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Overcoming Sales Objections with the LAER Technique

Overcoming Sales Objections with the LAER Technique

One of the toughest aspects of winning a B2B sales negotiation is overcoming a prospect’s objections. Like us, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of objections like: I don’t have the budget, I’m not willing to make a purchase at this time, or I need to consult with my boss. How do you deal with this difficult obstacle and master B2B sales objection handling?

Of course, some objections are really conditions, genuine obstacles to purchase. By having a fool-proof process for objection handling in B2B lead generation you maximise your chance of understanding the real situation and converting B2B leads into new customers.

Using a proven sales objection handling technique called the LAER process (devised and owned by Carew International and part of their Dimensions of Professional Selling sales training program, which we’d recommend you check out), you’ll be able to investigate and overcome sales objections in B2B deals. The technique is a lot easier than you might think and by the end of this post, you’re going to find out how to seal the deal when prospects just won’t budge.

Let’s break it down. LAER is a clever way of tackling any questions that come your way and is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal. It stands for Listen, Acknowledge, Explore, Respond.

  • Listen: Instead of trying to analyse a client’s body language, pay closer attention to what they are actually trying to tell you. When making a sale, so many people go into auto-pilot and fail to listen to what the person in front of them is saying. Word of warning: don’t respond until they have finished talking.

  • Acknowledge: Clarify what you’ve just heard before you reply. There are several things you can say at this point to keep the conversation going without having to reveal your intentions. For example, asking the client if you understood the question properly, or asking them to repeat something will show that you’ve listened to what they are saying. It also gives you more time to formulate your response.

  • Explore: It’s still not time for your response! Probe deeper into your subject by asking them another question. You should be paying attention to every word - this is your chance to explore your client’s position in detail before you reply. This extra time and information means your response will be a lot better and should really resonate with the prospect.

  • Respond: This is where you tell the prospect what they need to know. It’s not about reacting but responding - there’s a difference. Make your response relevant by addressing their concerns. For example, if your client is interested in how long it will take for your software to be implemented, your response should satisfy this query, perhaps by evidencing your claims with case studies, reference sites, or the option for them talk with an existing customer.

It’s important that you practice the LAER process so you can understand your clients better and provide highly targeted responses that will set you apart from your competitors. Be direct, be inquisitive, but always listen. Moving onto your next point without addressing the current topic is a big no-no in business, so stay away from pitching your way out of objections and focus on LAER for more effective lead generation.

Sales objections will vary depending on the client, but if the person in front of you has concerns about their budget or whether you can do the job properly, taking some time out to address the situation and respond effectively could instantly improve your bottom line.

So, to recap: • Listen • Acknowledge • Explore • Respond

Objection handling is not rocket science, but it definitely doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you’ve been struggling when it comes to overcoming B2B sales objections, LAER can help you understand your prospects and provide them with the response they want. If you’ve been wondering ‘how do I improve closing rates on B2B sales opportunities’, this simple technique could make all the difference.

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