In a perfect world, your prospect would simply say yes to your offer, and that would be the end of it. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Sales objections will come up; it’s part of the sales package. No matter your industry or business, you will face obstacles and questions. While you can’t avoid them, you can learn ways to overcome them with the right objection handling.
In general, there is a process to overcome any common objection. Although your business may present unique obstacles, the overall techniques you need to implement are similar. In this article, we talk about eight of the most common sales objections and how to handle them in the best way possible. Skip ahead to:
- What is a sales objection?
- What are the biggest challenges in sales today?
- 4 key elements of overcoming objections in sales
- 8 Most common sales objections and how to handle them
What is a sales objection?
Statistics show that it takes on average 18 calls to connect with a buyer. At least 50% of prospects you speak to are not a good fit for what you’re even selling. When you consider that half of the potential customers that you attempt to nurture are likely not going to convert, you can see why sales objections often have nothing to do with the product or service. If you and your prospect are a good fit, you are more likely to close a sale because you have a relevant and valuable offer.
A sales objection is a barrier that stands between you and your potential buyer or customer. When selling, businesses must overcome several obstacles. Salespeople must define the product or service, increase customer awareness, and make it available.
One of the toughest parts of selling is the last-minute sales objection. This is when your prospect makes a statement to explicitly explain why they will not be making a purchase. No doubt, you will be faced with several objections to a purchase throughout your career. While some are valid and unavoidable, you can handle sales objections and complete a sale.
In sales, it’s your job to bring down the barrier that stands between a purchase and your customer. Whether you’re speaking to a customer on the phone, by email, or in person, if the buyer doesn’t see the need for your product or doesn’t see any issue with just waiting, then your value proposition offer might not be as powerful as you initially thought.
What are the biggest challenges in sales today?
Like a lot of sectors, the sales landscape is experiencing change. With the coronavirus pandemic and a massive shift to digital, sales reps need to connect with customers on their chosen platform. You need a complete awareness and understanding of your target audience with the right timing and context to create meaningful connections and build trust.
Building trust in a digital environment
Emails and phone calls are the dominant forms of communication in a sales environment. And in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales teams face the challenge of building trust in a digital setting. When a prospect has a ton of emails or phone calls to deal with, how do you stand out in the inbox or make your phone call one to remember? The key to building trust is creating a human connection. You need to be relatable, relevant, and on the right communication platform to make the biggest impact.
Handling pricing objections
Price objections are nothing new. Cost will always play a role in decision-making. Talking about price can be as simple as looking at your website for a breakdown or require an individual and tailored quote. If your price is too high, not competitive, or your perceived value is low, you will face price objections. But, if you address your prospect’s problems, offer a solution, and show your value, then your price is justified. It’s all about how you raise your value in the eyes of your prospect. If a service is providing a solution to a need, then a customer will pay for it.
Engaging multiple decision-makers
In sales, if you can engage several key decision-makers, your overall influence in the business increases. This is relevant when selling to businesses where you have a few different levels to get through before you get a yes. You need to think about how you will speak to the CEO of a company, the marketing manager, and the accountant. Explain your who, what, and why in a way that’s engaging and impactful – you’ll have a slightly different approach each time, depending on which decision maker you’re dealing with.
Aligning marketing and sales effectively
Aligning your marketing and sales is a great opportunity for businesses to improve overall business performance. When you market your business and tell people exactly who you are and what you do, by the time you’re speaking to a lead, they should know if your business is a good fit for them. Disjointed sales and marketing can lead to wasted resources and ineffective selling. When you combine the two areas of the business, you can track results and make better-informed decisions that bring about real change.
4 key elements of overcoming objections in sales
Overcoming objections in sales requires a certain process. Although what you say will be different as you personalize the conversation with prospects, the core pillars of handling sales objections remain the same. Here are four key elements to consider when overcoming sales obstacles.
1. Stay calm and listen
Always stay calm. The best approach to overcoming objections is active listening and keeping your cool. As much as you want to, resist the urge to jump into the conversation. Give your prospect enough time to speak through their concerns and avoid making any assumptions. Remain calm and stay focused throughout the conversation. Your tone should be collected, and it should be obvious that you are actively listening to your prospect.
2. Validate and understand concerns
Prospects don’t always tell you what the real problem is, so if you get the sense that there could be another issue, you need to ask the right questions. It’s important that you always validate and understand their concerns. Prospects want to feel heard, and if you make them feel like their concerns are not valid, you will likely lose that customer altogether.
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3. Address the problem
When you market your product/service correctly, by the time you’re speaking to a lead, they should know if your business is a good fit for them. At this stage of the sales cycle, you need to address the problem. If you need to gather more information before you address the problem, then make sure you follow up in a timely manner.
