Ah, making the sale!
Undoubtedly, the biggest hurdles that stand between you and closing a deal with your prospect are sales objections.
This is true whether you buy a lead list to grow your business or find your prospect through other means.
That’s because today’s buyers have access to so much information!
Nonetheless, knowing exactly how to handle objections in sales for the product/service being sold is something every sales person needs to learn.
First, we’re going to review three tried and true ways you can resolve those objections for future sales.
Then, we’re going to review five traditional objections to completing a purchase—and a few opportunities to overcome them.
Ready? Let’s get started!
3 Ways to Approach Any Sales Objection
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to handling sales objections, there are three things to keep in mind no matter what type of sales objection you’re up against. When you implement these three tactics, it nearly guarantees that you will be working for your customer as opposed to working toward a deal. And that can make all the difference in your success.
Of course, you’d love to complete the sales process with a prospect minus a single objection. But the reality is that most sales you complete will come with an objection hurdle. Think of objections as good friends of yours—the more you know about them, the more you understand them. This in turn will help you better understand your customer, streamline the sales process, and even help your business create better products or services in the future.
Knowing the common objections for your product or service—and preparing multiple responses you can try for various rejections—is more likely to earn you success. And indeed, giving responses that aren’t based firmly in research and/or fact can set you up for failure. In being prepared, you’ve taken time to put yourself in your customer’s shoes which will go a long way in helping to win them over.
The objections presented by your prospect are valid if not unique. Treating customers as individuals with individual problems that you truly listen to (rather than assume where a conversation is going) is imperative. Your focus should remain on whether or not your product/service can solve the problem your prospect is having. Ask clarifying questions and remain curious about who you’re speaking to.
5 Common Sales Objections
When it comes to how to handle objections in sales it helps to know that there are five objections that tend to come up most often. Once you know what these objections are (and what they might sound like) you’ll have a better chance of expecting, preparing, and solving as laid out above.
Possibly the most common objection you’ll come up against in sales, it can be hard to argue with someone’s budget. After all, if they can’t afford it, they can’t afford it, right?
Instead of immediately offering a lower price that makes your prospect wonder about the value of your product or service, do a little digging. Price has a lot of avenues! Here are three:
- Perhaps they could afford it with a payment plan.
- Maybe there is a different tiered product that is in their price range.
- Consider that the product/service they’re currently using is less expensive—but also maybe it’s of lesser quality, so spending a bit more on yours would make more financial sense.
Don’t completely discount the power of price. There will be prospects that can’t afford or don’t want to spend money on what you offer. But remember—these people are not your ideal customers! And so, if this is an objection that can’t be overcome, take heart in knowing the right prospects are still out there looking for you.
There is nothing more frustrating than building a relationship with a prospect, pitching them, and then hearing some variation of the words, “I don’t make that decision” or “I have to speak to my boss.”
The good news is that you’re not the first sales person to encounter this objection. The best way to avoid it is, of course, to ensure that you’re speaking to the decision-maker right away. But if this didn’t happen, you’re still not out of luck.
Rather than agree to wait for a phone call, try one of these approaches:
- Ask for the decision-maker’s name and direct line. You can also request your contact to reserve a slot of time on that person’s schedule.
- Request to have them brought into your current call with the contact you’ve already gotten to know.
3. Need or Desire
The fear of change is real—and not everyone you speak with will want to face it. You’ll recognize this objection when you hear a prospect say something like, “We’re happy with our current service” or “We’ve been using “X” product for over ten years.”
The good news is that many people with this objection are unaware of how much more efficient or advanced products/services have become since their initial purchase. And as a sales person, this is your opportunity to educate them.
You can do this in a number of ways including emailing blogs or articles on the topic, or even a recent case study. Demonstrating success, especially as it compares to the success (or lack thereof) of your competitors is key to overcoming this objection.
Whether it’s the end of a quarter and your prospect is buckling down on budget or they don’t want to jump into something new right as busy season kicks off, timing is a popular objection with its own set of hurdles.
The key, of course, is to have a compelling argument prepared as to why—despite their objections—now is actually the perfect time to purchase. A few examples include:
- An attractive but very limited-time offer (ie: payment plan, financing, holiday discount).
- Phasing their roll-out so as not to overwhelm their business/workers during a busy season.
Not everyone will be ready to purchase immediately and “I need to think about it” is a perfectly valid response.
That said, when you’re trying to sell a product or service, trust is the key to success. But if a prospect doesn’t trust what you’re saying, they’re not going to see the value in what you’re attempting to sell. And they’ll want to consider what it would mean to buy from you.
The good news is, this isn’t a hard, “No.” And there are so many ways to continue building trust with a prospect. Send them the new catalog you recently rolled out so they can flip through it. Or email them a link to a recent case study. Remind them you’re there with a direct mail piece that includes testimonials or positive feedback from past customers.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to how to handle objections in sales is that in today’s world, most sales are not instantaneous. Instead, you need to be prepared for the long-game.
Building a true connection with prospects takes time. According to LinkedIn, the average number of quality touches it takes to turn a prospect into a customer is seven.
A touchpoint, also called an impression, is a way of connecting with a potential customer. And they are more than phone calls! Though calls are what most sales reps tend to think of when they hear the words, “follow up.”
A touchpoint can also be the weekly email newsletter you send out, a video message, a mailed brochure, email marketing, or even saying hello through social media.