Sales objections are about as common in the business world as taxes or traffic jams. They come up with every customer, and they keep coming up until you find a way to overcome them. It’s like playing whack-a-mole, where one pops up when another goes down. And it doesn’t matter how good your product is; there will always be someone who thinks that it costs too much or isn’t worth the time or effort involved in making a purchase decision. So before we get into overcoming objections, let’s go over some of the most common ones.
The Four Most Common Objections
Price objections are very common. Some potential customers will tell you that they can’t afford it, while others will make a big deal out of the price tag because they think their business isn’t worth very much. Both are common sales objections, but there are ways to overcome them. For example, when it comes to finances, you could find out what the prospect has invested in their business and try to match that amount. If they claim that your product is too expensive, you could also look at prorating your price over a given time, taking out some of the scope to lower the cost, or it could simply be that you have not demonstrated the value of the service or product enough. All of these are valid reasons for a potential buyer to say that your product is too expensive.
Bad timing or even lack of time available is another common objection, especially when you’ve just started dealing with a new prospect and delivered your pitch. The prospect might tell you that they don’t have the budget right now or want to think about it until they make other business decisions. While this might be disappointing for you, it’s not personal; your prospect simply doesn’t see how hiring your product or service will help them right now. You can overcome this sales objection by showing how your product or service will benefit them right now, demonstrating a sense of urgency, and showing the prospect what they miss out on if they wait or take extra time to decide.
The third most common sales objection is no trust (or lack of trust). This happens when potential customers don’t believe that they will get the desired results from your product or service, and they think you will not deliver on what you’ve promised and oversell your product. To overcome this sales objection, be open and transparent with clients about how your product or service works and how it can help them. Offer them additional resources and social proof to show how you have achieved results in the past. Social proof can be online testimonials and reviews, or it can be content that shows your depth of expertise. Also, set clear expectations, give deadlines for any work you complete, and always follow through on your promises.
Lack of Urgency
The final sales objection is a lack of urgency. This happens when customers feel that your product or service doesn’t significantly impact their business right now and that they can wait to make a decision. If you want to get past this objection, you have to prove why they need your product or service right away. You could show them new clients, demonstrate their business’s potential value or show your prospect how fast you can deliver results once they start working with you.
You will inevitably come up against sales objections when trying to make a sale. It’s impossible to sell something without someone saying no or objecting somehow – sales is an adversarial process, after all.
The best salespeople can most effectively handle sales objections and turn them from negative experiences into positive ones.
So what do you do when someone says your prices are too high, or that they’re not interested, or have no budget? How can you overcome sales objections and turn them into sales opportunities?
The Power of Open-Ended Questions and open-ended follow-up question
An open-ended question does not have a specific answer that the prospect must reply with, and it is not simply a yes or no. For example, asking “Do you have any questions?” is not open-ended, whereas “What questions do you have?” is open-ended.
However, open-ended questions are not the only way to combat sales objections. If someone still says your prices are too high, don’t just say “Okay” before moving on. Instead, restate what they said back to them in a positive light. For example, if they said your prices were too high, tell them that the price is what the market will bear, and you need to make a profit. If they say they can get it for cheaper elsewhere, ask yourself, “Why would I drop my price and lose money?” They’re testing some of your assumptions and pushing you on some of your reasons to buy. If they object, make sure you’re not just dismissing it as a sales objection. Instead, see it as a potential logical reason for them to go another direction. If you can prove that their sales objections are founded on faulty reasoning or misconceptions, the sale should be much easier to close.
Everyone thinks that sales are about finding ways to get past sales objections, but it’s just as important to know what to do when someone doesn’t have an objection. For example, if they say that your price is too high and you open-endedly agree with them, then the conversation will be over. On the other hand, if you can open up a dialogue about why they think your price is high and then get them thinking about how your price is fair, you have the opportunity to open up sales opportunities that wouldn’t be there if they were saying “Yes” or “No.”
You also need to know how to open up a conversation when someone says they’re not interested. This can be one of the most challenging sales objections to overcome because their reasons for not being interested can be vague. Instead, open up with open-ended questions, open with what you know about them, open with why it’s important to them – but always open your conversation by asking open-ended questions.
It’s important to be open-minded and open-ended. It would help if you had a sales conversation that is conversational, not confrontational. To overcome objections, you should seek out open questions from your customer – they will help them feel more comfortable enough with you to share their concerns about the product or service being offered. Once these concerns are addressed, it becomes easier for prospects to make a purchase decision that aligns with what they want and gets them closer to achieving their goals.
Let them open up
Start with open-ended questions to get your prospect talking and open enough to share their objections (whether you know they exist or not). Questions like “What else?”, “How does that make you feel?” and “What concerns do you have about the product/service?” open up the conversation. Asking open-ended questions helps your prospect open up about their objections without feeling that it’s a confrontation.
