There are really two parts to preparation for sales objections. The first is the preparation of practicing to perfect your delivery. You must make a commitment to role play a few times weekly; to work at delivering your responses in a controlled environment where you can learn, but it won't cost you sales. Don't practice in front of your prospects; practice before you talk with them. You also must memorize, rehearse, and internalize multiple ways to overcome each objection you will regularly encounter.
For most real estate sales, there are about a dozen objections that occur over 80% of the time. Commit to practice, role play, and perfect the response to those first.
The second part of the preparation process for objections happens either before or very early in the presentation. The difference is based on whether you have a one step sales process where, on the initial call, you are attempting to make the sale or a two step process where you are working to book an appointment either on the phone or face-to-face to make a presentation to secure the sale.
The more information you have about the prospect before you make the presentation, the fewer the objections you will encounter. You want to ask the prospect five categories of questions. You will want to ask problem/need questions that determine what problems they have and solutions you can offer them. You will want to probe with experience questions about past agents and real estate sales. You want to focus on the past and present; you need to know time frame/motivation questions like how soon and how likely a move will be. You want to ask budget/price questions. Is it in the budget? What do you expect to pay? Lastly, we need to know expectation questions. What are the top three things you expect? How would you gauge a successful relationship with me as a service provider?
To property ferret out objections and serve the client well, we must know:
- How the customer is going to make their decision
- When the customer is going to make their decision
- If they have the authority to move forward
- What they want
- What they need
- What their financial ability to move forward is
- If they have enough motivation or desire to do it
- How they are going to judge a successful relationship with us
- Who else they are considering
- What the possible threats or reasons are for a stall
- What the possible objections are that we will receive
If you know many of the answers to these questions, you will encounter fewer objections. You will also know, in advance, the ones you will most likely hear, so you can prepare, in advance, how you will respond to them in a professional, confident, and non-emotional manner.
Too often, salespeople allow prospects to bring out objections at the wrong time when they are early in their presentation, and the prospect objects to the listing price or timing or other factors. The truth is if the value of your service was so significant, they would find the money in the budget, and the price would be a non-issue. The best tactic is to delay the objections until later in your presentation.
Ask permission to delay the response to their question until later. Tell them you have a particular order to your presentation that you have found your clients like best. They will also gain a more comprehensive understanding of your service this way. Ask them, "Would it be okay if we wait and address this later in the part of my presentation where I will address all of your concerns?"
Having a written agenda for your presentation that can be faxed, e-mailed, or handed to the prospect in advance of your meeting is highly effective in delaying objections. You can explain the agenda and get them to agree that they will follow it with you. When they bring up an objection, you can then refer back to the agenda and tell them exactly when you will be dealing with their concern. That allows you to stay on track and not go somewhere that will hamper the sale. You can also easily use this technique if you give them a copy of the agenda. First tell them what the typical process of your presentation is like. Share with them the six, seven, eight (whatever the number may be) steps of your presentation. You should share how long your presentation will be even.
When they try to change the order through an objection, you merely say to them, "I thoroughly cover that concern in step #6. Would it be okay if we talked about it then?" It would be rare for them to say, "No, I want to talk about it now."
This technique is especially helpful when you are encountering price objections. In many cases, price objections can come out early for a busy prospect. The problem with that early timing is that most salespeople haven't built enough value for their service, so answering the objection at that time won't help you much.