Although every company is different in procedure, I have found in fourteen years of training in-house that success in telephone selling still boils down to three things;
The type and quality of the questions that are asked in the rapport building stage,
the power of the script, and the ability to handle every objection that arises.

Let’s look at how the objections could be handled better.

When I first listen to what is being said in a telemarketer’s calls, I frequently hear, “Oh, okay bye” from the telemarketer. Yes, another call is wasted, because they did not know what to say to answer the objection and instead found it easier to put the phone down.

I recommend that you make a list of every objection that comes up, both in face-to-face sales and also in telesales and find an effective way to overcome it and put all the objections and responses in front of you when you are on the phone. Here are some ways I recommend to answer objections.

1. Think of a question beginning with “What, why, where, which, how, and when” to feed back to the objection.

For example:

Customer: “I can’t afford it”

Salesperson: “How much do you think you would be able to spend right now?”

Customer: “I haven’t got time”

Salesperson: “When would be a better time for us to talk?”
If you cannot think of a question, pre-empt it with, “I am curious, let me ask you a question”- then that gives you time to think of the question you are going to ask!

2. Show empathy with, ” I understand”, “I appreciate what you are saying”, or “I know how you feel.”

For example:

Customer: “We already have a supplier.”

Salesperson: “I can understand that you would already have a supplier, what do they do that you particularly like?”

Customer: “I am not interested.”

Salesperson: “That’s understandable, because I haven’t had a chance to explain the real value to you yet. May I ask what would be most important to you in your life right now – time, money or relationships? (give a choice of at least three features or benefits)?”

3. Simply thank them for the objection, because it gives you a clue as to what they do want.

For example:

Customer: “It’s too expensive.”

Salesperson: “Thank you for raising that concern, let me explain why (then explain the real value).”

4. “How about” and “What about” are useful questions to ask.

For example:

Customer: “I don’t like the kitchen design.”

Salesperson: “How about we redesign the kitchen to your requirements?”

Customer: “We are happy with our current supplier, thank you.”

Salesperson: “That’s understandable but what happens in an emergency when your supplier is out of stock. What would you do then?”

5. My favorite is “What if” or “Not to say you would want to make a decision right now but if you were to what would be your buying criteria?”

For example:

Salesperson: “What if we could overcome that objection right now, you would still probably be interested in the savings you would make, wouldn’t you?”

The funniest answer to an objection I have ever heard came from a telemarketer in a charity event that I was training at the time. The lady called with her introduction in the middle of the afternoon and got the following response from a gentleman:

Gentleman: “Do you mind, I am in the middle of having sex!”
Telemarketer: “Oh, that’s okay, I’ll call back when your wife gets home.”

At least she showed empathy!

Jenny Cartwright – International Sales Trainer / Speaker / Coach
Author of “Don’t Get Hung up! – How to sell products and services by phone” and “Secrets of Top Sales Professionals.”

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