One of the first obstacles you face when it comes to trying to convert a prospect into a customer is the potentially numerous objections that the prospect initially raises. These blocks or objections are reasons the prospect presents for not buying into your product or service solution. However, it’s your job as a salesperson to change their outlook and make them realise that their objections are unfounded.
Firstly, let’s establish what an objection could be. Most objections are just variations on the following five themes.
- VALUE – ‘This product or service isn’t within our budget. It sounds expensive’’
- URGENCY – ‘We don’t need this product or service right now’ ’
- CREDIBILITY – ‘We already have a company we buy from that offers the same solution’
- AUTHORITY – ‘I don’t make the decision, it’s not up to me’
- PAIN – ‘I don’t think we really need that. It’s not important enough to be a priority’
Supporting your top sellers and providing them with wider access to resources and opportunities, will result in more sales. These people want to sell. Those who aren’t putting the effort in or aren’t capable of selling probably don’t want to sell. Of course you can turn poor sellers into good sellers but the success rate and reward won’t be as high as if you put more resources into those who are already wanting to do well for themselves and the business.
The best way to deal with sales objections
Objections are annoying. It would be great if all prospects were enthusiastic about buying your product or service from the beginning. However, in sales, competition is rife, and the prospect wants to be sure they are getting the best deal, so of course they have reservations. You will always face sales objections so it’s best to turn an objection into something positive.
One thing you definitely shouldn’t do, is get defensive. The prospect has probably had their fair share of sales calls and will assume yours is the same. Make sure you clearly let them know how your product or service differs and the advantage it has over competitors.
How to use objections to qualify your leads
A prime example of turning an objection into something positive is using it as a way to better qualify your leads. An objection is an opportunity to understand the challenges your prospect faces and for you to address their needs.
Objections related to value
Objections related to price may result in the prospect bluffing and saying the solution you are offering is too expensive, but maybe what you are offering is genuinely too expensive for them. If the latter is true, it’s time to drop that lead. However, if you know that your product or service is within (or nearly within) their budget, then they may be hanging around waiting for a better offer or are just undecided. Budget doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, if you go about it correctly.
If they have the budget available, and still don’t want to buy, then you probably haven’t sold the value your product or service will bring regardless of the price. In this situation it’s best to remind the prospect of the value of buying your product, or from your organisation and how it will meet their needs. A conversation about value is always better than a conversation just about price.
Objections related to pain
The best thing to do in this situation is to get to the bottom of what your prospects’ priorities really are and adjust your sales pitch to suit their needs. Ask them questions until you understand their priorities and then talk to them about how your product or service fits in and addresses their needs. Sometimes this objection can be an excuse to cover up other worries the prospect is having.. If this is the case try and ask them questions to get to the bottom of what their real concerns are, so you can address their pain points.
Objections related to credibility
This could be the easiest objection to turn around. If they are already using a solution from a competitor, then you know straight away they have a need for your product or service. All you have to do is convince them that your product is superior.
If the solution your prospect is using works for them, then why would they want to change it? They will assume that your product or service is the same and won’t think about the differences between the two, or how yours can better suit their needs. This is your chance to really sell them the superiority of your product/service. Offer up comparisons between your offering and their current one, so that your prospect is aware of the benefits you can provide.
You could do this by mentioning past customers who have had success after they switched from a competitor, or by demonstrating the benefits of your solution against the weaknesses of their current offering. This should plant a slight bit of doubt into your prospects mind regarding their current solution, meaning they are ready to listen to hear more about yours.
Objections related to urgency
As with all objections, they need to be tested with supplementary questioning. Presenting the case for your solution in business, technical and personal terms will help but it may be that the objection is genuine and the sales opportunity has to wait. Successful sellers are good at timing. They are diligent managers of their pipeline. They don’t see genuine objections on the grounds of timescale as a barrier; they just see it as intelligence that enables them to sell at a time when their prospects have an appetite for placing an order.
If the objection is not genuine then it really is a case of re-presenting the benefits of your proposition in terms that are important to your client. You will need a serious re-think of your value proposition and be clear of the promise that you are making and the value that you offer. Why is it logical to buy from you now, emotionally why does it make sense to buy now and perhaps politically why would it be seen by your prospect’s peers as sensible to go ahead now.
Objections related to authority
This one is really easy to address. All too often sellers do try to sell to those without the authority or budget to place an order. The simple thing to do is ask who does have that authority and then ask your contact to facilitate an introduction; ideally face to face but at the very least via email.
The bottom line is that prospects often don’t give you the opportunity to explain the value your product could add to their business. They get lots of sales calls and don’t want to waste their time listening to yet another one that will just be the same. So be different, listen to the customer. Don’t just give them another sales pitch. Adapt your story and talk about their needs and the value you offer. In our personal lives we don’t just buy the cheapest, we buy on value all the time. So do our customers!