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Sales teams face objections daily. If your first reaction is to respond, you miss unique opportunities to strengthen your business and personal relationships. 

 

The key to successfully managing 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 explained below.

 

There are four broad 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 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.

       

    3. Trust/Relationship – There’s not enough credibility or legitimacy to compensate for other
      objections.

       

    4. Stall – The business case is not apparent, or some concerns remain unaddressed. 

How to Handle Objections Using the LAER Framework

How to Handle Objections Using the LAER Framework

Sales teams face objections daily. If your first reaction is to respond, you miss unique opportunities to strengthen your business and personal relationships. 

The key to successfully managing 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 explained below. 

There are four broad 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 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.

       

    3. Trust/Relationship – There’s not enough credibility or legitimacy to compensate for other
      objections.

       

    4. Stall – The business case is not apparent, or some concerns remain unaddressed.

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”).

1. Listen

Listening means comprehending the words and context and employing silence as a tool to encourage the person to expand and elaborate.

2. Acknowledge

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.”

3. Explore

This is the hardest step for all of us. 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 and how things are said – this is the time to explore the person’s position in detail before responding. This extra time and understanding ensure that your response will address the objection and resonate with the person.

4. Respond

You’ve taken the time to listen carefully, acknowledged the objection, clarified it, explored it 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!

 

The LAER framework is not limited to business or selling objections. It is just as effective with personal interactions with friends, family, spouses, and mothers-in-law.

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