Picture this: You have been pitching a product to a prospect for the past couple of weeks. Now the sweet smell of victory is in the air. And then suddenly…
“Now is not the right time. We are too busy.”
“I need to think this over.”
“We don’t have the budget for this at the moment.”
“Why don’t you send us more information?”
You did all you could, but it amounted to nothing.
For a lot of sales professionals, this can be fairly frustrating. Especially when you have found a perfect candidate for a product, and the product really addresses all their pain points. Maybe you even spent weeks or months after the sales pitch following up with your prospect.
And then, after all that, you find that they are just not ready to make the leap yet.
You’re not alone, most salespeople have been at the receiving end of sales objections - even the best of the best. Besides, we have your back! In this post, we have rounded up some of the best hacks to take your sales prospects from “nah” to “yeah!”
To begin with, let’s explore how you tackle a sales objection. Every time a prospect raises an objection, do you feel that the deal might not make it through? Well, that’s how it shouldn’t be. You should rather consider it an opportunity to step into your prospect’s shoes and help them through the buying process.
Use sales objections as a key to understanding the underlying struggle where common sales objections stem from.
In fact, you will probably agree that for just about any sales rep, expecting some pushback is inevitable and effectively handling sales objections are part and parcel of the job. Winning is all about how the prospect’s objections are tackled.
So let’s dive right into looking at how you can tackle some of the most common types of sales objections.
Sales objections linked to lack of need
This extremely common type of sales objection might sound like:
“We are happy with the competition”
“Your product is not suitable for our type of business”
“We do not need this product right now”
You need to be very patient when convincing a potential customer that the product/service you have to offer holds value for them and can address their pain points. If they say they do not need your product, use this as an opportunity to get your foot into the door.
Here’s how you can convince the prospect otherwise:
- Create value: Invest your “wait time” in understanding the prospect’s needs and connecting their needs to the value proposition of the product/service. You want to show them HOW your product can help overcome any struggles or needs they have, rather than just telling them it will, or listing features or inclusions.
- Demonstrate value: Draw on case studies and testimonials to demonstrate why the prospect needs the product and educate them on its usefulness in their context. Show them how your product has effectively helped your customers who had been facing similar problems.
There’s another possibility here: Maybe the prospect already knows of, likes, and uses the product or service you sell. Except they are not using your brand; they use a competing brand.
Ask qualifying questions about what exactly the competitor is doing for the business and what results they can deliver. Customize your value proposition to differentiate your product/service from your competitor’s. More importantly, talk about the potential gaps that your offering is better positioned to address. If none of these sales pitches work, you can just mark your calendar for when their contract ends.
Bottomline: Go in with an open mindset and take the time to understand the prospect’s business as it is essential to overcoming objections.
Sales objections linked to lack of trust
You might think that this type of objection is common only for new companies, but it can also come up if you work in the salesforce of companies that have an established name in the market. Your prospect would typically express this type of sales objection as:
“We only work with companies we know.”
“I have heard some bad reviews about your company/ product.”
“I had a bad experience with a similar product/ service.”
It is a truism that trust is the foundation of most healthy relationships, but in the midst of pursuing sales targets, it’s easy to forget this step. And yet, for a prospect to choose your product/service, they must trust you, your company, and your solutions. They should know and value the credibility of the organization you represent. How can you achieve this trust if it doesn’t already exist?
If the potential customer simply doesn’t know your company, product or service, familiarize them with your company to develop a positive frame of reference. Connect with them over a phone call or through social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Make your business visible. Provide social proof and testimonials, and connect them with existing clients. Even if they don’t convert to buyers immediately, they know you now.
If the prospect says they have heard a bad review about your company, use this three point strategy to overcome this objection:
- Listen, empathize, and show respect and understanding for how the prospect feels about their current situation and requirements.
- Look at this as an opportunity to get a clear picture of the prospect’s concerns so that you can tackle these effectively. Active listening is a part of the sales process and essential to building trust. It makes your prospect feel heard and gives them some confidence that you are keen to alleviate their concerns.
- Next, talk about existing clients who have had a positive experience with your product.
On that note, do make it a point to collect testimonials from happy customers. Assure the prospect that you will ensure they do not face the same issue again.
