It can come out of nowhere … a statement from a buyer or seller that something is preventing her from moving to the next step. The objection could be related to money, timing, a relationship, or dozens of other factors.

The obstacle may seem straightforward. Often, though, a bigger issue exists. The client or prospect may not understand the process, have doubts about whether you are the best person for the job, or be overwhelmed by the enormity of a real estate transaction.

Skillfully handling objections will increase the number of clients and listings you win and increase your clients’ satisfaction with your service.

Don’t respond too quickly

Your first instinct may be to immediately overcome a client concern. You could launch into a script you’ve learned to address any objection. But a reflexive approach can backfire. If you don’t take time to properly address a serious issue, the person may dismiss her own objection only to balk later.

Listen and ask questions

Don’t assume that the objection the person voiced is the only thing holding her back. In fact, it may not be the real issue at all. Some people use an objection simply to slow down the process. Others mention a small issue when a larger obstacle is uncomfortable to discuss.

Any objection should signal you to ask the prospect or client questions. Let her know you want to fully understand her concerns. Open-ended questions work well to uncover what’s preventing her from moving forward.

Make sure you understand the problem by summarizing what you heard. Even after you think you’re on the same page, you will often uncover the real source of resistance by asking if the person has any additional concerns.

Discuss solutions

When you’re confident you know the true objection, you can help the person get past the obstacle. You can use a script, or you can answer objections in a less-structured style, but don’t wing it. Spending time understanding common objections and their resolutions prepares you to successfully work through these challenges.

Whatever your approach, focus on solutions that show the person you can help her achieve her goals. Thinking of the objection from your prospect’s or client’s perspective will ensure you’re not perceived as using strong-armed sales tactics.

Look for warning signs

Some objections are true roadblocks. A prospect or client may have changed her mind or encountered an issue that prevents moving forward with you. Using sales skills to “solve” those situations may feel like success but will ultimately waste your time.

Negative body language, half-hearted responses, and silence may be signs that the person is not receptive to your suggested next step.

Verify you have resolved the issue

The last step to overcoming an objection is to confirm that you have satisfied the person’s concern. If so, you have moved a step closer to helping your client with a successful real estate transaction.