Whoa! You’ve done everything right, you’re cruising toward a major sale, you think it’s in the bag, when suddenly, for no reason that seems to make much sense, the customer balks and the deal goes up in smoke. What just happened?

Most salespeople can only scratch their heads and wonder. An Action Selling ®-trained professional knows how to find out. Here’s the key: Action Selling ® defines an objection as the customer’s response to an unasked question.

An objection is the customer’s response to an unasked question.

If you do a good job in what Action Selling ® calls Act 3, by Asking the Best Questions, you will hear fewer objections when it’s time to ask the customer for commitment. That’s because you will have uncovered and addressed possible obstacles before they surface in the form of objections.

But even the best needs assessment can miss a hidden snag. And because conditions change in the customer’s world, just as they do in yours, a new concern may have arisen since you conducted your original needs assessment. Maybe that new concern is what actually lies behind the sudden mystery objection that threatens to derail your sale.

How do you know, and what can you do about it? Action Selling ® teaches that when you hear an objection, you should always return to Act 3. In other words, ask open-ended questions designed to ensure that you really understand the objection—and to uncover the true reasons behind it.

You can’t help the customer solve a problem unless you understand the problem. No matter how many questions you have asked, if you run into an objection…you haven’t asked enough questions.

For a vivid illustration of how to use questioning skills to handle objections, see my book…

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling ® sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling ®, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling ®: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).