If you think the word “objection” is still in sales, think again.

If you think the word “objection” is still in sales, think again.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.

The word objection in sales is totally misunderstood. To most salespeople an objection (price is too high, have a satisfactory supplier, we spent our whole budget, yada, yada) is a reason the prospect is not buying and it’s met with dismay and disappointment.

And in sales training, the word objection is usually accompanied by the phrase “get around it,” or “overcome it.” This implies some sort of tactic on the part of the salesperson to “sell” the benefit, or respond in some sales-oriented way.

In the next 500 words I am going to make the word objection pass.

First, change your reality of what an objection is. It’s a stall, a barrier, a statement of risk, or a lie. It’s a STALL, and there’s a reason behind it. Probably lack of perceived value. It’s a BARRIER, and you have to lower it. It’s a PERCEIVED RISK, and you have to reduce it.

Second, change your reality of what a prospect really means when he throws a barrier or stall at you.

Third, stop blaming the prospect and start taking responsibility for allowing this situation to occur in the first place.

Fourth, now that you’ve had a dose of objection reality, it’s time to look for the REAL REASON the stall or barrier is occurring.

What the prospect is really saying when he or she throws some barrier at you is:

  • Where’s the value? I want to know what’s in it for me!
  • Where’s the resource? I don’t want a salesperson; I want someone who can help me.
  • Where’s the difference between you and the others who sell what you sell?
  • Where’s my win?
  • Do you know why I’m buying?
  • Do you know my expected outcome? And how are you helping me achieve it?

Price too high or any other stall or barrier simply means, “You haven’t proven yourself yet” or “I don’t see any difference between you and the other people who sell what you sell, and I’m taking the lowest price. Why shouldn’t I?”

Price too high – not an objection.
Satisfied with present supplier – not an objection.
Budget already spent – not an objection.

And by the way – if you are foolish enough to lower your price, all you’re doing is reducing or eliminating your profit. Good move. Price reduction also makes the customer value you even less.

Let’s take it deeper. The biggest reason prospects and customers won’t buy from you is the (unspoken) risk they perceive. The higher the risk, the less likely they will buy. And vice versa.

Risks come in many forms:

  • Risky (unknown, untried) product.
  • Risk of selecting the wrong brand or model.
  • Risk of poor outcome after purchase.
  • Risk of dealing with your company or product based on poor reputation, or unfavorable reports from others.
  • Risk of paying more than the value.
  • Risk of being blamed by others for making the wrong decision.
  • Risk of doing business based on past bad experience.
  • Risk of doing business with you.

The reason your prospect creates a money barrier is that he or she wants to buy your product, but believes yours and the competition’s are relatively the same, and the price is all that matters.
Or there’s some kind of directive or policy to take the lowest price, no matter what.
Or there’s a budget he’s trying to stay within.
Or she wants to buy from you and is just trying to get a better price.
Or there’s a cheaper price or bid and you’re asked to “match the price.”

If you are able to identify the risk the buyer perceives, and the real barriers a buyer places in front of you, then and only then can you understand how to respond or react. The key to selling is discussing these elements in advance. Risk prevention. Barrier prevention. By being open and candid (taking your own risks), you can eliminate all the unknowns, and concentrate on removing risk and lowering true barriers.

Once you uncover the risks and barriers, you can begin to create responses. Those responses can also measure money against need and value. The more they need it or want it, the more they are willing to pay and the harder they will search for what they perceive is the best quality and dollar value.

Here are some clues to uncover risks and barriers:

  • Ask for the prospect’s opinion.
  • Talk relationship, not sale.
  • Ask about their experience.
  • And you, the salesperson, must possess a superior ability to communicate. This will assure that the risk or the barrier isn’t YOU.

Here’s the simple formula:

1. Reduce or eliminate risk.
2. Lower or eliminate barriers.
3. Prove a difference between you and the others.
4. Prove value.
4.5 Get a signed contract.

Any objections to that?


Want to know the seven steps to identify the true barrier and then overcome it? Go to www.gitomer.com, register if you are first-time user and enter the word OBJECTION in the GitBit box.