Lack of trust might also manifest if your prospect complains that your product lacks features X, Y, and Z. Never lie about features or capabilities but try to zero in on the underlying concerns that create a need for the said features. Can your product serve that need without those features or with a different set of features? Draw their attention to what they need rather than letting them get carried away with “this wow feature” and “that shiny button”. Customize the sales pitch to highlight the features that the prospect actually needs to address their pain points.
Bottomline: Instead of hard-selling, establish credibility to close deals and leverage social proof (like testimonials or reviews) when necessary.
Sales objections linked to lack of budget
When your prospect is concerned about loosening their purse strings, you should be ready to hear something like:
“We don’t have the budget this month/ year/ quarter.”
“Can you give this to us at X price?”
“We cannot pay this amount upfront.”
Price objections are the most common sales objection that sales reps are likely to face during their sales calls. Moreover, this type of objection may suggest a deeper underlying issue- either the prospect does not see the value of your product/service, or the client may be facing a cash flow issue. In either of these scenarios, sales reps must be able to establish the value of the product or service as a solution to the prospect’s needs. Ask follow-up questions about their pricing concerns. Instead of going with the simple solution of offering lower prices, demonstrate the value of the product/service and how it is a better return on investment. The right buyers will definitely find the money in their budget if you can convince them that the price is, in fact, right.
Bottomline: Demonstrate that you are keen to deliver value to them without diluting the value of what you are selling.
Sales objections linked to lack of urgency
When your prospect does not have a burning need that is satisfied by your product they might say something like:
“This is not on our priority list at this time.”
“I think we should catch up next quarter.”
“This is not a focus area for us right now.”
We’re all on different timelines, with different priorities and different sets of fires to put out. Through that lens, it’s easy to see that a prospect may be in no hurry to buy the product or service because they may have other priorities at that moment.
Even if you build a repository of qualified prospects through sales prospecting, they may not want to go all-in right here, right now. It may be a matter of bad timing and a lack of sense of urgency on the part of your prospect.
- Ask: Listen to their reasoning and ask follow-up questions to gauge whether the lack of urgency is just a brush-off or a genuine reason.
- Understand: Empathize with their concerns and personalize your sales pitch to match their business’ needs. Ask them open-ended questions about what they would like to learn and why so you can send across relevant information. For example, “what are some of the problem areas you are encountering?”
- Value: Make them feel like their time is valued and that you would like to help them by only sharing information that is of value to them. Asking qualifying questions is a great way to get to know your prospect.
If they have other burning issues, maybe you can simplify the deployment of your product or service? Make it easier on them somehow?
If nothing, you have a prospective buyer for the next quarter. Be sure to find out when you should call back so you do not miss the bus at the next opportunity.
Bottomline: See if you can do anything to help them overcome whatever is an obstacle to them prioritizing your product and if not, find out exactly when you should come back.
Sales objections linked to lack of authority
“Let me check and get back to you.”
“Send me your proposal and I will pass it on to X.”
“I am not sure. I need to ask for approval.”
Sometimes you just might be knocking on the wrong door. Your sales prospect may not have the authority to sign off on the deal or may have to loop in other people into the conversation.
Either way, identifying the decision-maker, especially in a structured organization, is integral to closing the sales loop. Identify - and get hold of - the decision-making authority who calls the shots, and the sales conversation will likely result in a closed deal. Of course, sometimes you might have to convince someone more accessible in the pecking order about your product or service, before the decision-maker even gives you the time of day. Take it in your stride; remember what we said earlier about patience.
Objection handling in sales should be second nature to salespeople. Sales is not a sprint. It is an obstacle course where sales reps jump hurdles to reach the finish line.
How does one jump or overcome these hurdles? By actively listening, validating, understanding, responding, and following up with potential customers. The idea is to approach sales objections as opportunities to build relationships with prospects. Anticipate their concerns and highlight the value of the product/service about those concerns.
But who has the time for all that? If only all of it could happen at the click of a button. As it turns out, it can!
Overcome these barriers- and more- with Wingman
Wingman, our actionable conversation intelligence platform, supports sales teams with the real-time assistance they need to overcome past sales objections. Wingman is powered by AI, and gives you game-changing insights into your sales calls and prospect’s mindset to fine-tune your objection handling strategy.
It alerts you to sales objections and lets you course-correct by giving you live cues and pitch points. Yes, it’s like having a mentor standing at your shoulder. Why wait around to face rejection passively when our AI can predict and guide you and your team through the sales process? We’re not asking you to believe us blindly - book a demo today and see for yourself.