Convincing someone that they need a product or service can be extremely difficult, especially if this person is a cold call or email. Even with warm leads or referrals, chances are you’ll still face objections, rejections and more objections. And because of this, it is easy to get discouraged.
The fact of the matter is that people aren’t usually super willing to throw money at a product or service until they are extremely convinced of its value, along with having their boss on board, enough budget and ideal timing. It doesn’t matter who you are — even the best salesperson in the world hears objections. The key is to not get down from an objection, but rather take it as an opportunity to prove to the client, customer or lead the why behind your call or email.
Learning how to handle objections is what turns a good salesperson into a great salesperson.
Although there is probably a long (and funny) list of objections (or just bad excuses) that people use when talking to a salesperson, there are a couple that stick out to me:
- Budget and timing
- ROI and business value
- Getting the boss on board
As a salesperson, it wouldn’t be uncommon to hear comments such as, “We don’t have the budget for this service,” “It’s just not the right time,” “What will this do for me?,” “How do I convince my boss?” or “This isn’t a priority in our budget right now.” These leads might be being completely honest with you when they tell you these objections. They also might be using these objections as a stall or excuse to get out of the conversation. Regardless, there was a reason they picked up the phone. You just have to prove to them that it was worth it.
These are all common, yet valid objections that salespeople hear on a day-to-day basis. In a pinch, it might be hard to think of a response to an objection. Use these tips to help you build confidence during sales objections.
I sat down with our sales team to learn straight from the source. Our account executives are on the phones daily and, as the people on the front lines, they have heard it all. Here’s what they taught me:
Budget-Based Sales Objections
1. Ask Them Questions
It is important to get at the root of the problem. You could ask them additional questions like “Is this a priority for you?” “Do you work with another agency?” “What are your main focuses for this year?” “What is your budget?” Getting a sense about where your client’s head is at will help you down the road.
2. Talk Money Early and Often
As a salesperson, you have to get a sense of your lead’s budget. But at the same time, leads will tell you almost every time that they don’t have money or that the product/service isn’t in their budget. Whether this is true or not, asking them additional questions will get at the root of their problem. You can ask them questions like “What isn’t working for you? Would you want to pull money from something that isn’t working?” Discussing money often also prevents communication gaps and unrealistic expectations. You know what their budget is, and you also know what they need.
3. Provide Custom Plans
A lot of times, people will ask salespeople for the price of a product: “Tell me how much your service costs.” By having custom services, you can help your client to get exactly what they need. You can respond by saying, “What are you looking for?” or “What are you looking to gain?” This shows that the salesperson is willing to work with the client and their budget.
Upper Management-Based Sales Objections
4. Get Their Boss on Board
If one thing is important, it’s getting management’s buy-in early on in the process! Managers are the decision makers of the company; they get to decide where the money goes. Unless you’re talking to a VP or CEO of the company, I would ask your client or lead who their boss is and if they can get involved in the process.
5. Involve Management in Everything and Anything
After you talk with your lead and get their management’s contact information, make sure to kept them involved. Get their management in on the discovery demo, proposal call and emails. These are the decision makers, so it is important to keep them informed in order to convince them of your product/service’s value. Executives also care about their company’s competitors, because obviously they want to stay ahead of their competitors. So show them where they are in the market in comparison to their competitors.
6. Make It Their Idea
They may not have any clue about the product or service you are selling, but if you can get the client to sell the product to themselves, you’re doing great. You just have to ask them the right questions. The key is to ask them the questions that you already know the answer to. This way you can guide the conversation and they will answer the questions in a way that sells it to themselves.
ROI and Business Value-Based Sales Objections
7. Ask More Questions
Yep, ask them more questions! This not only shows that you care about the lead, but that you’re willing to listen to their specific situation and their needs. You can ask them questions like “How are you measuring your ROI now?”
8. Put a Compelling Case in Front of Them
You would have to be one heck of a salesperson to be able to sell a product or service without proving its importance and value. This is why case studies are so beneficial. You can physically show the client how your products or services have helped other companies. “I don’t know what your plan looks like, but I know what the ROI looks like for others.” Once you show them the value of your services, money seems to magically appear.
9. Take Leads and Customers Case by Case
Ask yourself, “Who am I talking to?” or “What are the triggers and pain points that drive them?” If you make the conversation persona specific and address their pain points, they likely will have fewer objections. You have to treat every call, meeting or email as a completely new situation.
10. Complete High-Level Research on Your Leads
Research is key before your first phone call or email. You have to figure out who they are and what their background is in order to make the conversation more personal. Research will also help you to understand what they might need from your products or services.
Not sure how to reach out to a new lead? Download this FREE eBook, with over 30 templates for outreach and follow-up, to help you craft the perfect cold email.