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Overcoming Customer Objections

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Every business will encounter objections, which are usually customers exercising their right to do or not to do business with us. These objections may be stated or unstated, and these concerns may be valid, invalid, or even irrational.

 

One secret to increasing our customer foundation is to anticipate, and then answer, these objections BEFORE they are asked. King Solomon wrote, “Counsel in the heart of a man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5 NKJ). By being a person of understanding, you draw out the issues and answer customer concerns, and as a result, overcome objections! 


Most people don’t like going to the dentist, and they especially dread going to an oral surgeon. Kim, a dental practice administrator, says, “Many people are reluctant to schedule appointments because of the cost, pain, and time commitment required.”


When patients do contact the office, Kim explains how discomfort is minimized, the time effectively used, and how investing in procedures now will save money long term. She has learned to address the issues before they become objections.


In the past, when clientele called making inquiries, Kim would rattle off some medical jargon and then offer to make an appointment. But now, after answering the most common objections in advance, she has increased the number of scheduled appointments.

Steps you can take today

 

First, like Kim, identify the three most common issues raised when people consider buying your product or service. Some customers will raise these issues directly, while many will not. Develop short, direct, and comprehensive responses to each objection. 


Second, proactively communicate these answers in advance when possible. For example, when clients call, Kim explains how pain and discomfort is minimized, easing the patient’s mind and increasing the prospects of scheduling an appointment. 


Third, take the step of writing out your answer to each objection and then practice communicating those answers. Effective salespeople create introductory statements for prospects and then refine and practice those remarks. Over time, clear, hard-hitting sentences are developed. Similarly, develop responses to objections you encounter. Then you will be able to successfully anticipate and respond with customers.


For example, Kim explains how a needed root canal will actually save money by explaining the cost of extracting a tooth, creating a bridge, and other reasons why failing to do the procedure now will likely cost more total money in the future. Kim demonstrates the long-term value of the work.


Another business — a meat market that specializes in high quality products, including those organically grown — faces an objection every day to the higher prices. Customers can buy chicken and steak from a chain supermarket for less. One store, The City Market, touts the advantages of organic meat, identifies the higher cost, and specifically states why that cost is worth the money. Failure to clearly identify and address the cost issue will cause more customers to seek out and buy the lower-priced merchandise.


Fourth, train your staff how to best answer these objection. It is easy to assume that everyone is on the same page and that everyone knows how to deal with objections, but that assumption is seldom correct. To get best results, take the time to bring everyone up to speed. That means training the entire staff. The City Market trains every cashier in the advantages of the organic meat and each is encouraged to practice explaining the benefits.


Many business owners are reluctant to address possible objections, fearing they are just opening a can of worms. In reality, customers will have one or more objections, and by ignoring the objections, we are just being naïve. And we are losing sales.


In the early days of the ship cruising industry, many perspective passengers were concerned with becoming seasick. Rather than ignoring the concern, many cruise lines marketed the fact that ships were outfitted with stabilizers, even citing the fact that new cruise liners were not the troop transport ships of the 1940s that sickened many troops crossing the ocean. Furthermore, brochures explained how Dramamine skin patches would help those susceptible to motion sickness. By addressing the issue straight on, many more bookings were achieved.  


King Solomon said, “He who gives the right answer kisses the lips” (Proverbs 24:26 NKJ). Part of our job is to anticipate customer questions and then give the right answers.


That is, indeed, a very sweet thing!

Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach