Have you seen the 1995 comedy flick “Tommy Boy”?
If you’re one of the lucky ones who have, you probably remember the scene where Richard (played by David Spade) tries to coach Tommy Boy (played by the late Chris Farley) on how to handle difficult customers, by reminding him of the old sales adage to never “take no for an answer?”
True to form, Tommy Boy messes the whole thing up by doing the exact opposite of what Richard says and quickly agrees to leave after his first few prospects turn him down. It takes a lot more failures and misadventures before Tommy Boy finally discovers his strength as a salesman and succeeds.
Sales objections are a fact of sales life
While the typical salesman’s experiences aren’t nearly as colorful as Tommy Boy’s, everybody who’s involved in sales knows that customer objections and outright rejections come as part and parcel of the job. This is the reason why so many people typically shy away from doing sales—because they fear rejection. After all, it takes a lot of courage and chutzpah to bounce back up and keep pushing after a potential client says no to your offer.
Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson once said that “everybody lives by selling something,” yet many people still tell me that they’re not just cut out for sales, that they’re too timid to reason out with difficult clients or persuade new leads.
However, this point of view misses one important fact—that even the best salesmen did not start out with innate knowledge of how to sell to people. They had to train and learn from their mistakes. And with the right amount of persistence and practice, anybody can learn how to do it properly.
And while the task of overcoming objections might be one of the toughest lessons to learn, the rewards of being able to successfully persuade people will be one of your greatest assets as a sales professional.
Know the reasons why prospects say no
Potential clients often reject a business proposition because of
More often than not, it all boils down to a question of money. Your prospect might say, “I can get that at a lower price from somebody else”, “We’re already over budget, we can’t justify that kind of expense,” or simply “The price is too high, we can’t afford that.”
Because broaching the issue of cost is often one of the most awkward things to do for most people, newbie salesmen simply back down or may offer the product at such a highly discounted rate that could damage the business.
TIP: The best thing to do would be to find out just exactly why the customer thinks that the price is too high.
Is it simply because they were not expecting your product to cost that much, or do they think that the product features are not commensurate to the amount that you’re asking them to pay for it? These two reasons are connected to each other but they are not the same, and each requires a specific approach.
If it’s simply because they didn’t expect the price to be that expensive. Reassure them by pointing out the different features and benefits that your product offers. If they say no because of the second reason, it probably means that they like the features, but the price is simply too high for what they were prepared to shell out for it. You can address this by changing the measuring medium and comparing it to something smaller. For example, you might say “I appreciate what you’re saying. But did you know that paying $5,000 for a complete CRM and sales acceleration system only comes down to about $14 a day, equivalent to just a couple of groceries? In exchange, you get to have a CRM and sales acceleration system that’s tailor-made to suit your company’s needs.”
They don’t need the product.
. This is especially true for companies who sell innovative or complex products or services, such as new forms of software that many clients may be unfamiliar with. The customer might say “I don’t really need this product,” or “I already have something similar and I’m satisfied with it.” This is actually one of the toughest objections to counter since it directly involves your product and its value to the market.
TIP: Again, try to get to the bottom of why your prospect is saying no. Do they really think that they don’t need the product? If this is the case, you might try pointing out the benefits that they’re likely to enjoy if they buy from you. For example, you might say that “This may be your first time to try automating your system but did you know that ” Presenting customers with verifiable facts can increase your credibility and help sway their opinion.
Just remember that in doing this, try to focus on what you can do better for the customer—like improving productivity, lessening the number of dropped calls, improving sales velocity or increasing their quota achievement rates—in a more satisfactory manner if compared to their old product.
This is one of the trickiest objections that potential clients can come up with because they’re not actually saying no, they’re saying not right now. You might hear clients saying that “I’ll have the money next month/quarter/year, come back then,” or “Give me more time to think about it.”
Because the response can be interpreted as a “maybe”, many salesmen make the mistake of not qualifying this as an objection, even though the chances of the customer actually contacting you in the future are very small. So, how do you overcome sales objections like this?
TIP: Again, you will have to dig deeper and find out more information before responding. Are they saying no because they still don’t have the budget for it? Or are they telling you to ait because they don’t see the added value of having your product or services right now?
If it’s the first one, try to ask if you can talk to the people responsible for allocating the company’s finances. This way, you can present your pitch to the people who actually have the capacity to decide on your offer immediately, or at least assure you of another chance to present the product at a specific date in the future.
They don’t know you.
People buy from other people or companies that they know and trust. If you’re a new player, or somebody who’s not that well-known, you have a slimmer chance of clinching a successful deal. You might hear potential customers say “I’m not familiar with your company, I’m not sure I can do business with you,” or “How can I be sure that your product will deliver exactly as you say?”
TIP: In order to avoid encountering this type of objection from your potential clients, make sure that you do your homework before initiating contact. Use social media or other technologies to ask for references from mutual friends or connections and try to find something in common with the customer. If your customer still seems to be wary, feel free to share testimonials and case studies from other clients that you’ve dealt with in the past. This will help put your prospects at ease at make it easier for you to convince them of your credibility as a seller.