Objections are an inevitable part of a sales cycle. Sometimes they are just an excuse, other times they are totally justified – but if you aren’t familiar with the basic techniques to overcome objections you could well be missing out on potentially lucrative sales opportunities.
The key is to understand why a customer is objecting – once you can uncover this, you will be in a better position to answer them. This article looks at five common sales objections, how to handle them effectively and turn them into an opportunity. Anticipate and practice these techniques so that you can handle objections with confidence.
1) Cost: I don’t have enough budget
The most common objection to making a purchase is price. Price objection is often a convenient excuse to get rid of a sales person before truly understanding the real value of the product or service. Make sure you emphasize the benefits of your product/service and quantify it. Prospects usually forget about price when you identify problems and help solve them.
It’s also important to have clear understanding of their financial position. For example, if it’s their financial year-end and budget is limited, you need to know the best time to contact them again. They may be aware of a competitor offering a better price, and you will need to confidently talk about what value you can bring to the table that your competitor isn’t offering.
By understanding their financial situation and what you can offer differently to competitors will help you arrive at a competitive pricing strategy that may well help change their mind.
2) Timing: It’s not the right time for us right now
Timing can be a valid reason for companies to delay a purchase. It could be down to the fact that their budget has been allocated elsewhere, or changes happening internally in the company that delay decision-making. Ask to schedule at a later time when they are likely to reconsider – and more importantly, what will have changed in that time? If timing is a valid reason, you need the assurance that when the time comes to approach them again there are no other objections.
3) Lack of Familiarity: I don’t know you
Trust isn’t instantaneous; it takes time, consistency and persistence. Trust happens when you approach the sale as a way of helping the customer solve their problems or needs, rather than as a sales pitch. It helps to provide the customer with other marketing materials about your company so they are at least familiar with your brand before you approach them about a sale.
Needless to say, gaining trust is only part of the equation. You must also have a product or service that customers want and need, so make sure you can provide feedback and case studies from existing customers that demonstrate value, integrity and establish trust.
4) Previous bad experience: I’ve had a bad experience from a product/service like yours
It’s an unfortunate truth that some customers have been let down by companies similar to yours, and this may influence how open they are to what you have to offer. Ask them to tell you about their experience so you can empathize, and address any doubts or concerns they have.
5) Existing supplier or In-house resource: We already do that in-house
Don’t be prepared to walk-away simply because they already have an existing supplier, or do it themselves in-house. You need to identify whether there are any gaps in what is already being provided, and whether there is an opportunity to provide services on an adhoc basis. Ask when the existing contract is being renewed and whether they are happy with their current supplier so you know whether any future opportunities exist.
Objections should not be considered an obstacle, but rather an opportunity to open up the conversation and understand more about the customer’s situation and needs.
About the Author
Article by Su Copeland, Managing Director of Lingo Telemarketing. Lingo provides B2B telemarketing and telesales training to businesses to improve a company’s sales pipeline, increase sales effectiveness and improve overall sales performance.