Let’s face it – there have always been objections in sales – is today really different?  The objections might be stronger or different – but skilled sales professionals know how to work through them.

Notice I didn’t say overcome them? That’s a negative approach. What do you do when you hear an objection? Are you prepared to confidently identify and then work through the objection? Or are you more defensive than collaborative with poor listening skills since they’ve ‘heard it all’ before?

Here is a quick 3-step process that removes or reduces emotion and ego. It’s something many of us learned during elementary school fire drills: STOP, DROP AND ROLL when you hear an objection.

1. STOP talking. Pause and listen when an objection surfaces. Whenever you’re faced with a difficult question or objection, the first thing you need to do is take a deep breath, make eye contact with your prospect and silently count to three.

2. DROP your defenses and ego and open your mind to what they are really saying – the intent and the words. It is amazing how many clients will answer their own objections – or at least give you some much-needed information – when you simply say nothing. Don’t be afraid of silence. Practice it until the three-second pause becomes one of the most effective tools in your arsenal.

3. ROLL forward by:

  • Acknowledging what you hear.  (I understand your budget is tight. You’re not alone.)
  • Asking for clarification to make sure the real objection surfaces. (Tell me more about the change in your budget. How is that affecting your ability to accomplish xyz? )
  • Answering appropriately. (We’ve worked alternative solutions for many others in a budget crunch. Are you open to discussing how we might do this for you?)
  • Restating that you want to help them and ask if they will explore possibilities with you.  (You’ve just changed the situation into a collaborative problem-solving opportunity.)
  • Working with them to share ideas, examples, and feedback.
  • Agreeing on a course of action.

Working through objectives is one of the five skills critical to a sales professional’s success in today’s economy. Using the stop, drop and roll drill is an effective technique when you’re “under fire” so you can work through an objection and make the sale!

Do you have other tools in your arsenal you use to work through objections? Let us know in the Comments section.


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