Whether it is selling something to an internal team, to a partner company or a potential investor, most of us regularly find ourselves trying to convince someone in the business world to do something. The response given is the same response experienced sales people often get: "Now is not a good time", or "We don't have the budget for that." But objections don't mean "no", particularly if you know what to say next. Here we outline the 5 most common sales objections, and how to overcome them.
1. "Email me some information."
This objection varies in intent depending on when it comes up in your call with the person. If it comes up before you have had the chance to deliver your value proposition and explain who you are and what you do, it's very clearly a brush-off. If it comes afterwards, but before you've had the chance to ask qualification questions, there may be interest, but the prospect isn't yet willing to talk about it further.
If it comes at the end of your call, after you've gone through both your value proposition and qualification, the prospect may have decided this isn't valuable somewhere along the way. No matter where it comes up in the call, it is really important that you figure out what is going on: Do they not yet understand the value, or are they not ready for a buying conversation? Why not?
Responses: There are a few potential responses to this one, depending on what stage the call is in.
- Before you've delivered the value proposition: "Can we take 30 seconds now for me to explain what we do, and you can then decide if it's worth a follow-up?"
- Before qualification: "Can I ask you a couple questions now to better understand how we might help?"
- After qualification: "Typically, people find it more valuable to see how this works in a demo."
2. "We already work with _____."
This is where it is important to know why you are unique, and be able to explain that value clearly. Your prospect just heard, “Hi, we do X” and thought, “Oh, we have a vendor for that, we're good.” Your prospects are busy -- they don't want to fix things that aren't broken. It is your duty to change their mindset, and explain why they need the specific value you provide.
Response: "At this point, we aren't asking you to rip anything out. A lot of our customers used Competitor X. We would just like the opportunity to show you how we are different and how we have provided additional value to our customers. We can present some use cases of other companies like yours who work with us and with Competitor X. When is a good time to schedule a follow-up call?"
3. "Call me back next quarter."
Prospects are busy. They will push anything off to tomorrow because today is swamped. Don't let them. You have a solution they needed yesterday. Reassure them that this is not a buying conversation. You just want to show them what you do, and see if there's value for them.
Response: "Of course. If it really is bad timing, I'm happy to do that. However I would still like to set up a five-minute call to show you what we are doing and how we might help. That way, if it's not interesting, we don't have to worry about me chasing you next quarter, but if it is, we'll have more to talk about then. When is a good day/time for us to chat?"
4. "We have no budget for that."
If budget is an important part of your qualified lead definition, this may be a stopping point. But you can dig a bit further to understand what not having budget means. Can they not afford it? Has your buyer burned through her personal budget for the year? Could your buyer find the money elsewhere if you show enough value? In most cases, the prospect doesn't need to have a budget at this stage of the process, and you should leverage this fact to overcome this objection.
Response: "That's okay. We don't expect you to buy anything right now. We would just like the opportunity to share what we are doing and see if it's valuable to your company. Can we schedule a follow-up call over the next couple days?”
5. "Does your product / service / idea do X?"
This isn't so much an objection as an obstacle to closing a call with a prospect and getting them to the next appointment, (e.g., a demo, or a discovery call). However, it is one of the most common obstacles to converting leads. Not only does getting into this sort of detail waste time, but it runs the potential of devolving into a features/benefits conversation. The good news is this generally means the prospect is interested. Use this fact to end the conversation and set up the next appointment.
Response: "I am glad you asked that. I think it will be helpful to set up a time where we can answer this question and others with a specialist. When is a good day/time for us to talk?”
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