It is inevitable that you will come up against objections and these must be handled constructively. You should qualify each one by reflecting back to the person who raised it to establish the precise nature of the objection. Also bear in mind that money is not the “thing” that will destroy a sale – it’s the irrelevance that’s it’s not what they want!
Lots of objections are simply a case that not all the ground has been covered sufficiently, so definitely avoid responding by trying to re-position yourself; you have spent time creating this WANT so there may only be a few loose ends to tie up. So simply ask and probe instead; the best standard response is something like:
“I understand why that could be an issue; can I ask you to tell me more about why it is and what’s important for you here?”
Try to avoid altogether a response with the word ‘but’ as in “Yes, but….” – it’s inherently confrontational and means you have misjudged the importance of that objection.
Some typical objections are:
• Too expensive – Possible responses
– The prospect doesn’t understand your offering and value to their business – ask the prospect to compare your offering against current provider
– You may need to remind them of the BENEFITS
– It may be a cash flow issue. Make it easy to buy – installment payment/early delivery to beat price increase
– Don’t offer price reduction but add extras instead at a discount
• Need to think about it – Possible response
– They don’t believe you – use testimonials to support your offering
• Haven’t got time – Possible response
– These people need their own time to review this without any sales pressure. Give them this and arrange another meeting and make it informal
• Not interested – Possible response
– Ask why they are not interested and engage in conversation about requirements/priorities
• Happy with current provider -Possible responses
– Could be another way of saying not interested – see above
– Ask what the supplier does to make them happy – this will give a good insight into want they look for in a supplier
• Call me in 6 months – Possible responses
– Could be a genuine timing issue. Find out why 6 months is a critical period
– Will 6 months make the difference in their ultimate decision
• Already spent budget – Possible responses
– Ask about budget allocation and see if anything can be done now
– Find out about next budget allocation and see if you can get some allocated to your solution.
“ At all costs, avoid head-to-head arguments “
It is important to flush out all of the objections, and in so doing, you are effectively isolating them as the only reasons why the prospect should not proceed. Then the approach is to work with the prospect in first understanding what lies beneath each objection, and then working with the prospect to shape the proposition so that it fits more acceptably with what is required.
At all costs, avoid head-to-head arguments – even if you think you will win them. You’ll destroy the relationship and go no further. Instead you must enable a constructive discussion so that you and the prospect are both working at the problem together; provided the basic proposition is sound most objections are usually overcome by both the seller and the buyer adjusting their positions slightly; for large prospects and contracts this process can go on for weeks, which is why this is often more in the negotiating arena than objection handling.
Make sure that you have handled all the objections and note them down. By this stage you may have seen some signs that the prospect is warming to you and visualising the supplier/customer relationship – moving toward the WANT scenario.
Look out for buying signals from the prospect such as references to “if we did that with you…..” and “how soon could this be delivered…..” Respond to these buying signals positively and make it easy for the prospect to agree to proceed.
Call me on 07786 228553 or contact me here if you would like to talk further about winning more business and other ideas.