Most articles on common sales objections focus on the later stages in the buying cycle. But there’s a very important part of the buying cycle that’s often overlooked: prospecting.
Now, I’m not the most talented salesperson in the world, but I’ve found that the sales process is pretty easy once you actually get the sales meeting setup. It’s scheduling that initial meeting that acts as the biggest hurdle.
It’s hard to do prospecting.
You barge into someone’s busy day and ask them to give some of their precious, valuable time to you. For free.
So what common sales objections can you expect during this process?
And more importantly: how do you overcome the objections?
Let’s briefly discuss each of the objections, and then learn what the appropriate response sounds like.
Procrastinating the Process
How to notice it: “Could you call me back next quarter?”
You’re selling to busy professionals that already have too much on their plate. A sales call is just another thing to put on the already-packed scheduled.
But if you offer something that makes their life easier, try to overcome this hurdle.
Business owners desperately want more hours in the day. When I remind them that my services do just that, it’s much easier to land the appointment.
How to respond: “Absolutely. I don’t want to take up your valuable time. In fact, if we could just setup a five minute call, I’ll show you what I’m doing and how I might help. Then it’s done and if you aren’t interested, we won’t have to worry about it next quarter. Would you be interested in talking for five minutes next [day] at [time]?”
Already Working With Someone
How to notice it: “We’re already working with [insert competitor here].”
This objection challenges you to clearly communicate your value proposition and what differentiates you from the competition. When they already have a vendor, your prospect is thinking: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” (Yes, all your prospects are old country men.)
It’s your job to change their mindset by clearly delivering value.
How to respond: “I understand that. We aren’t asking you to make a drastic change. Several of our customers use [insert competitor here]. But I’d like to show you the additional value we can add to your customers. I could even present some case studies of others that switched from [insert competitor here]. When is a good time to schedule a follow-up call?”
A Lack of Budget
How to notice it: “Sorry. We just can’t afford those prices.”
As a writer, I face this one quite a bit with unqualified prospects. But there’s time where you can even flip the dreaded, “We don’t have the budget.” Why? Because sometimes they do have the budget, they just aren’t convinced they want to spend it like that.
And even if they don’t have the budget, that doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. Try to dig a bit deeper and schedule a follow-up call to discuss your services. If you can position yourself as a need, rather than a want, they’ll buy.
How to respond: “That’s alright. There’s no expectation for you to buy anything right now. I’d just like to share what I’m doing and show how it can bring value to your company, even if it’s down the road. Can I schedule a follow up call over the next couple of days?”
The art of sales requires perseverance in the face of rejection.
But it also requires a persistence to transform soft rejections into sales. And once you master that skill, you’ll be well on your way to master-salesman status.
Which of these common sales objections do you hear the most? What method do you use to overcome them?