4. Offer a solution
After you have calmly responded, asked questions, and understood the objection, it’s time to offer a solution. Do your best to handle the objection immediately and make sure that you have answered your prospects’ concerns. Even if you see some nodding, you need to double-check that your prospect is satisfied. If you haven’t offered the right solution and overcome the objection, they could easily pull out of the sale later.
For some expert advice on how to make your sales pitch successful, listen to Josh Biro on The Fitness Founders Podcast. Josh is the founder of The Yogapreneur Collective and talks about why value is key to pricing and the secret to a successful sales pitch.
8 Most common sales objections and how to handle them
Sales objections are a normal part of the sales journey and nothing to be afraid of. You can handle some of the most common sales objections without breaking a sweat by coming to the table prepared. Here’s what to expect.
1. The brush-off
Objections are real reasons not to go ahead with a sale. A brush-off is an excuse. Some objections are legitimate reasons, while others are just a way to get you off the phone. It’s important that you learn to distinguish the two. Remember that some prospects will never buy. If it’s a brush-off and your prospect doesn’t have the budget, isn’t a qualified prospect, and doesn’t have the authority to make a decision, you’re likely wasting your time. But if these situations don’t apply and you are familiar with common sales objections, you can determine who has the potential to be a good customer and who you should say goodbye to.
2. Pricing objection
Price and budget concerns are common objections. You will hear things like “it’s too expensive” or “there’s no budget left this year.” Often, price concerns come from prospects who intend to buy, but maybe they want the price lower. The important thing is to focus on providing enough value with your product or service. In response to a price objection, an example rebuttal would be: “I completely understand. Why don’t I explain our other offerings that may be a better fit for your budget?”
3. Lack of trust and authority
Trust is another big issue in sales. If your prospect doesn’t trust you, your company, or your product, then you will face a wall. When there’s a level of uncertainty around your solution, you will face multiple hurdles. For example, if your prospect can tell your reading from a script, it can feel like your responses are insincere and create a level of distrust. You need to make your prospect feel heard and understood to build trust. At the same time, they should feel like you are an expert and authority in your field.
4. No sense of urgency
When the buyer doesn’t feel any urgency or see an issue with waiting, it can stall the sales process. Typically, when a prospect doesn’t see any urgency, they don’t understand the full value of what you’re offering. When there is a lack of urgency, you need to take the steps to really show your value. Identify any pain points and talk about the solution and the impact your product or service will have. You can even go on to create a time-sensitive offer to encourage action from your prospect.
5. The cold shoulder
It is possible to turn a cold shoulder into a sales call or meeting. You get the cold shoulder when a prospect has already decided that your offer isn’t relevant to them. They are just trying to cut the sales conversation short without giving you an aggressive no. An experienced salesperson will be able to cut through the noise and know that if you end the conversation, you have probably lost a prospect. The best solution for this objection is to ask open-ended questions hoping that they will relax a little and lower their guard. Let them know that you don’t want to waste their time, but at the same time, you have this great offer that can make an impact.
6. Limited time and resources
The limited time and resources objection are similar to a price objection. Your prospect is lacking something that stands in the way of you and a sale. Time-related objections involve not having enough time to have a conversation. They are too busy to talk with you. These objections are a little tougher as the customer’s objection is valid. In this case, try and find out why the prospect doesn’t have the time. Perhaps they think it will be an hour-long conversation, or they are skeptical about the value of your offer. Either way, you can take the next steps to address any concerns and move forward.
7. “Just send me the information”
The “just send me the information” objection is something that you will likely hear a lot. At this point, you’re still trying to decide if it’s a brush-off or if they are a good potential buyer. The best way to respond to this is to send over the requested information and ask some qualifying questions to move your prospect through the sales funnel. For example, ask them how they think the next quarter will be or if they had a previously bad experience with the problem at hand?
8. Already working with your competitor
Perhaps your prospect already works with your competitor, is locked into a contract, or is in the process of weighing you up against your competition. What’s great about this situation is that you have found a prospect where you have the solution to their problem. Take this opportunity to discover why they chose to work with them and how it’s working out. Just because your prospect is working with your competitor, it doesn’t mean they are entirely happy with the situation. Talk about how your product solves a problem that your competitor has missed.
Objections are an inevitable part of the sales process. While you can easily overcome some roadblocks, others take a little bit of work. If you know some of the most common sales objections, you know what to say to progress the sales journey. By distinguishing good potential customers from people that are never going to purchase, you can invest your time and resources into the right prospects that deliver maximum results.
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