There is no doubt that choosing the proper time to answer an objection is just as crucial as the answer itself.

Timing is important for any negotiation. To maintain control of the presentation you should choose to handle objections when the timing is favorable.

There are logical times for answering objections. You can answer them before they arise, postpone the answer until later in the presentation, answer it immediately, or ignore an excuse.

• Instead of waiting for the prospect to raise a specific objection, anticipate the objection and forestall or answer it in the presentation before the prospect has an opportunity to ask.

You are thus able to make a more orderly presentation of benefits and maintain better control.

This method is most effective when you weave into your presentation factual answers to anticipated objections so that objections are addressed before the prospect verbalizes them.

Anticipating objections requires a well-thought out, planned presentation that focuses on value and is delivered from the prospect’s point of view.

As an example of how you might forestall reoccurring objections, consider these two common put-offs: “I don’t have the necessary cash” and “I’ll have to talk this over with my partner.” You might say something like this:

“Mr. Tight, I am working with top-level executives who have enough discretionary income that they can invest at least $25,000 in a business venture they are convinced is sound and who can also make their own investment decisions without consulting someone else first. Do you fit into these conditions?”

Of course, dealing with an objection early in the presentation does not guarantee that it will not be raised again.

However, you are at an advantage in such a situation for two reasons: the objection has much less impact the second time; and you may recall the original answer, expand upon it, and then move on into a close or back into the presentation.

• A second use of timing is to postpone answering the objection.

This method is logical when you are already planning to cover the point further along in your presentation. To answer the objection early might disrupt the flow of the presentation as you planned it and make the answer less effective.

One objection that you should consider postponing is the price objection, especially if the prospect asks you about price before you have a chance to establish the value of your product. If you answer immediately, the price may seem too high because the prospect has not yet learned enough about the product to make a value judgment. The price may depend upon options selected, in that case, you cannot quote an accurate price.

You can postpone answering an objection by saying something like this:

“That’s an excellent question, and I can certainly understand why you want to ask it. Let me write it down so we can come back to it after we have discussed al the benefits of the product.”

Postponing objections can build your credibility because it meets the following needs: it acknowledges the apparent soundness of the objection; employs empathy in the response; promises to return to the question; and assures your prospect that you intend to answer.

• The third timing technique is to answer the objection as it is raised.

Answering an objection right away prevents it from festering in your prospect’s mind and blocking out other important information in your presentation. If you feel the objection is valid and postponing an answer could cause problems, by all means handle it immediately.

A sincere, and immediate response conveys professionalism, respect for the prospect’s point of view, empathy, and demonstrates your listening skill. The right answer addresses the objection and promotes the sale.

• A final alternative is to ignore the objection. On some sales calls, prospects raise objections that have nothing to do with your discussion. They say things that have no relevance to the point you are trying to make.

In reality, they are offering excuses for not buying rather than valid objections. Never try to answer an excuse. By acknowledging excuses, you may actually turn them into real objections in the prospect’s mind.

If you must reply to excuses, suggest to the prospect that you will answer them at the end of the presentation. If the question is a serious objection, the prospect will repeat it later. If it is just an excuse, it will not be brought up again and thus need not be answered.

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