January 25 by Patrick Wolf
Whether you are a representative, account executive, or a director, Sales people encounter a variety of sales objections every day. It can become one of the toughest parts of the sales cycle to overcome. It is important to understand, however, that an objection is not always a complete rejection. Often, it gives the sales person an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations to address the prospects’ needs. These opportunities will come to nothing, though, if the sales person doesn’t understand the correct way to handle each situation. Here are 5 of the most common sales objections and steps on how to overcome each of them.
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How to Overcome Common Sales Objections
“It’s not in my budget”
Budget is one of the most common and identifiable sales objection. When the potential buyer has a problem concerning their budget it will sound something similar to, “We don’t have enough money to buy your product” or “There isn’t enough room in our budget.” Pretty obvious right? Wrong.
This objection will show up early on. However, it could mean different things when a prospect says this. It could mean what it sounds like, that they simply do not have the money for your product. Other than that, it could signify that they are not convinced of the value of your product for the price, or they could be searching for a discount. It is important to differentiate between the two possibilities that is causing their objection. If the prospect really can’t fit your product or service into their budgets plans, than there may be little reason to push the issue further. On the other hand, if the prospect needs more education and information on your value proposition, than he or she has room to continue the conversation.
To demonstrate the value of the product, you must explain what they are paying for and how much they will be saving by using your product. You need to emphasize the benefits and the true return on investment if they decide to select your offering. Only emphasizing product features and capabilities, but not exemplifying the value proposition is one of the costly mistakes sales reps are constantly guilty of. Help the customer understand the price of your product against the cost that will accrue if they do not purchase it. Show that you are providing long-term benefits, not just short-term costs. If they ask for a discount, find out how much they need to make it work. But remember, don’t offer more than is necessary.
“I have to get approval from…”
If a company has many decision makers, it is easy for the prospect with which you are speaking to push the decision off elsewhere. They will say, “I have to talk to [enter position here] before deciding on your product.” Many times, the decision maker will come back with a negative answer, if they answer at all. It is difficult to sell a product when there is a third party that you do not have direct contact with, and plays a big part in your fallout.
To handle such an objection, one must first identify the true decision maker at the organization for the sales process and understand what they’re looking for and their specific needs. Once these fears have been identified, the root of the problem can be addressed head on. Do not simply wait for a call back. If they walk away, the sale may be lost. Ideally, get in direct contact with the authoritative figure by setting up a meeting with the necessary parties involved.
“It’s not the best time right now”
Another common objection by a prospect is procrastination. They attempt to delay the sales cycle by saying, “It is not the right time right now, call me in a month.” They don’t necessarily dislike the product, they just believe that now is not the right time for them or they simply don’t want to deal with it at the moment. It is somewhat of a grey area. There can be many reasons for the delay – waiting for a new budget, waiting for a new project, etc. The problem, however, is that this delay can significantly harm the chances of creating a successful sale. When has procrastination ever turned out to be a good thing?
Like in all other objections, you must understand the reasons. The reasons determine whether or not to pursue the lead. In any case, you must help them understand how much they can profit from buying your product now, instead of waiting a month. What are the benefits of implementing your product prior to a new project, or a new round of hiring? Don’t let them brush you off. Schedule a follow up discussion that is meant to be more of an educational conversation rather than a buying conversation. Be sure to avoid the common sales meeting mistakes as well – committing one can cost you a deal.
“I’m okay with how things are right now”
It is human nature to be lured into a false sense of security. People become accustomed to the way things are, and they are afraid of progress or change. This will come up very often as a sales objection. It will sound like, “I am ok with the way things are going now, and I am afraid of what can go wrong with change.” They feel that the value of what you are offering is not enough to counter the pain that comes with changes.
If it is fear of change that is holding the client back, then you should use fear of inaction to sway him or her over. Show examples of how your product has proved valuable with companies similar to theirs. If one of their competitors uses your product, show how they are benefiting from it. Hopefully the fear of loosing out to competition spurs the prospect into action. Examples of the value of your product, shown through similar companies, will make them more confident to make a change.
“We understand what you can do, but can you deliver?”
Probably the most difficult objection to over come is trust. What you will hear is something like, “We understand what you say you can bring to the table, but how do we know you will follow through?” Trust is difficult to establish and the process to foster trust can vary from person to person. If trust becomes a stopping point, there is not just one path to take. Unlike budgetary concerns, it is very subjective and based much more off of instincts.
The first thing one must understand when attempting to overcome this objection is trust takes time to build. It can’t be done by simply stating how much money they will save. First and for most, you must be honest and accessible throughout the process. Along with this, you can use case studies and testimonials to prove your track record and show that you have been deserving of trust in the past. In the end, you must realize that this is a interaction between humans. Be genuine. Don’t just go through the paces.
Being able to address a prospect’s objection in a timely and thoughtful manner will significantly increase the possibility of closing the sale. Thoroughly understanding a prospect’s objections can also help disqualify them as possible leads, leaving the sales teams more time to address the needs of others. Overall, being prepared will lead to a more streamlined process, and directly promote revenue growth.