A sales pitch, no matter how perfect, can quickly be ruined by poor objection handling afterward. Everyone has questions, no matter the industry, no matter the product. It’s a rare day when you pitch someone and they simply submit and ask where to sign.
Indeed, a recent HubSpot survey shows 36% of respondents cited closing as the most difficult part of the sales process. As dealing with objections is a large part of closing, it’s clear that a strategy is needed to handle the most common of these with ease.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the 8 most common objections and how to respond to each. We’ll also offer either a tweak or an example to help it hit home.
1. Your product/service is too expensive
The response: Show the prospect more of the value that your product brings to them. That’s your job – continuing to uncover and educate them on their problem, and position your product as the solution.
A tweak: Take it a step further by illustrating a clear comparison as you position your product. Here’s an example:
“Quality comes at a cost and you need to decide if you are willing to pay for it. Our services is more of an investment than an expense. Let me show you why our product excels over our less-expensive competitors.”
2. No time for this
With this one, your natural response might be to ask “When would be a better time?” – and that sounds reasonable on the surface.
But most often, the response you get from the prospect is vague: next week, next month, quarter, year – essentially, any day other than today, but nothing specific.
The response: Be prepared with a response like, “Okay, Mr./Mrs. Prospect, I have some availability on [specific date], can I pencil you in at [specific time]” can certainly help – but try this tweak out instead.
A tweak: When the prospect gives you the first, vague answer: don’t say anything at all.
After a few seconds of silence, your prospect will likely feel uncomfortable enough to ask if you’re still there. When they do, respond with: “Yes, I’m here. I thought you were checking your calendar for a better time to talk.” A disarming response like this may bring their guard down enough to get a concrete meeting scheduled.
3. We already work with [competitor]
The response: Know what makes your product unique, and explain that value clearly. Fix the “if it ain’t broke…” mindset.
A tweak: Rather than taking a high-pressure approach, take a low-pressure one. “There’s no need to rip anything out just yet – a lot of our customers used/still use [competitor]. All I’m asking is a chance to explain what makes us different. We can show you some use-cases…”
4. We prefer to work with [industry standard]
The response: Highlight your benefits in comparison – i.e. you’re more mobile, passionate, innovative, etc.
A tweak: Alongside those, you can suggest an angle that many don’t think of: using both services at once. That way, the prospect can take time to compare the two and see exactly how your product can help them.
5. Just send me the information
The response: Agree to send the information, but don’t hang up right away. Ask an open-ended follow-up question. This might help lower their guard enough to keep the conversation going.
An example: “Just so I know what to include in my email, can you tell me…” or, “I don’t expect you to be interested until I tell you how [product] can help XYZ, but if I can have just 60 seconds to hit the high points…”
6. I need to talk with [team, decision maker, etc.] first
The response: When you hear this, the prospect tends to be putting off making a decision. Do your best to be “there” when the conversation between the customer and other decision makers happens.
A tweak: Don’t just wait for them to talk – follow through and find out who the decision makers truly are, and ask for a meeting. Even if you can only be present on the phone, it’s better. And even if the decision makers decline to do that, you can at least have their information in hand for the next sales round to help you work through their objections.
7. We want different/more features/does it do [XYZ]?
The response: Figure out what the customer is looking for and accommodate if possible – but segue toward a follow-up call to address the specific features they want. Your job is not to dive into the weeds – it’s to convert them from a lead to an SQL, or to the next step in the sales cycle.
An example: “Okay, what kind of features are you looking for?” and then, “I’m glad you asked that. What I think would be helpful is if we set up a different time where we can sit down together and discuss things with a specialist. When is a good day/time to do that?”
8. Bad experience with similar product/service
The response: Let the prospect know that you understand where they’re coming from, then take the opportunity to listen and identify where your product can surpass their expectations.
An example: “I’m very sorry to hear that happened. Can you tell me some more about it, so I can take this to my sales manager and get it fixed?”
Every prospect and customer has objections to buying your product or service; as such, you need to spend as much time rehearsing how you handle them as you spend on your pitch itself. Not every sales objection is a hard “no” if you know how to address it – so take these common ones and start practicing them for your next call.