If you’re doing life right, you hear no or get objections frequently. I had one of those days last week. I heard no/ objections to a lot of different projects, clients, and opportunities. Objections is easy to handle on a one off basis, but when you get an overload in a day, you’ve got to have a system or framework to help navigate objections in an effective and positive way.
I thought back to my early start-up days when I got a chance to work intimately with the sales team. I had the privilege to train under a sales genius who imparted a lot of sales wisdom and business experience on to me and the team. We didn’t have a pure sales training regiment, but I felt like everyday was an opportunity to learn from a well seasoned sales executive.
One of the lessons he taught our team early was on how to handle objections from prospects. Potential clients often say no for several reasons and a good sales professional has tools to identify their reasons for saying no and help the prospect get to yes. But most importantly, great sales professionals re-frame objection as an opportunity to learn more about the client and their needs.
We learned the L.A.E.R framework to manage our responses to objections. When we hear an objection from a prospect, we :
- Listen– Take a step back and just listen to the prospect. Let them discuss their main concerns uninterrupted.
- Acknowledge– Repeat back to them their concerns as you hear it. This helps to make sure you understand what they are saying but also they understand what they said during your conversation. Re stating a prospects objections also demonstrates you’re really listening to them and looking to seek a solution.
- Explore– Most no’s or objections need to be unpacked. A great sales professional uses an objection to get to know more about the prospects needs and values. For example, a prospect might say your product offering is too expensive. What does that really mean? Is there a budget issue? Did you demonstrate and communicate the value your product/service provides? Asking more questions to understand their objections helps get past no’s and find new opportunities to help the prospect see the value in your product or service.
- Respond– After identifying the objections, acknowledging their concerns, explored and unpacked the reasons for the objection, now you can finally respond with some recommendations. This may not always go in your favor. The main goal is help your prospect understand if the concerns you’ve discussed still exist and if so, what are the next step.
Overall, the L.A.E.R framework really helps to guide conversations with prospects during the sales cycle. It’s definitely applicable to any type of objection handling moments you’ll have personally and professionally. At the core of the L.A.E.R framework is need and a goal to understand and empathize with the prospect. Using L.A.E.R will help you get past objection and hopefully closer to yes.