Listen, if you’ve been in sales for more than a minute, you’ve had to handle sales objections. Objections are to selling what crashes are to the stock market: they’re inevitable.
These dreaded ‘but’ statements have been analyzed, picked apart, and solved for by the experts since forever.
However, there’s a big secret about handling sales objections that no one has yet shared with you. In this post, we will lay it out for you in full detail. So the next time an objection comes your way (and come they will), you’ll feel like a Jedi with a lightsaber, cleanly smashing through every single one of them!
Now, don’t get us wrong. Most objection-handling techniques are useful, but they have one glaring shortcoming.
All objection-handling techniques are generic.
It was ok to use these ‘sometimes they will work, sometimes they won’t’ techniques when there was no way to customize them for a given prospect. But today, there is.
- Personality-informed objection handling
- Example: Handling sales objections from John Barrows when selling him a pen
- Another example
- Free Resource: Personality-informed objection handling battlecard
Personality-informed objection handling
Every buyer has a personality. It defines their behavior, how they make decisions, which factors matter to them (and which don’t!), their risk appetite, and everything in between.
When you combine objection-handling techniques with a buyer’s personality, it becomes an absolute game-changer.
Until few years ago, there was no reliable way of knowing a buyer’s personality. However, today, personality AI is available to every salesperson. (You can always try the Humantic AI assistant to quickly get started with personality insights for your prospects)
Now, let’s learn how to use personality AI to craft the ‘perfect’ objection-handling technique for each prospect instead of just relying on ‘generic’ ones – so that you can hit it out of the park every single time!
Types of sales objections: a recap
You already know it, but sales objections can almost always be broadly classified under one of these categories.
1. Value - prospect believes you aren't bringing much to the table. 2. Trust - prospect doesn't think you're worthy of their trust. 3. Price - budget is a concern for the prospect. 4. Timing - prospect doesn't see the need for your product right now.
Understanding personality types
Humantic AI uses personality frameworks such as DISC and Big 5 to analyze your prospect’s behavior and buying traits. If you’re already a pro at using personality in sales, you can match the right objection-handling technique to the right DISC type with ease.
But if you’re not familiar with DISC, fret not.
Humantic AI provides highly actionable recommendations, including Do’s and Don’ts, for each buyer.
How to use personality-informed objection handling in practice
We are going to make it super easy for you to handle objections by using personality: by giving you custom battle cards for major personality types at the end of this post.
But there are dozens of personality types with many nuances to it – for that, you can always rely on the Humantic AI app and assistant.
However, to make it easy to understand, we will start with an example.
Example: Handling sales objections from John Barrows when selling him a pen
With over two decades of experience in sales, John’s Linkedin account is a goldmine of advice for people looking to master the art of selling.
Which makes it all the more challenging for sales folks to sell to him. John can spot salesy “techniques” from a mile away. The only way to make a sale, is by understanding John, and learning what truly drives him.
Let’s say Richard, a salesperson, is trying to sell a pen to John. And it goes something like this.
Richard: This pen has waterproof ink and comes with tons of customization options.
John: I already have tons of pens lying around in my office. Why do I need another one? What’s so special about this?
Richard: Because this one is customizable! The possibilities are endless. You can design it however you want.
Almost immediately, John hangs up. Richard has lost a potential client, simply because he didn’t handle John’s objections the right way.
Now let’s say, Jane, another salesperson, is trying to sell a pen to the same John Barrows.
To understand him better, Jane looks him up on Humantic AI. This is what his personality profile looks like.
Further down, she finds specific recommendations on how to engage with John Barrows during a qualification call, as well as during a closing / negotiation call.
Based on his personality, this is what her custom objection-handling battle card for John looks like:
|Objection type||Objection handling technique for John Barrow (Personality type DI – The Initiator)|
|Value||Help John envision the impact of your pen, and the social value. Focus on not just the tangible, but also the intangible. Especially avoid getting analytical about the value or becoming very tactical or feature-driven.|
|Trust||Earn John’s trust first by building a relationship, and showing vulnerability. Tell John an anecdote about another prospect where you almost blew up, who now can’t stop raving about it. The transparency helps build a relationship with John, and the anecdote will add to his product conviction.|
|Price||John is all about impact and value, so keep the focus there even when the talk is about money, cost or budget. Skip trying to show ROI proof or economic value, it wouldn’t help as much and you don’t get second chances with someone like John.|
|Timing||Create urgency by showing how using this pen will make him a first-mover who others would follow. John is not going to worry about the risk. Subtly state how he will just be a follower if he starts using your pen after others.|
Now, when John tells Jane that he doesn’t need another pen, she’s better equipped to ‘handle’ that objection.
She maps that objection to value, and glances at her custom objection-handling battle card. She needs to help John envision the tangible and the intangible benefits of her pen – even reiterating them if she must.
Jane: John, you mentioned you go to a lot of networking events. With our customized pens, you can stand without so much as speaking a word. They don’t just write well – they help build awareness for your personal brand.
No prizes for guessing who would have managed to sell this pen to John – Jane or Richard.
What if you were selling to a DC personality type – the ‘Questioner’?
They seem similar – type ‘DC’ vs ‘DI’ – but they are poles apart.
How should the generic response that you have otherwise learnt from the objection-handling experts change?
Do share your thoughts in the comments! And feel free to nab the sales objection battle card template from us below:
|Objection type||Handling technique for Personality Type DC – The ‘Questioner’|
|Value||You will still showcase the impact, but completely skip the focus on ‘social’ or ‘intangible’ value. You will instead double down on the tangible.|
|Trust||Relationship is far from the first thing that you will rely on here. You will earn trust by sounding (and being!) an expert, showcasing ‘objective’ proof of your product’s engineering or science.|
|Price||For this type, you will directly address concerns about pricing by focusing on ROI and economic proof.|
|Timing||You will totally skip any references to being a first-mover. Instead, you will leverage ‘economic FOMO’. You would say “if every follower’s LTV is $12 and you are getting just 3 less followers every day, you are still losing out on almost $1000 a month”|
Go on and grab the battle-cards below for each kind of buyer every time you expect to encounter objections.
Keep them handy, maybe print it and pin it to your sales floor walls or your desk. A PDF on your desktop will do too.
Personality-informed objection handling battle-cards
For more nuanced and detailed insights on how to engage your buyer, simply look them up on Humantic AI before your meeting, and wham, you are ready! Go on, get ready to flash that lightsaber, your peers are going to be dazzled by your glow.