How to Handle Objections:
Business or personal, we encounter objections daily. If your first reaction is to respond, you’re missing unique opportunities to strengthen your business and personal relationships.
The key to learning how to successfully manage objections is to re-frame the objection as an opportunity to learn more about the person and their needs. You will eventually respond, but not until you’ve applied a systematic approach that’s explained below.
There are four types of business-related objections, and the framework I’m sharing with you applies to all of them:
1. Price (Risk)
Price objections are often really about the risk that the decision will pay off
2. Quality of Service
Your firm is not delivering as expected, or there are doubts that you will
Not enough credibility or legitimacy has been established to compensate other objections
Business case has not been solidified, or some concerns have not been addressed.
How do you master objection handling?
You apply a time-tested framework, initially published by Jack Carew, that’s easy to remember L-A-E-R (pronounced “lay-er”).
The first step is to listen. Listening means not only comprehending the words and context but also employing silence as a tool to encourage the person to expand and elaborate.
Acknowledging has many forms, including empathy, but the key is to communicate that you heard the objection (or question) without immediately agreeing with or combatting it. Example: “I can certainly understand why you might have that concern.”
This is the hardest part. Exploration connotes a mutual, conversational process of discovery intended to get to the reasoning behind the objection. It’s still not the time for a response! Pay attention to what is being said and how it is being said – this is the time to explore the person’s position in detail before you respond. This extra time and understanding ensure that your response will address the objection and resonate with the person.
This is the final part. At this point, you have taken time to listen carefully, you’ve acknowledged the objection and clarified it, and you have explored the objection in detail and affirmed it. Now you can respond, based on what concerns they shared – and connect everything back to their desired outcome. You’ll notice this will feel very different from starting in “response mode.”
The LAER method takes practice. The framework is simple to understand, but it’s not easy to apply unless you practice! I promise, you won’t want to learn how to handle objections any other way.
Here is a 5-minute-video that shows two scenarios on handling an objection, one without LAER applied, and one when LAER is appropriately used. This video also illustrates how hard it is to keep from responding right-way.
The best part about the LAER framework is that it is not limited to dealing with business selling objections. It is just as effective guiding you with how to handle objections in personal interactions with friends, family, spouses, and occasional mother-in-law.