It’s quite possible that you don’t know what an objection is. In other words, the terms “objection” and “objection handling” are typically used by trainers, speakers and coaches rather than salespeople.
So, let me tell you our definition.
An objection is any question or statement from the client, that if answered/handled properly, can lead to a signed contract.
Typical real estate objections might be:
-Cut your commission
-The other agent said they’d get me more money for my house
-I want to make a low ball offer
-I only want to list for 30/60/90 days
-I want lots of advertising
-I’m not going to counter, I want full price
The list goes on and on. In our book, Now What Do I Say?, we cover over 70 different objections, and we know there are more.
The Keys to Objection Handling
1. Getting an objection is a good thing – If someone gives you an objection that means they’re interested in working with you. If they had no interest in you whatsoever, they wouldn’t object…it wouldn’t be worth their time or effort. So, anytime you get an objection, you should feel good knowing they’re interested.
2. Stop being surprised when you get an objection – If you’re in sales, you’re going to get objections…it comes with the territory. So, be prepared mentally, emotionally and verbally. If a client surprises you, and thereby throws you off, they’re actually selling you on why they’re not going to use you. And they’re doing a better job of selling you than you are of selling them as to why they should use you.
3. Don’t take objections personally – I’m sure I don’t have to tell you not to fight or argue with clients, however salespeople tend to get caught up in making objections personal. It’s tough not to…when a client wants your commission that feels pretty personal, doesn’t it?
What I’m saying is that since you now know they wouldn’t object if they weren’t at least interested in using you, you don’t have to get caught up in what they’re actually saying to the point of taking it personally.
An objection is something that the client was told to ask, or read about asking, or thinks they need to ask, or something that comes out because they like you and might want to use you but they’re nervous or you didn’t show up as the same confident salesperson that set the appointment.
So, if you know all of that going in, you can simply handle the objection with confidence and ease. Sometimes confidence is enough to handle objections before they’re even brought up.
In other words, if a client asks you to do something like cut your commission, or list the house higher than it’s worth, or whatever, sometimes you can simply say, “No,” and close them for the signature.
The problem most salespeople have is that they’re not confident, so they stammer and fish for the right words that might make some sense but usually come out in some form of either “Please don’t make me do that,” or “Okay.”
Here’s how to be more confident:
4. Don’t be attached to the outcome – The biggest problem, and reason why objections are taken so personally, is that salespeople are usually very attached to the outcome of getting the contract signed and getting paid. Hey, I can understand, getting paid is a good thing. However, when you are so attached to the outcome that you would say or do anything to get paid, you are perceived as desperate and your clients walk all over you.
And, when you’re attached, you are not a very powerful or confident person. It’s a mindset, so you can do this at any time, however most people need a certain level of comfort to do this. So, if you can’t fake it till you make it, then you need to consistently generate business so that you become less attached.
Think about it, if you had lots of sales and lots of potential clients, then you almost wouldn’t even want to deal with a client who asked for concessions, let alone care if they walked when you said no.
In simple terms, if you had 5 candy bars, and you’re friend asked you for one, you’d easily give him one. Yet, if you only had one candy bar and you’re friend asked for it, it’d be much more difficult to part with, or you wouldn’t want to part with it at all. You’re attached.
*By the way, if you were thinking about having one candy bar and sharing it with your friend…in this example, you’re most likely someone very apt to cut your commission. Again, if you’d like to discuss how this is actually hurting your sellers (and your pocket more than you think), please feel free to email me at the address below.
5. Belief – You need to have belief in yourself, your service and the answers to your objections. First and foremost, it goes without saying…don’t ever lie. However, when someone asks you to cut your commission, do you know how that will actually hurt the seller? When someone wants to make a low ball offer, do you know how that will probably hurt the buyer?
Seriously, I’ve heard of agents who tell friends and family to sell their home For Sale By Owner. Heck, I’ve heard of agents who do it themselves! Talk about lack of belief in self or service! That’s like seeing an airline pilot board a bus because he’s afraid of flying! Did you know that studies have shown that year after year, For Sale By Owners…if they actually sell…make 10-27% less than listed homes on average? I’d be more than happy to share with you how that occurs if you want to email me at the address below.
If you don’t know these things, and more importantly don’t believe them, then you’ll never handle objections properly. Not handling objections properly means not getting the contract signed or making lots of concessions just to get the contract signed that eat up your time, money and energy.
6. Know What To Say and How To Say It – The thing that amazes me the most when coaching and training salespeople is how many of them prefer to wing their lead generation, lead follow up, presentations and objection handlers. Now, to be fair, I don’t know if “prefer” is the right word to use. I think there are many salespeople out there that aren’t aware of scripts, or that they would do well to use them.
I’ll save my pro-sales scripts soap box rant for another blog post. However, some form of scripting is essential in terms of handling objections.
Whether you simply buy our Now What Do I Say? book, ebook, audio book and/or live role play CD and memorize the handlers you choose, or you create your own handlers, what matters is having something that works and is consistent.
Do you know what makes the top fast food franchises so successful? It’s consistency. The reason billions and billions are sold is because people know what they can expect every single day, no matter where they are in the world. The burger in Wisconsin is going to taste just like the one in Maine.
It’s the same thing with pilots and doctors and lawyers. They have procedures, checklists and notes that they follow the same way each time so they can perform their duties successfully. And, if you ever need one of them, you’ll be thankful they’re not winging it, right?
So, since you know the most common objections you’re going to get (and if you don’t, our book has over 70, so we’ve pretty much got you covered), simply having consistent answers memorized will help you be a better salesperson, won’t it?
If potential client A and potential client B both ask you to cut your commission, why do you have to come up with different answers, improving on the fly for each one of them? That’s stressful and inefficient.
7. Practice – I could just type the word “practice” over and over again and say nothing else in this explanation. Unfortunately, the truth is that most salespeople don’t practice, and don’t think they need to practice. Honestly, I can’t laugh hard enough at that. It’s your profession, for Pete’s sake! Why wouldn’t you practice to be a better salesperson? To truly be confident and to be able to handle the scariest of objections from the most dominant of clients, you need to practice and memorize the handlers.
Read and write them to yourself daily. Role play them with partners (co-workers, friends or family, other agents that you’ve met from different markets, etc). Learn them. Memorize them. Make them your own.
We offer the Role-Play Connection for only $49 a month. We meet up to 2 times per week. Salespeople from across the country get on and practice scripts and objection handlers, and brainstorm ideas. Christy and I lead the calls and handle objections as well.
Again, feel free to email me, or comment here on the blog. If you take these ideas to heart and practice all of them, you will become a master of objection handling. In fact, you’ll find you get less and less objections as you move forward. All that adds up to more contracts signed for you!