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How To Overcome the Smokescreen Objection

Have you ever answered an objection from a prospect only to be given another one that was completely unrelated to the first one? And then after you battled your way through that one, you got another, then another?

If you’ve been in sales any length of time then I’m sure you have. And if you still don’t know how to handle and even avoid that, then I know you’re hating life – until now! That’s because

I’m going to teach you a simple technique that will enable you to avoid that common trap 80% of your competition fall into. And here’s what you do: STOP answering objections!

I know that may sound absurd at first, so let me explain. When someone gives you an objection, they are almost always hiding the REAL reason they aren’t moving forward with you. For example, if they tell you the price is too high what they often really mean is that they can get it cheaper with their current supplier, or they aren’t really in the market right now and they’re just shopping around for next quarter, or they have already decided who they’re going to use and they just needed 5 RFP’s to comply with their process.

Answering the price objection at this point means that you are just falling for their smokescreen which is why you get another objection, and then another.

If you’re sick and tired of losing control of the sale and you want to know if your prospect is real or not, then you must Question and Isolate objections you get BEFORE you answer them. Here’s how you do it:

If your prospect tells you your price is too high, simply ask:

“I understand ___________, and let me ask you – if our price was right where you were comfortable spending, would you place your order with me today?”

Any answer other than yes means that price is not the objection. Answering it will get you nowhere. If, however, they say yes, then you get to negotiate on the price and find a way to close the deal.

Another common smokescreen is the, “I need to show this to my (partner, boss, etc.”

Here’s what you should say:

“That is perfectly fine ___________. I think you should show this to (whomever they claim they need to show this to). And let me ask you something-if after you show this to _______, he/she says ‘It looks good _________ whatever you want to do,’ is this something that YOU would move forward with today?”

Now, again, any answer other than yes means that this objection is just a smokescreen and you haven’t uncovered the real objection, and you will have to keep qualifying.

On the other hand, if your prospect says he would move forward on this today, then you’ve got to confirm this and make him your ally. Say:

“Great, then I take it you’re going to recommend this to _______, right? Wonderful! What can WE do to make sure he agrees with us?”

Do you see how you’ve now made your prospect an ally and how you are now a team? Listen carefully to what your prospect says, because if they are truly sold on your solution, they might tell you what you now need to do to close the sale. Offer to do a three-way conference call, or to call and speak to the real decision maker directly. Ask about specific follow-up times for additional information that you can provide them with. And always ask what the next step will be and get a definite timeframe for follow up.

The bottom line is that when you get this (and most) objections, they are either the real objection or they are smokescreens for the real objection. The problem that 80% of the sales reps make is they don’t question the objection and so they spend their time chasing after what isn’t even the real objection.

Remember, always qualify objections before you answer them, and then use these scripted, proven rebuttals.

About the author

Do you have an underperforming inside sales team? Talk to Mike to see how he can help you and your team reach your revenue goals. To learn more about Mike, visit his website: