Closing Questions to Isolate the Objection

One of the most effective ways to deal with objections or stalls is simply to ask questions and isolate them. This works because many objections you get when closing are not actually objections at all – instead they’re smokescreens hiding what the real reason or objection is. The reason sales reps have trouble with them is because they believe them and either try to overcome them or simply give up and opt to “call back later.”

What you must do is get to the bottom of what’s REALLY holding a prospect back. Is it because they have a better deal elsewhere? Is it because they know their boss would never let them get a new product or service? Is it because they don’t have the budget or because the price is too high? Is it because they aren’t the real decision maker, or because they aren’t qualified to make the decision on this at all? Is it because their current supplier or agent can always offer them a better price to keep their business? Is it because they don’t know enough about how your particular product or service will really benefit them? Or is it because they think the learning curve will be too disruptive to their business? Is it because they don’t believe in your value prop? You get the idea…

There are many factors that might be standing behind the objection you’re getting, and the only way to effectively overcome them is to know what the real or deciding factor is. And you do that by questioning your prospect. Not in an interrogative way, but rather in a consultative way. You do it with layering questions and assumptive questions. You do it by using or adapting the questions below to fit your product or service and your personality.

From the list below, choose the ones that feel right to you and then adapt them, post them in your cubicle, or record and listen to them until they become second nature:

Closing Questions to Isolate the Objection

“_________, there is something that seems to be bothering you about this – would you mind sharing with me what it is?”

“It sounds like there something else that you’d like to share with me about that. What else should I know about this?”

“What would you say is an example of why you need to think about this?”

“_________, help me get an idea of what you’re thinking about here…”

“Tell me what I need to know so I understand where you’re at on this?”

“What other vendors are you looking at for this?”

“What do you think is the biggest reason for not going with this now?”

“I totally get that you need to (think about it), what one thing about this do you think you’ll need to think about most?”

“You know __________, it sounds like this is really important to you – can you tell me why?”

“How does making a decision on this affect you or your department?”

“__________ what else do I need to know to get the full picture on this?”

“If you went with this and it didn’t work out, how would that affect you?”

“If you went with this and it did work out, how would that affect you?”

“_________, just out of curiosity, how did you get to that?”

“How much of this decision is up to you?”

“And what is your personal perspective on this?”

“Can you tell me a little more about that, please?”

“How does your upper management fit into this?”

“If you decided to go with this, is the budget there?”

“How about you – what are your feelings on this?”

“And how much influence do YOU have?”

“You know, I keep hearing you say X, but I keep feeling that you mean something else. What might that be?”

“What aren’t you telling me?”

“How would this fit into your (budget, plans, initiatives,) right now?”

“I think what you’re telling me is __________, is that correct?”

“Don’t you mean “when” it works out?”

“If you’re/they’re a go on this, when would you like to see it implemented?”

“I’m sorry, I’m not following you – can you tell me exactly what you mean?”

“How urgent for you (your company) is this right now?”

“__________, from where you’re sitting right now, do you think this is a smart thing to do?”

“Oh, and why not?”

“What would you need to see added to this to make it worthwhile for you?”

“What can I do right now to help you get into this?”

“Level with me, what is really holding you back?”

“What is really standing in the way of us working together?”

“Is there anything that I can do about it?”

“What do you seriously think it is going to take for us to work together?”

“What else should I know?”

As you can see, there are many ways to get your prospect talking to you. There are many ways to get them to open up and reveal what it will take and/or why the deal won’t happen. If you’re not asking some of these questions, then you’re simply letting your prospect put you off, and your pipeline is filling with prospects who likely aren’t going to buy from you.

Take some time right now to adjust four or five of these questions to fit your personality, your product or service, and fit them to the specific objections or stalls that you get. And then use them when that situation comes up. Remember, the best way to prepare for success is to prepare. So start now…