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

When salespeople are defeated by customer objections that take them by surprise, most can only scratch their heads and wonder. But those who have profited from great sales training know how to uncover a mystery objection that threatens to sandbag a sale.

Dealing with objections is a crucial sales skill that can be improved dramatically if sales training begins by casting objections in the proper light. The Action Selling system defines an objection as the customer’s response to an unasked question.

If you do a good job in your needs assessment, by using the key sales skill of 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.  Great sales training acknowledges that conditions change in the customer’s world, just as they do in yours. Therefore, a new concern may have arisen since you conducted your original needs assessment. Maybe that new concern is what lies behind the sudden mystery objection that threatens to derail your sale. 

What question haven’t you asked?

How do you know, and what sales skills can you draw upon to solve the problem? Since an objection is the customer’s response to an unasked question, an objection always signals you to return to asking questions. More precisely, great sales training will teach you how to 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 information about how to improve sales skills and make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

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).