Retail Selling Skills Step 6 – Bypassing Stalls So You Can Handle the Real Objection
Your customer took time out of their busy day to come to your retail store. They asked about your products. You have asked qualifying questions to uncover their needs, and made a strong recommendation of a product that will meet them. Then you gave them a demonstration and/or presentation. So what do you do when they say something like “Maybe I will come back later.”
Every retail sales associate runs into objections to the sale and they can be frustrating. But it is important to remember that usually your customer will not give you the true objection right away. You need to be able to gracefully identify and bypass stalling phrases to get to the real objection.
Is it an Objection or a Stall?
How often have you invested time with trying to get your customer involved with a product only to hear them say something like:
- “I want to think about it.”
- “I am not sure.”
- “I need to talk to my spouse.”
When you hear a stalling statement like the ones above you need to remember is that the customer is actually using the statement as a way to obscure the real objection. Rather than potentially offending you by telling you that the product is too expensive, they do not have the money. You recommended the wrong product, or that they want to check out the competition, they are trying to be polite.
Bypass the Stall with a Polite Question
It is important to remember that your customer would not have come to your store and invested their time if they were not interested in your product and you do want to get a return on your investment of time and effort. So bypass the stall by using a softening phrase like “I understand” or “I appreciate that” and then asking a simple question like:
- “Do you mind if I ask you what you need to think about?”
- “What is it that you are unsure about?
- “What would you want to speak to your spouse about?
Now You Can Move Forward.
Once you find out what the real objection is you can decide whether you want to use a conceding or directed technique to handle the objection. This includes method like the “feel, felt, found” technique, the “recap the facts” technique, and the “boomerang” technique. Conversely you can start the sales process over by asking some clarifying questions. No matter how you handle it, you now have an opportunity to save the sale and to satisfy your customer.
Stalls and objections are expressions of the customer's interest in your products. The key is ensuring that you use proven techniques to ensure that your customer leaves your store with a product that they will be more than satisfied with!
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- David Goodwin is the Principal of the Retail Advocacy Group. As a 30 year veteran of the retail industry thrpughout his career working with Fortune 500 companies and operating independent retail locations he has hired, trained, and performance managed thousands of retail sales representatives and retail managers. You can learn more about instructor-led, e-learning, and other training solutions for retailers at www.retailertrainingservices.com.