Overcoming buyer objections can quickly turn into arguing, so it’s important to master persuasion skills and strategies in order to avoid turning off prospective customers by coming on too strong.

Overcoming Buyer Objections – 6 Persuasion Strategies Could Help You Close more Sales

When it comes to your buyers, are you overcoming objections, or just arguing? If you cross the line, you are much more likely to lose buyers than convert them. Here are six persuasion strategies every sales and marketing pro should master in order to close more sales.

Not all buying cycles are created equal. For low cost or low risk goods and services, sellers may not need to do much more than make buyers aware of the opportunity to buy.

For B2B and high-priced retail sales and marketing professionals, however, the buying cycle is usually more complicated. If you find that it’s difficult to distinguish between the art of overcoming buyer objections and arguing over buyer’s concerns, it might help to take a closer look at these six strategies that present persuasion in a more scientific light.

Before someone becomes a customer who is always right, they are a buyer who probably doesn’t have all the facts. The job of sales and marketing is to identify the buyers who have needs that their products or services are best-suited to meet, desires most-likely to fulfill or problems most-likely to resolve. Once found, the next step in the buying cycle is educating the prospect and – if needed – overcoming objections.

You might also like: 73% of Consumers Would Pay More for Good Customer Service

When a buyer is not convinced that their objection is being adequately addressed or has a long list of objections, it’s easy for explanations to turn into arguments. Once the process takes on a negative feeling, a buyer will often walk away and it can become difficult to salvage the opportunity to make a sale. In some cases, unhappy buyers will even tell other people about their negative experience, and preclude the opportunity for other sales as well.

Master 6 Persuasion Strategies and Get Better at Overcoming Objections [Infographic]

1. Reciprocation

Reciprocation in business is the idea that customers often respond positively when – as a business – you do something they perceive as (a) positive and which lies (b) outside of their expectations. Studies show reciprocation works as a method of persuading others to take desired actions. For instance, when restaurant waitstaff included candy with the bill, on average:

  • Women left 21% higher tips
  • Men left 18% higher tips

2. Social Validation

Remember those times your parents asked this question: “If all your friends jumped off the top of a bridge, would you do it too?” when they wanted to encourage you to resist peer pressure? It turns out, you might! One social validation experiment attempted to determine how many people would follow suit when they saw someone else (or a group of people) looking up. They found that:

  • When passersby saw one person looking up, 4% of them looked up as well
  • When passersby saw 5 people looking up, 18% of them looked up as well
  • When passersby saw 15 people looking up, 40% of them looked up as well

3. Consistency

Some people will stick to their guns in order to appear consistent to others. For some people, even providing informal or tacit approval of an idea or commitment is enough to make them follow through. The infographic below note that one fund-raiser asked people to sign a petition of support two weeks below his event and the result was a whopping 100% increase of monetary contributions due to prior commitment.

4. Respect for Authority

Uniforms, suits and other trappings of authority can go a long way to inspiring trust and helping to persuade people to take action – even when that action could be perceived as illegal! A University of Texas-Austin study found that 350% more people were willing to follow a man crossing the street on a red light – when that man wore a suit and tie.

5. Liking

People like to accommodate people they like, plain and simple. Three statistics referenced in the infographic include three techniques that might make people like you better:

  • Compliments – A UNC (University of North Carolina) study found that both true and untrue compliments produced the same amount of liking
  • Cooperation – Like reciprocation, people may be more willing to take a desired action when they perceive that you are meeting them halfway
  • Congruence – People may prefer to do business with you when they identify personal interests that align or other similarities that exist between you

6. Scarcity

Get ‘em before they’re all gone! When quantities are limited, people are more likely to take action in order to avoid loss. Plus, when items are moving quickly or nearly sold out, people may perceive them as more desirable.

*Studies and Statistics Cited by The Science of Persuasion Infographic (Below)
Impact Learning Systems (a division of Miller Heiman)
Infographic - science of persuasion overcoming objections