The longer you work in sales, the more objections you’ll face and the more experience you get in handling them. Sales objections aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, they can present opportunities to address the prospect’s concerns and keep the conversation moving forward.

How do you approach them? Try a proven framework. Marcus Chan, the founder of Venli Consulting Group, likes to follow a series of seven steps to overcome objections like a pro. In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we outline his process.

1. Run an effective discovery process. It’s important to do this early so you can enter the next phase as prepared as possible. Chan recommends asking questions to uncover the prospect’s biggest pain points and what the implications would be if they took no action. Also, make sure you determine the decision-makers and understand the buying process.

2. Thank the prospect for objections. Hesitation is always better than a “no.” When you get an objection, Chan recommends responding with “thank you for sharing that.” This shows that you understand the prospect’s concerns and you’re open to discussing their needs in more detail.

3. Flex your empathy. This can go a long way towards building rapport with prospects. Try saying something like, “I hear this often, and I’m sorry you feel this way. It sounds like a frustrating situation.”

4. Ask plenty of open-ended questions. Yes/no questions won’t provide the same kind of information, so always aim to keep things open-ended. Chan says if you hear, “I can’t get approval on this,” you might ask, “When you say you can’t get approval, what does that mean, specifically?” Once you feel that you truly understand what’s on their mind, head to the next step.

5. Encourage the prospect to tell you what they like. Maybe you know the prospect was impressed with a particular promo. Get them to tell you about it by saying something like, “Remind me again – what did you like most about this?”

6. Bring it all together. The next step is reiterating your talking points and showing the prospect how your solution will get them the desired result, Chan says.

7. Back up your claims. Whenever possible, provide proof that you have a great solution. Chan suggests highlighting industry research like various PPAI studies or your company’s case studies.

The success of the deal can depend on how well you handle a prospect’s objections. An objection isn’t the end of the road but should be handled thoughtfully. Follow the framework above to effectively address objections and overcome any hesitation.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Marcus Chan is the founder of Venli Consulting Group. He is an official member on the Forbes Business Council and has also been featured in Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch and more.