Businesses must overcome several obstacles before successfully selling a product or service to a customer. The most basic obstacles include defining the product or service, making the customer aware of it, and making it easily available.
However, the toughest obstacle to completing a sale is a last-minute ‘sales objection’ from the prospect. A sales objection is an explicit expression by the prospect explaining why they will not complete the purchase.
Overcoming sales objections involves the use of ‘objection handling’. This is a four-step process where you listen to the complaint, understand it, respond, and confirm the objection is resolved. In this post, I’ll explain objection handling in more detail and how to handle several common sales objections.
Overcoming Common Sales Objections
The best approach for dealing with sales objections is as follows:
- Listen Closely To Their Sales Objection
Resist the urge to jump in immediately when you hear a sales objection. Avoid making assumptions about the prospect’s objection. Give them time to fully express why they cannot make a purchase. As you listen, remain calm and focused. Look at their body language and listen closely to determine how strong their objection is and if it is the ‘real’ reason they have for not proceeding.
- Understand The Objection
Prospects aren’t always entirely honest about their sales objections. In some cases, they may also struggle to articulate their objections fully. If you sense that a prospect is not fully explaining their sales objection, ask a few questions to get to the crux of the issue.
- Respond To The Objection
Once you are certain that you understand all of the prospect’s sales objections, answer them fully. Do your best to resolve the objection immediately, as it will improve your chances of completing the sale. However, be aware that you may need to get back to the prospect when you have more information or a better deal to offer.
- Confirm The Objection Is Resolved
After responding to the prospect, ask them if they are satisfied with what you have said. Even if they were nodding along as you answered their objections, it may not mean they are happy with your response. If you haven’t fully resolved their objections, they may opt out of the sale at a later date.
Common Sales Objections
Here are several of the most common sales objections which sales reps should be able to answer:
1. “It’s too expensive”
This is easily the most common sales objection that sales reps run into. The prospect says they can’t afford the product or they can obtain the product from a competitor at a cheaper price.
You can deal with this objection by highlighting the value of your product. Tell the prospect about the product’s unique features, high-quality construction, extended guarantee, excellent performance, usability, and so on. In some cases, the product might save the prospect time, which is a valuable resource in itself. Make the prospect understand that the product is unique and worth every cent. You can also offer limited time discounts on the product to incentivise a purchase.
2. “Just Send Me Some Information”
Prospects often use this objection when they are uninterested, short on time, or hiding another objection. If this objection occurs before you have delivered your pitch, it is a brush-off and the prospect doesn’t think you are worth their time. This kind of objection can come in other forms like “Call me back next month” or “I’m not interested”.
Your response will differ based upon when the sales objection occurred. If it occurs before your pitch, try responding with “If you can give me just 30 seconds of your time, I can help you understand if my offer is worth following up in the future”. If it occurs before prospect qualification, respond with “Can I ask a couple of question to understand why you might not be interested right now?”
3. “I’m happy with what I already have”
Some prospects might object to a purchase because they are satisfied with their current product or service. They might be complacent about their current situation and see no compelling reason to upgrade to a new product.
A small amount of fear is usually the best way to break through a prospect’s complacency. Try telling them that:
- Their competitors are upgrading to this new kind of product and they are at risk of being left behind
- There is a limited time offer for the product, which saves them some money (triggering their fear of missing out)
- If they don’t upgrade now, they will have a product that will soon be obsolete
- The new product can boost their productivity substantially
4. “I am afraid of making a purchase in case it doesn’t work out”
It’s very common for commercial prospects to have this sales objection. They may be concerned that the new product or service you are offering will have problems that negatively impact their business. The prospect might also be worried about the trustworthiness of your business or the quality of what you are selling.
Provide the prospect with social proof in the form of testimonials and product reviews. You can also share details of your product’s warranties and money back guarantees. In some cases, you can also share more information about your business to alleviate concerns relating to trustworthiness.
5. “We already deal with one of your competitors”
You may occasionally experience resistance from a prospect because they feel attached to their current provider in some way. Perhaps they feel a sense of loyalty towards that provider or they are afraid of damaging a long term relationship.
Tell the prospect about the additional value that your product or service offers. You could also mention that your competitor has begun taking their customers for granted and your company has much better customer service.
Want to learn more? This great post on Hubspot shares 40 common sales objections and suggested responses.