Sales objections are inevitable, but how you handle these objections is key to mastering your sales strategy.
Many times these common sales objections mask an underlying issue – your job is to uncover the deeper meaning behind the objection by understanding the prospect’s needs. The best way to do this is by asking questions.
The process you should take when confronted with a sales objection is to: Listen, Acknowledge, Ask questions to fully understand the objection, and Respond thoughtfully.
Psychology studies highlight the power of questions. When you ask someone a question about themself, there is a strong neurological incentive for them to answer. Truth is, people love talking about themselves – it’s gratifying. Your role is to carefully listen and dig into the objection by getting your prospects to talk.
The more you understand about why they’re shutting you down, the better equipped you are to disarm their objection. Don’t let these objections slip by, ask questions and show them a perspective they may not have previously considered.
1. “It’s too expensive”
Price objections are the most common sales objection there is. Why? Because money is on top of every buyer’s mind. But the price is all about perceived value.
The number one tactic to avoid this objection from arising in the first place is to never begin the conversation with discussing price – focus on the prospect, their pain points, and how your solution will benefit them.
Their opinion on your price all comes down to perceived value – make the value of your solution known first, and you will significantly minimize the likelihood of this objection arising. Never let your prospect doubt that your solution isn’t worth the price.
But sometimes it’s inescapable. When a prospect mentions the price in your first conversation, there’s no escaping reality.
When presented with this objection – you should emphasize any free trials your business offers and state that they do not need to make any decision off price just yet, bringing the conversation back to your solution. The more you can talk about your solution and its benefits, the more they will instinctively justify the price, without even realizing it.
You can also ask the prospect why they think your solution is too expensive. The prospect then has to break down their reasoning which gives you another insight into their perspective. You can then address these issues specifically, leading the conversation in the right direction.
“We don’t expect you to buy anything from us right now. We are just looking to show you our solution and see if it is of value to you and your business [Lead this into a further question about their needs].”
“Can you tell me a little more about why you think the solution is too expensive?”
2. “I need to talk to my team”
Sometimes, this is the case. Most of the time, they’re procrastinating on making a decision.
If you have correctly qualified your prospect, then you will be fully aware of whether you are speaking to the decision-maker or not. During the discovery phase, you need to fully understand the decision-making process while qualifying your prospects.
If you understand the decision-making process early on, you know to present your solution to all of the people involved in making the decision. But if this problem does present itself later in the sales process, the best thing you can do is offer to present your solution to the rest of the team.
Keep the process moving by offering to talk to all parties. Getting all decision-makers in one room will help you have more control over the sale and facilitate the decision – you can present as much insight as possible.
“I understand. If it makes it easier for you, I can hop on a call or come in for a meeting to explain the solution to your team. When would be the best time to do this?”
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3. “We already work with [competitor]”
As a salesperson, you’ve prepared for this one. You know why your product or service is better than competitors and how to communicate your value proposition.
The competitor objection is actually a best-case-scenario objection. Why? Because the business has already recognized a need, and the solution they’ve acquired must be similar to yours. Your job is much easier when the person you’re talking to has identified their pain points and needs already. Now you can focus on them.
There are many tactics to go about this sales objection. You can reference a customer who used the same product or service and transitioned to yours, emphasize what they’ve seen as advantages since adopting your solution and any pain points that have been solved. This is where social proof comes into play – provide customer testimonials, customer quotes, or case studies to help back up your claim.
Another response to a competitor’s objection is to ask them questions about how their experience has been so far with this solution – pay attention to any complaints they may have and use these to your advantage. Identify weak areas of your competitor and emphasize why your solution is better. Ask them for the opportunity to show them why and how.
“We’d love the opportunity to show you how we are different and how customers have found additional value with our solution in regards to using [competitor].”
“Can I share a case study with you that shows how a company similar to yours was able to reduce/increase ____ by switching from [competitor] to our solution?”
“I understand. May I ask you how your experience has been so far with [competitor]?”
4. “I don’t have time right now”
This sales objection is another way of saying “this isn’t important to me right now.” This could be a sign you haven’t translated enough value of your solution. You can either ask why it isn’t the right time or try to reschedule for a better time.
You can politely ask the prospect if you are calling at a bad time or if there is a current business problem they’re dealing with. If the problem has to do with their business, use this to your advantage by showing how your solution could help ease their pain.
If this doesn’t get the conversation going, ask to reschedule because sometimes it simply isn’t a good time. Also, if your solution helps with productivity and making their lives easier – this is a great time to emphasize that.
“Totally understand. If you don’t mind me asking, what are your company’s other priorities right now?”
“I hear you, it’s a crazy time of year. What other time would work best for you? Just looking for 5 minutes to show you how we can help reduce your stress and give you more time in the day.”
5. “Just send me some information”
This objection is the easy-way-out. Your prospect wants to get off the phone and move on with their day. Sometimes, they may actually still be interested, but the earlier this objection comes up in your conversation – the less likely they are to follow through.
A tactic for handling this objection is to ask them what they are looking for in this information – which gets them talking more about their needs. Then you can fine-tune your proposal so it’s personable and catered to this particular prospect and their business. You also get them talking more, which could steer your conversation in the right direction.
Another way of handling this objection is to offer a demo so they can see your solution hands-on. Emphasize that customers have found this to be an easier method for understanding your solution.
“I’d be happy to send you some information, but may I ask you a few questions to make sure I send you the most relevant information for you and your business?”
“People tend to find it more valuable seeing the solution hands-on, would you be interested in a quick demo?”
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Know when no means no
The common sales objections above are in many cases an instinctive response, always work on uncovering the truth by asking questions or showing them another perspective. Persistence is key to a successful salesperson, but you also need to know where the line is drawn.
Use these tactics for handling objections to getting a little more insight into why your prospect is saying no and whether they’re capable of being persuaded. If you use these responses to common objections above, and they still feel strongly about their answer, then let it go.
Handling objections in sales isn’t easy – but if you listen to their objection, acknowledge that you hear them, and ask questions to better understand their underlying issues – you will find objections don’t always end in a cold shoulder.