You’ve heard them all before:
“It’s not in my budget.”
“I don’t have time.”
“That’s not my decision.”
“We buy from another company.”
Fill in the blank. SalesHelp.com has a list of 85 of the most common sales objections you’re likely to face, and we bet you could come up with your own equally long list.
Facing customer objections is part of the sales process, but objections don’t have to be the end of the conversation. Sometimes objections are a knee-jerk reaction to any kind of sales pitch; sometimes you may have caught the prospect on a bad day. Closing a sale takes patience and perseverance. Here’s how to move past the objections and start a productive dialogue.
Stop talking. Listen carefully to what your prospect is saying and how they are saying it. Does he or she sound irritated, in a hurry, distracted? Instead of thinking ahead to what you want to say next, pay attention to what the prospect is saying. If you’re listening carefully, you’ll know the objections before they are even said out loud.
Get information. Don’t leave the conversation with just a “no.” Get more information such as what is working for them with their current vendor relationships, how the business is doing and if there are any changes planned in the near future. Consider each conversation a fact-finding mission and take notes to refer to the next time you make contact.
Be a friend. Many times, people buy simply based on emotion, whether it’s fear of change, fear of making a commitment or something else. See if you can figure out what emotional need you can tap into to make the sale. Maybe the prospect is a first adopter and feels the need to have the newest technology. Or maybe you alleviate fear of change by offering the product or service on a trial basis. Before you even start a sales pitch, put yourself in the “best friend” frame of mind and focus on how you can help the client succeed.
Share anecdotes and real examples. You can even refer your prospect to another client who is happy with their results. In fact, if you share information about their competitors, you may be able to convince the prospect they need to “keep up with the Joneses.” Have plenty of facts and figures about their industry on hand. Show them your knowledge is something they can’t afford not to have.
Never be dishonest or overpromise. The quickest way to hurt your company’s reputation is to lie or stretch the truth. Bad reputations spread quickly in this age of online reviews and social media. Sometimes you simply can’t overcome an objection. Agree or say you understand and ask to check back in at a later date. Leave the prospect with a good feeling about the conversation and make a note to check back in when you have new information or products to share. This way, you build trust and keep the door open for future business.