Get them talking
As you ask open-ended questions, listen to what they share with you and amplify that into further open-ended questions like “It sounds like …?” or “Did I understand that correctly when you said _________?”
Ask open-ended follow-up questions.
Once they are open about their concerns, ask open-ended follow-up questions to understand why the prospect feels this way. Follow-up questions like “Can you tell me more about that?” or “What made you feel that way?” open their mind to having a conversation and extend your chances of overcoming the objection.
Focus on benefits, not features
Once you have open-ended questions and answers about the objections, focus on the value they would receive from using your product or service. Emphasize the value rather than the features. Benefits open a prospect’s mind to the possibilities and open their eyes to why it fits their business or personal needs.
End with open-ended questions
After your sales pitch, have open-ended questions ready to ask them once again. For example, “What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to ____________?” or “How will this benefit you?”
You can open their mind with open-ended questions and open up opportunities for them to overcome the objection by focusing on benefits that meet their needs. These open-ended questions open the sales conversation and open the sales process to open a path for your product or service.
20 more ways to overcome objections
1) Ask for an objection, not just the objection. “What is your biggest challenge when it comes to _______?”
2) Don’t open with the price. “How would this product help if it does ___?” or “How do you think this might be useful for you?”
3) Get them to tell the whole story. Before getting into their objections, ask them to elaborate on what they would like to see in a particular product or service. Listen carefully and then provide an opinion.”
4) Give them a reason. If you know the price is a barrier to buying, make sure they understand your product or service’s value to their life or company.
5) Don’t answer too quickly. Let them speak first and make sure you fully understand their concerns before explaining why they aren’t valid.
6) ask a different question. Sometimes a customer will ask a yes or no question and give you the option to object or not. If this happens, look at them and say, “I’d be happy to answer if I have permission from you first.”
7) Ask for permission to share your thoughts. After you’ve asked them questions about their objections and you’re ready to share your thoughts, ask them for permission first. Asking if they would like to hear your response will help them feel more at ease with what you have to say.
8) Give advice or give an analogy before sharing a fact or experience. When giving an example about why their objection isn’t a valid reason for not buying something, you can use the old lawyer trick of asking a hypothetical question. “Have you ever been in a situation where _______?”
9) Ask questions that they have to answer with yes or no. If you’re getting nowhere, ask them yes or no questions that will allow them to answer quickly and move on from the conversation. For example, “Is __________ important for you?”
10) Ask about their alternative solutions. Don’t ask them if they have tried other products or services in the past. Many people won’t reveal that information but will talk about what they are currently using. If there’s a detail like this, get them to open up by asking questions like “What are you currently using?” or “What are some other options that you’ve used?”
11) Make them laugh. People can be easily distracted with humor, so use this to your advantage whenever possible. If the customer is serious, even a smile could make them relax their guard long enough to have a productive conversation.
12) Keep an open mind. Just because your solution is best doesn’t mean that you should expect the customer to see it this way too immediately.
13) Get confirmation on how they categorize value. Customers often tell salespeople what they think instead of explaining how they feel about a product or service. For example, if a customer says, “It’s not in my budget,” they may be saying, “I’m not able to envision this as money well spent.”
14) Be prepared for their objections. Always know what you’re going to say before you end up in that situation. Practice your responses and talk about how the conversation would flow if customers had these objections.
15) Don’t get caught up in the objection. If you can move past it and get back to what you were talking about, jump at that opportunity. Objections should be used only when they are productive and bring clarity or understanding.
16) Ask for recommendations, not objections. If a potential customer keeps asking, “How would this work?” turn it around by saying, “Have you had experiences in the past where you’ve used something like this?” or “What are some reasons why __________ works so well?” This will allow them to give positive feedback, and they may not even realize that they’re offering an objection.
17) Make it easy for them to say yes. People don’t want to say no to easy things. If you keep getting these objections, try making it as painless as possible for them to give you a yes. For example, if they say, “I don’t have the budget,” consider asking, “Is this something we can work out by next Friday?”
18) Ask for their advice. Similar to giving the customer permission to share their thoughts, this will also allow them to feel important. If they are adults, use statements like “What do you think about __________?” or “How would you handle it if you were in my shoes?”
19) Offer instant gratification. Instead of asking for a purchase right away, set the plan so that the customer will get something within two weeks. This will also help them to save face if they’ve previously given you too many objections.
20) Take notes or record the conversation. If you can’t remember everything said, take notes and keep them on file for future reference. You never know what might be important, and it helps to provide continuity for prospective customers.
The most common sales objections are outlined in the article, and there are suggestions for overcoming them. If you would like to learn more about mastering the sales process, be sure to join the Baby Got Bot Insiders membership. Not only do we offer two office hours per month and one dedicated training per month but we also have a library of past training and resources, including fantastic training on how to be better at sales.