’ and ‘what do you really mean, Sir?’ In other words, the prospect is asked as to why he thinks like that. The prospect when confronted with such a question not only hesitates to raise further objections but is also made to answer his own objection.
If the prospect’s objections are based on fake grounds or silly in nature this method makes the prospect realise and accept that. However, the effectiveness of this method depends on the sincerity of the salesman and his eagerness to understand the reasons behind the prospect’s objections. Of course, the salesman under this method gets a golden opportunity to clarify the doubts of the prospects.
4. Boomerang Method:
In this method, the objection of the prospect is converted into a reason in favour of a purchase. This method is also known as ‘translation method’ because it converts the objection in the minds of customers into a reason for making a purchase.
In other words, when the prospect raises an objection, this method converts the objection into boomerang. For example, the prospect may create an objection about the price of the product saying price is too high.
Under such circumstances, the salesman can hit back saying, this is exactly the reason why I believed you need the article. The manufacturer provides a five year guarantee and after sales services. He can inform about the discount and other related services associated with the purchase.
Though this is an effective method of handling objections, it requires accurate and through knowledge of the product and its selling points. Only skilled and experienced salesmen are found using this method successfully in meeting objections.
5. Superior Point or Compensation Method:
In this method, the salesman frankly admits the validity of the objection raised by the prospect, but simultaneously, offsets the objection by a superior point of greater advantage. In other words, the salesman points out an advantage which is supposed to compensate the objection.
For instance, when the prospect raises the objection that, ‘This cloth does not seem to be of high quality’, the salesman can reply that ‘You are right, sir, had it been of high quality, the price would have been considerably higher’. Here low price compensates the low quality.
In this method, the prospect’s objection is not really disposed off. Only his attention is drawn from the objection to a compensating advantage of the product. Thus, when the attention of the prospect is diverted, it automatically minimises the importance of a reasonable and valid objection.
Under indirect denial method, the salesman does not admit the validity of the objection. Whereas in compensation method, the salesman admits the objections raised by the prospect but provides adequate justification or compensation for the same.
6. Interrogation Method:
This method has some similarity with the reverse method. Under this method, the prospects are asked questions tactfully so that their objections are answered by themselves. For example, a prospect may say that he wants to buy a cheap suit.
In this case the salesman can put a question to him saying whether he would like to throw away the suit in one year or wants a suit that lasts longer. Most of the customers will opt for the latter one and in that case the salesman can suggest a better alternative.
Similarly, when the prospect raises doubt about the durability of the product, the salesman can ask as to why he thinks that the product will not last long. This method can be used tactfully in meeting objections.
7. Pass up Method:
Under this method, the salesman clearly passes up most of the objections. The salesman just smiles or merely shrugs his shoulder or uses any other method to avoid answers to objections.
However, such dodging can successfully be applied only while meeting minor objections, false excuses and trivial things having little base. In fact, such objections are not worth meeting. This method is not recommended for use in case of objections based upon valid grounds.