Handling objections. When we are giving a sales presentation to one of our healthcare customers and we hear an objection we know we can handle without much thought, what do we do? We handle it, usually immediately and emphatically! While this is a knee-jerk response and an effort to get the objection out of the way quickly, it is often not in our best interest.
We sell to healthcare providers – doctors, nurses, therapists, and technologists – professionals of one kind or another who are highly educated in their respective fields. Whether or not they are “true experts” is irrelevant. What matters is how they see themselves and that we don’t do or say anything that contradicts that perception.
Objections take on many forms. One common form is the “I prefer a design that is different than your product’s design” objection. How will most sales people respond? They will jump right into the design rationale and all of the benefits of this design over that which the prospect prefers. What is the prospect’s possible interpretation of the sales person’s response? “Mr. Prospect, obviously you don’t have enough knowledge or experience to recognize a better design when you see it!”
Could we instead respond with the feel, felt, found technique? “Mr. Prospect, I completely understand the way you feel. Several other therapists that I call on felt the same way that you did about our new design. But what I found is that most adapted easily to the change that we made and felt that it was an improvement after they got the hang of it. Would you like to try it out?”
Another common objection relates to something your prospect heard or read about your product, which is absolutely incorrect. An example is your prospect telling you “your instrument system is the slowest on the market. ” Now, you could jump right in and say, “Where did you hear that, our system is much faster than anything else out there. ” The prospect may interpret your answer as, “Dr. Prospect, you idiot - where do you get your information from?” This is not a good way to win friends and influence people and it will certainly lengthen the sales cycle, if not cause it to end abruptly!
A better response might be, “Dr. Prospect, you are absolutely correct about our previous design. That instrument system was cumbersome and took a lot of time to use. But we have recently redesigned it to make it more user-friendly and faster to use. Would you like to see what we changed?”
Notice that the second response tells Dr. Prospect what he really wants to hear – that he is right, at least as far as his information. However, recently (too recent for him to possibly know) we changed it. And we are offering to show him how we changed it so he can continue to be “right. ”
There are many ways to answer objections without making the prospect “wrong. ” Keep this in mind the next time the response to an objection is on the tip of your tongue.
Mace Horoff is a professional speaker and medical device sales trainer. He was a successful, award-winning sales representative in the medical device industry for over 22 years. Mace is founder and president of Sales Pilot Consulting, a company dedicated to training medical device representatives for success. He can be reached at (561) 333-8080 or email. For information on having Mace speak to your group or to learn more about Sales Pilot training programs, visit http://www.MedicalSalesTraining.com