Overcoming objections is a frequent challenge in retail, and addressing them is key to any successful sales strategy. Fortunately, most sales objections fall into a few common categories–often focusing on expense and value.
One of the most important skills for handling sales objections is zeroing in on customers’ particular concerns and responding accordingly. Some customers will simply not be interested, of course, but others may be persuaded with the right information and tact. And, as with any aspect of sales, being personable–not coming on too strong–goes a long way.
Read on for common sales objections and how to respond to them effectively.
Pricing is among the most common reasons a customer may have for hesitating over an item. The first step is to determine if the item really is out of their budget. That’s often pretty easy to do since most customers will simply walk away and not look back if an item’s out of their budget.
Lingering customers may have a variety of reasons for getting stuck on price, and it’s important to figure out what those are before nudging them with more information. It may be a matter of communicating the value of the item to the customer. For instance, maybe the item’s more cost-effective in the long run because it will last longer than comparable items or save the customer money in other ways.
Taking issue with a price tag may also be a case of competitive shopping with another in-person retailer or online. Meeting this objection may be simple if your business has a price-match guarantee. If it doesn’t, and the issue comes up often, it may be worth looking into initiating a price-matching policy–especially for items that aren’t exclusive to your business.
Pointing out the hidden or unforeseen costs of ordering online–like shipping costs and delays, for example–and guaranteeing the customer takes home what they see in store, may be helpful, as well. Be sure to mention other value adds to shopping with your business–like installation, protection plans, or personalized customer care. Rewards for customer loyalty can go a long way to making the sale, too. Clover Rewards makes it simple to set up a rewards program to identify and incentivize VIP repeat customers.
If a customer is hesitant based on their experience with the brand, it’s useful to understand why. Just as brand loyalty can run deep, so can memories of a poor experience or association. In that case, validate the customer’s concerns and apologize for their past experience before offering up-to-date information about the brand and positive feedback from other customers. Or, when you offer multiple brands, pivot the customer’s attention to another brand they haven’t had an issue with.
Educating customers about a brand, including its reputation and position within the marketplace, may help persuade the uninitiated. Discovering a new brand can also be an incentive–provided there’s a strong enough basis to demonstrate value and build trust.
Many customers will say they need more time to think–definitely understandable with big-ticket purchases. It’s very important to respect this part of the decisioning-making process and not bulldoze over it–that could ultimately turn customers away.
Customers may also want to consult with their partners or family on large or shared purchases. In a best-case scenario everyone involved comes into the store, so you can speak to them together. If that’s not the case, though, try to get a feel for the kinds of details that would be helpful to the other decision makers–and try to understand their concerns. Find out and respond to as much of those as you can, so the customer can take home information that addresses those questions and concerns.
Clover Customers offers you the ability to make notes on all the things important to a customer, so you can refer to that information in future conversations.
Maybe the customer already has a similar product at home they think is just fine, and don’t see the need to spend more or switch it up. People can be reluctant to embrace change–unless they can fully appreciate the benefits of that item. Help customers understand how an item differs–and could be an upgrade–from what they already have.
Of course, the item could also be one the customer has never even considered owning. In that case, their imagination might need a little nudge. How would having the product enhance their lives? Would it add convenience, comfort, well-being, or represent a well-earned luxury? This is an opportunity to help the customer envision how that item could improve some aspect of their life.
Whatever a customer’s sales objections, it’s important to be as attentive as possible to each person’s specific concerns–being careful not to push too hard or over promise. Think of a sales objection as an opportunity to provide information tailored to a customer’s hesitations in a way that inspires confidence. The right combination of information and tact can be just the ticket to overcome a customer’s objections.