Oct 9, 2023 | Growth & Scale

Zenagos Expert Sales Tip: Practice Identifying Objections

Q. Dear Zenagos,
Customers say they like my product, but then they don’t buy. What am I doing wrong?
–Shawnda

Sales is the process of converting potential customers (leads) into paying customers (buyers). Not everyone is great at sales in the beginning, but sales is a skill that can be improved with knowledge and honed with practice.

What is an “objection”?
A sales “objection” is anything that potential customers say or think might keep them from buying from you. If customers are saying that they like your product, but then they don’t buy, they must be introducing an objection at some point before the conversation ends. As salesperson, your job is to identify that objection and address it, hopefully removing the concern or obstacle to purchasing.

Identifying Objections
The first step is recognizing that there is an objection and naming the objection type. At Zenagos, in order to help small business owners to identify and address customer objections, we use our PANTO Framework. Each letter (P-A-N-T-O) represents a type of customer objection. Once you learn the types, practice identifying the objections. To start, you might go to a store that has a lot of salespeople, and subtly listen in other other people’s sales conversations. Can you tell when the prospective customer introduces an objection? Try to silently identify the type of objection.

Types of Objection
At Zenagos, we use five types of customer objection. The entrepreneurs we work with find this framework useful in the beginning, when they are working hard to improve their sales conversations. As you become more familiar with selling your offering, you may decide to change the categories, and that’s okay. It’s part of learning your craft as a salesperson.

P = Price Objection
When customers mention price or not having enough money, you have a “price” objection. This can also be expressed as value, such as not getting enough value for the price. More subtle price objections sound like the customer’s not wanting all the offered features. A customer who has a price objection might say:

  • That’s too expensive.
  • I can get something just as good for less.
  • I just want something simple; I don’t need all of this.

A = Angst Objection
You can identify “angst” objections when customers express suspicion or a lack of trust. This can also be expressed as fear of a negative change in the relationship in the future. A customer who has an angst objection might say:

  • I’ve never heard of your company.
  • You’ll say that I have a warranty, but when I come in, it won’t be covered.
  • I like you, but what if you go to another company?

N = Need Objection
When customers say that they don’t need the product or service at all, or they don’t see how it would solve their issue, you have a “need” objection. A customer who has a need objection might say:

  • I don’t need it.
  • I don’t see how this would solve my problem.

T = Timing Objection
You have a “timing” objection when customers say that they like the product or service, but they don’t want it now. Sometimes the delay is to bring in a co-decider. A customer who has a timing objection might say:

  • I can wait until next year.
  • I don’t need to solve this right now.
  • I can’t decide this without [person or role]’s agreement.

O = Options Objection
When customers say that they prefer a competing product or service, you can identify that as an “options” objection. Customers may express an ideological affiliation with the competing offering, or they may just prefer the overall experience. A customer who has an options objection might say:

  • This car doesn’t have a digital mirror. I need the digital mirror.
  • The other product is better for the environment.
  • I just think that another car is more “me.”

Addressing Objections
As salesperson, once you have identified the type of objection, you will want to select a method of “addressing” or responding to that objection. Your goal is to remove the objection as a concern – clear away that obstacle – so the customer is ready to buy from you. To learn Zenagos’ recommended ways of addressing each objection type (PANTO), download our free ebook on identifying and addressing customer objections: https://zenagos.com/customer-objection-e-book-request/

In some cases, you won’t be able to overcome the customer’s objection, and that’s all right. Not every offering is right for every customer. However, you do want to be able to close the deal with every customer for whom your product or service adds real value. Improving your sales conversations is one important way to increase your odds of success.

Sales funnel illustration image by vectorjuice on Freepik

Related Blog Articles
Zenagos Expert Sales Tip: Be a Good Listener
Zenagos Expert Sales Tip: Always Follow Up
Zenagos Expert Sales Tip: People Buy from People they Like
Zenagos Expert Sales Tip: How to State the Price
Zenagos Expert Sales Tip: How to Ask for the Sale
Zenagos Expert Sales Tip: Try a Presumptive Close

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