Do you work for a company that seems to look for ways to sabotage sales? Does management enforce policies in place that rankle customers? Is pricing way off base? Are your payment terms difficult? Are your delivery options limited? Do you wonder why management won’t get on board? Overcoming objections is part of the job, but why does management have to create objections?
We’ve all been there: the customer is a perfect fit for what you offer, they want to buy, and then comes the pothole. What can you do?
The Sales Obstacles
Objections are baked into sales. Overcoming objections is part of the gig.
Pricing is a frequent complaint. If you’re not in range of the lowest price for your product or service, customers will resist. Credit and payment terms are a related issue – young or seasonal businesses often have inconsistent cash flow, but may be a great client in the long run. Service and support expectations are often higher than is reasonable. Variety of offering and possible customization are high on customer’s wish lists, but maybe your offering only comes in one size, shape, or design. You can’t change these things, but you need to work with them daily.
The Necessary Skill
Sales reputations aren’t built on selling the cheap to the willing; they are built selling the right product to those who need it. It’s important to learn how to sell around and through the perceived weaknesses in your product offering. There are only four real objections: no need, no money, no interest, and no belief in product. All the rest are negative perceptions. And the best way to do that is to make the “negatives” work for you. How? Think it through, write it down, and practice.
How To Do It
Don’t leave these challenges out of the conversation! And of course, tell your customers the truth. (It’s the only way to keep your deal closed.) Instead, take each thing you think is a weakness, and make it an asset.
“The competition is cheaper.” I enjoy overcoming objections about price. Someone else’s price has nothing to do with the value of my offering. Say this: “I’m sure they know what their product is worth. This is what we charge.” (This approach only works when you have effectively proven value.) Don’t defend your price or argue with the customer. Simply state the price, and move on. If the prospect is shopping on price, not value, there is nothing you can do. Arguing won’t change their mind.
“I can’t qualify for your payment terms.” Overcoming objections about pricing or credit is tough. It’s worth working with your accounts receivable department to make sure every option is considered. Often businesses are more flexible than they realize. If you can work with the prospect and find a way, you’ll have made a loyal advocate. If they can’t qualify because they’re financially unstable, and not just seasonal or in a temporary pinch, you probably didn’t qualify your lead too well. You’ll learn from this mistake and move on.
“I wanted one that was customized to my needs.” Overcoming this objection can be easy. Unless the product needs to integrate with a specific program, system, or machine, the lack of customization is often an asset.” Our offering doesn’t limit you to any specific equipment or systems. You can grow, innovate, and evolve your process, and our independent product won’t hold you back.” You can even explain that it was designed without customization specifically to avoid the need to update it constantly as the prospect need evolves.
Service and Support
“I get a 24 hr help line with your competitor.” Overcoming objections about service is one of the most uncomfortable situations, because you’re selling something the client can’t see. If your company offers lousy service, you have a choice to make: give your customers great service by yourself, or have your customers use you as their “single point of contact.” Then go to the service team and advocate for getting your customer’s needs met.
If your company offers good service, just not 24 hours, try this: “We’ve discovered that by offering our award-winning service during our specified hours, and not 24 hours, we save money that we’re able to put into product development. If you need service, we’ll be there for you. Call me personally, and I’ll make sure you talk to the right person on the first phone call.”
Overcoming objections is a constant issue in sales, but objections don’t have to be deal-breakers. With the right approach, and the right answers at the ready, you’ll make more sales in no time.