In any serious (complex) sales conversation, objections are bound to come up. You may be tempted to think that objections are big red stoplights – stalling conversations and killing sales. But what if you approached them differently?
To me and most experienced sales professionals I’ve interviewed over the years, objections are a great sign. It means your prospect is actually considering your offering. Your job isn’t to ignore or sidestep the objections – instead, be prepared for the objections you’re likely to encounter. Deal with them honestly. As the mother of the great Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton told him about dancing in the end zone, “act like you’ve been there before!”
So, here are 7 common sales objections that could potentially kill your deal – and how to respond in order to keep the sales conversation moving forward.
The 7 Common Sales Objections
1. You’re too expensive.
Nearly everyone is familiar with this objection. Maybe it’s true: maybe you are the most expensive offering in your category. But that’s not the point. Here’s how you reframe and respond this objection:
- Reframe: “I see that you’re not sure of the value of our service.”
- Respond: “Well, of course, we’re competitive – but we especially focus on adding value in [describe].”
2. You don’t know my business.
Now your reframing and response to this objection depend on if you’re new to the market or if you’re well seasoned. Either way, this objection can be easily handled in this way:
- Reframe: [if brand new market – “You’re right, we don’t know the [floor cleaning] business the way you do.”
- Reframe: [if the market you do know – “Clearly, we don’t know the [floor cleaning] business as well as you do.”
- Respond: “But, we know [your expertise] as well as anyone. If we work together, we can create [value]!”
3. You’re too small a company for us.
Sometimes the buyer worries that you can’t handle the scope because you’re a small shop – but you and I both know there are great benefits to being small. There are lots of ways you can support your clients that large companies simply won’t do or consider. Here’s how to respond:
- Reframe: “I sense you’re not sure we can support you.”
- Respond: “Well, we’ve had success with [name biggest reference accounts].”
- Respond: “We are smaller than many of our competitors. Which is why you’re dealing directly with a principal – and I’ll be with you throughout.”
4. Your product/service doesn’t do what we want.
Before you fully respond to this fear, make sure you completely understand what your client is looking for, what they need, and if you can, in fact, support them.
- Reframe: “Ok – what exactly do you think we’re missing? How important is that feature? Considering everything else that we align with you, what is the impact of [the feature]?”
- Respond: [assuming it’s not THAT important] “It looks like on the other 19 requirements, we’re an “A” for you. Would you agree? How can we work around [Feature 20]?”
5. I’m very happy with my current supplier.
People are creatures of habit. If there are already doing business with someone in your category, they may be reticent to change. However, if you truly know and believe you can do better by the client – it’s okay to challenge this objection gently.
- Reframe: “So, your current supplier has worked with you for 20 years – correct? What led you to take this appointment? Is there something they haven’t been able to supply?”
- Respond: “If so, let’s get to the issue of what you need first – and then let’s see if we can help you. Are you ok with that approach?”
6. I think we can wait till next year (blue moon).
It’s easy for people to think they can delay an issue that doesn’t seem all that pressing – but don’t let them hide being vague generalities. Respond to this objection by really spelling out for them what their delay would mean.
- Reframe: “So, you’re ok with delaying resolving [PROBLEM] for [# MONTHS]?”
- Respond: “You mentioned that [MAIN REASON FOR DOING INITIATIVE] was really important to you. Wouldn’t putting them off for [# MONTHS] just mean that [ISSUE/PAIN] will just get worse?”
7. We don’t have a need.
If there have zero need, why did they give you time in the first place? Dig into this a bit more – if this isn’t their particular need, what is?
- Reframe: “Why is that?”
- Respond: “Other companies in your space are looking at doing this – are you addressing [ISSUE/PAIN] some other way?”
Don’t get stuck in the first meeting! Download our 10 Best Sales Questions Checklist!
Know What You’re Up Against in the Sales Conversation
Don’t take objections as a stopping point – they are in fact a way to keep the conversation moving forward and going a bit deeper. The goal is to make your prospect comfortable with your offering – and convinced that it is the only way for them to go. Knowing their likely objections beforehand shows that you’re knowledgeable, prepared and that your product IS, in fact, the answer to their pressing need.
What other sales objections do you typically face? How do you prep for them and how do you address them?