Published by : Fabrice Calando
Sales objections aren't obstacles; they're just an opportunity to ask questions.
When faced with an objection, your instinct might be to counterargument or speak and explain your way through. The fact is they shouldn’t be taken at face-value. They’re rarely about what’s been said.
The thing about objections is that they usually hide some form of resistance that you haven’t been able to address it early on so to deal with objections effectively, reps need to reboot how you think about them.
Sales objection handling formula
As a salesperson, you can eliminate objections by addressing resistance you’ve pre-emptively identified. Your listening skills and your consultative selling abilities are essential if you’re to pick up on your prospect’s verbal or visual cues that hint at resistance.
If you haven’t been able to identify and address resistance early on, there’s a simple two-step formula to help you handling objections in sales:
- Lower the underlying resistance by agreeing with the prospect’s statement;
- Ask questions that will help your opportunity to find his or her answer to the objection.
The top 5 sales objections and how to deal with them
- I need to think about it.
- It’s too expensive.
- We already have a supplier.
- My last experience wasn’t great.
- I don’t know your company.
I need to think about it
The first thing to realize is that “I need to think about it” is, in fact, an objection. Most reps and the sales managers whose responsibility is to coach them don’t realize it. Not acknowledging that it's an objection, leads salespeople down a spiral of useless follow-ups.
If you answer by something along the lines of “I understand, take your time,” “which questions haven’t I answered” or “what can I do to get you to decide today” you’re losing the control of the sale and you’re actually increasing resistance, when you should really be doing the opposite.
How to deal with this time objection?
Try a variant of one of these answers:
- How does it usually work when you have to decide this kind?
- Do you always take the time to think about decisions like this?
- Can you tell me more?
It’s too expensive
Pricing questions are rarely rational. They’re driven by emotions which means that price concerns are rarely real objections. When you hear something like “your price is too high” it implies something cooled the prospect’s enthusiasm. It’s the rep’s job to figure out what it was.
It’s not always obvious, and some prospects might not even be aware of what affected them.
Why prospects say “it’s too expensive.”
- You’ve talked about prices too early in your sales process.
- The prospect doesn’t see the value of your offer.
- The prospect doesn’t know how much your solution should cost.
- The prospect is negotiating.
More often than not, to respond to a price objection, you'll need to review your sales process because it means it isn’t optimal. Review it to determine why: Are you’re bringing up prices too early? Are you not selling the value of your solution well enough? Are you not putting the right perspective on your price?
It'll allow you to handle better the “it’s too expensive” objection next time you hear it.
We already have a supplier
Unfortunately, most reps end the call there, or they’ll counter with (ineffective) pricing, feature or benefit arguments.
How to deal with the “we already have a supplier” objection?
- The best thing is not to create it in the first place. Most prospecting scripts encourage reps to qualify clients early by asking what their budget is and what their needs are. The latter usually leads to prospects saying they already work with someone. Instead, try presenting typical problems your clients face and ask if they recognize themselves.
- If you’re still faced with the objection...
- Determine if they’re pleased with their current supplier by listing a few facts that would only be true if they were 100% delighted.
- Identify unresolved problems.
- Leverage your research - if they prospect’s visited your site, downloaded resources or asked questions online, use them to identify issues they might still have.
My last experience wasn’t great
Some prospects try to shut you down because they’ve had a bad experience with someone offering similar solutions in the past. The first thing to do is determine whether it’s a real objection or they’re just trying to blow you off.
If they’ve had a bad experience in the past, you can take a similar approach then when dealing with the “current supplier” objection - ask questions to determine where things went wrong and what problems weren’t solved.
I don’t know your company
The reality is there’s a good chance your company isn’t well known. Maybe you’re a young industry, and no player is recognized. Perhaps you’re in a mature industry that’s been consolidated into a handful of companies with most of the market share. Maybe your marketing hasn’t invested time and money in getting the brand known.
Either way, some prospects might push back by saying they don’t know you.
How to deal with the “I don’t know your company” objection
- Stop asking “do you know us?” Even unconsciously, reps often ask their prospects if they know their company. It’s usually the result of repeating the same prospecting script over and over. Listen to yourself or even record yourself - are you asking if people know you? If so, put in the effort to stop asking.
- Share your businesses context. Instead of talking about your (unknown) company, say something like “I help [title] frustrated with [problem 1] or [problem 2].” If they recognize themselves in that statement, it will lower their resistance.
- Don’t close too early. If you’re trying to conclude the sale and the prospect says they don’t know your company, it means you’re trying to close too early. Prospects need to trust you and your company. Will doing business with you be different than what they currently know? If you hear the objection, slow down, take a step back and ask something like “[Prospect], what do you need to see, hear, know, or do to feel like you know us better, and have the confidence that we can help you so that we can work together?”
Salespeople encounter objections - it’s the reality of the job.
Train yourself to lower the prospect’s resistance and ask questions. Sometimes they’re an opportunity to disqualify a prospect not to waste your time others they’re an indication that there’s something wrong with the steps of your sales process.
Mastering the 21 core competencies of elite salespeople will help you.