Whether you’ve been working in sales for a week, a year, or a decade, you know that there are many instances when a prospect will object, for whatever reason, to moving forward with a sale.
Some of these objections are legitimate, but many of them – even ones that might seem unsurmountable – might be conquered with the right approach. If you just smiled and hung up every time a prospect seemed reticent to move forward, you probably wouldn’t be doing much selling anyway!
Knowing when to push and when to back off is a hallmark trait of a sales person worth their salt. That said, there are some common objections you’ve likely heard more than once, so let’s take a look at some common prospect objections, and how you might overcome them.
We’re already working with Competitor X.
So your prospect hits you with the “We already work with this competitor of yours, we don’t need you” line.
Here’s where your own education comes in.
In this scenario, you must demonstrate a knowledge of said competitor, as well as a confident knowledge of how your organization can offer something better – and different. Asking a prospective customer to cut ties with an existing vendor in order to partner with your business is a tall order. So tell them how you understand why they might like working with Competitor X, but that your organization offers something different. Then, if you have time, share some information about how your organization works with a company that also partners with Competitor X.
We can’t afford it.
The “it’s not in our budget” line is a tough one.
And, if budget is a crucial part of what you use to define a qualified lead, it very well may be the end of the road. That said, it’s not always the stopping point, and offers an opportunity for you to learn more about what they mean, exactly, when they say they “don’t have the budget.” What that might actually mean is, they have gone through this quarter’s budget but next quarter is a fresh start. Or, they might be able to find some budget if you show more value. Either way, you should emphasize that you aren’t asking them to buy anything right now, and that you’d like an opportunity to share how you might bring value to their company. Who can object to that?
This isn’t the right time. Call me back in six months.
We’re all busy. Your prospects are no exception.
It may be that you simply caught them on a day where they’re just swamped, and are feeling unable to really contemplate a partnership with your organization. If the budget in this scenario is big, they might be feeling pressured to make an important decision too quickly. In this scenario, it’s important to reassure them that you aren’t asking them to buy anything right now. In your next breath, you should demonstrate value.
You want to be the tool, service, or solution they can’t afford to postpone. Finally, make sure you acknowledge that they are busy, but offer a low-friction solution, like a five-minute phone call follow-up, and impress upon them that this will ultimately save time by determining if a relationship is worth pursuing.
Sales is an art, and knowing how to balance that fine line between “unsurmountable challenge” and “conquerable roadblock” can mean the difference between a missed opportunity and a successful partnership.