Will the Real Objection Please Stand Up!

Will the Real Objection Please Stand Up!

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 customer says, “I object!” or does he? Is it the true objection, a stall, or a lie? Euphemistically called objection or concern, it’s actually the real reason a prospect won’t buy now.

What the prospect or customer is really saying is, “You haven’t sold me yet.” The prospect is actually requesting more information or more reassurance.

There are very few actual objections. Most are just stalls. This is further complicated by the fact that buyers will often hide the true objection. Why? They don’t want to hurt your feelings, they are embarrassed, or they are afraid to tell the truth. A white lie is so much easier, more convenient, and less bloody than actually having to tell the truth, so they just say something to get rid of you.

These are the top ten stall/white lie examples from David Letterman’s home sales office in Lincoln, Nebraska:

  1. I want to think about it.
  2. We’ve spent our budget.
  3. I have to talk it over with my partner, wife, cat, mistress, broker, lawyer, accountant, shrink.
  4. I need to sleep on it.
  5. I never purchase on impulse I always give it time to sink in.
  6. Get back to me in 90 days, we’ll be ready by then.
  7. I’m not ready to buy yet.
  8. Quality is not important to me.
  9. Business is slow right now.
  10. Our ad agency handles that.

So, what is a true objection? Most true objections are never stated. 90% of the time when the prospect says “I want to think it over,” or gives you a stalling line, it really means he or she…

  • Doesn’t have the money.
  • Can’t get the credit needed or can’t afford it.
  • Can’t decide on his or her own.
  • Doesn’t have authority to spend without budget, prior or someone else’s approval.
  • Thinks (or knows) he can get a better deal elsewhere.
  • Has something else in mind, but won’t tell you.
  • Has a friend, connection or satisfactory relationship in the business.
  • Wants to shop around.
  • Doesn’t need (or thinks he doesn’t need) your product now.
  • Thinks (or knows) your price is too high.
  • Doesn’t like your product.
  • Doesn’t like or trust your company.
  • Doesn’t like or trust you.

Qualifying the objection and overcoming the objection are of equal importance. Finding the real objection is the first order of business. Then (and only then) is successfully overcoming it and making a sale possible. You can overcome an objection perfectly, but if it isn’t the real objection, you’ll be shaking your head wondering why the sale hasn’t been made. When you get an objection, you must qualify that it is true and the only one.

The problem is most salespeople are not able to get to the true objection, and are not prepared to overcome objections when they occur. Why?

  • They lack the technical (product) knowledge.
  • They lack the sales tools.
  • They lack the sales knowledge.
  • They lack the self confidence.
  • They have not prepared in advance (often for the same objection they’ve heard ten times before).
  • Their presentation is lacking.

Or any combination of the above.

The price is too high is the classic sales objection. To overcome it, you must find out what the prospect actually means or how high is too high. Assuming he/she wants to buy now, there are actually four meanings to this objection:

  • Your price is too high… I can’t afford it.
  • Your price is too high… I can buy it elsewhere cheaper (or better).
  • Your price is too high… I don’t want to buy from you (or your company).
  • Your price is too high… I don’t see, perceive, understand the cost or value of your product or service.

About half the time you get a price objection you will not make the sale. The other side of that coin says that 50% of the time you hear a price objection, you have a shot at a sale, and the prospect can be sold with the right words or phrases.

Part two next week is a seven step method of identifying, qualifying, and overcoming any objection.

Qualifying the objection and overcoming the objection are of equal importance.


Want to know the Seven Steps to Overcoming an Objection? The perfect response when the customer says, “I want to think it over.” Just go to www.gitomer.com, register and enter the word OBJECTION in the GitBit box.