It’s called winning a sale for a reason: you have to overcome various hurdles in order to win the buyer’s trust to close the deal.
Objection handling in sales is a necessary step in this process, which is why knowing how to overcome the most common objections ahead of time will be instrumental in your team’s success.
Like when making any informed decision, most prospects will have a handful of hesitations when evaluating if they should buy your product or not. These are the objections your reps must overcome in order to make a sale.
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The earlier an objection is uncovered, the better. Similar to “asking for the no,” top sales reps will know which questions to ask in order to find the prospect’s objections and conquer them early in the sales process.
(Read more: The 4 Sales Skills Shared by Top Performers)
Thorough probing will reveal all the possible hesitations your buyer has which will give you an opportunity to nip them in the bud and strengthen your chances of closing the deal. Here are the top 3 objections your reps are likely to face, and how they can overcome them.
Sales Objection #1: “We don’t have budget for that”
Price is the most common objection a salesperson will hear and one of the most frustrating. There’s nothing worse than being told your product is great and checks off all the boxes, but it just isn’t in the budget this year. Talk about a buzzkill.
A smart salesperson knows that price is the least important objection though, since: 1. there are typically various discounting options available and 2. people will free up or “find” budget for things they’ve determined they can’t live without. In fact, a recent study from Harvard found that “emotion is what really drives the purchasing behaviors of consumers, not rational” (source).
It’s for this reason that the best way to overcome the pricing objection in sales is to let them explain why they can’t afford it and then do what most sales reps won’t: agree with them.
As we discussed in one of our previous articles, humans all share the desire to feel heard and valued. Show the prospect that you hear their objection and repeat it back to them.
Train your sales reps to let them fully express why it won’t work right now and have them ask qualifying questions to dig deeper. What I’m saying is, lean into the objection.
Once the prospect has fully expressed their reasoning behind the budget, now it’s time to bring up the pain your rep uncovered earlier in the probing process.
Train your rep to re-state the pain the prospect is experiencing and ask them how much it would cost to do nothing. Reposition the value your product is bringing as a return on investment, and you’ll be certain to close more deals.
If there is a significant pain and your product can solve it, then proving the value of signing with you should be a no-brainer, even against budget concerns. To help your team get better at uncovering pain, try one of these four unique sales games in your next sales training!
Sales Objection #2: “I have to run this by my team”
Knowing who the key stakeholders are early on in the sales cycle is imperative to the probing process, so the tip for this objection is to train your sales reps to find out who these people are before the meeting.
This might sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Like we discussed in last week’s article, there are a lot of time-wasters out there. People who are willing to take your call, hear your pitch, and listen to your best offer, with zero intention of buying. And unfortunately many of these prospects don’t have any buying power whatsoever.
Building rapport, qualifying, and pitching to the wrong person is a huge waste of time. That’s why your reps should practice determining who the ultimate decision maker is early-on, to avoid hearing this dreaded objection.
Now there are certainly times where your prospect will need to get buy-in from their team, even if they are they key stakeholder. There’s no way to get around it in these cases and being too pushy could cost you the sale.
Instead, the best thing for your reps to do is to get as much information as possible about the other decision makers and offer to provide resources. Here are a few things you can train your reps to say when the prospect when this objection arises:
- No problem, I certainly understand! Could you help me understand a bit about the other people involved in the decision? I want to make sure to tailor the proposal to highlight things that are important to them.
- Of course! For the other people on your team, is there anything in particular they will be looking for when evaluating the proposal?
- Great! What can I do to help you promote this internally? I know that you’re on board, so what can I do to help you get the approval of the others?
Whatever you do, it’s important to make sure your reps stay on the prospect’s side. Ideally, your prospect will become your internal champion and will actually assist you in getting buy-in from the rest of the stakeholders.
Sales Objection #3: “We’re not ready”
Have you ever walked into a store to browse and been immediately approached by a sales associate offering to help you? They can seem intrusive if you’re not ready to buy, and perhaps even a bit off-putting. But you walked into the store, meaning there is an interest.
You might not be ready to buy today, but what if they were having a buy-one-get-two-free sale today? That might change things a bit. This can also work with your team.
If there is a baseline interest and genuine pain that you’ve uncovered, then you can nudge the sale along by creating a sense of urgency.
This can come in the form of one-time discounts or add-ons, whichever makes the most sense for the circumstance. Leonardo DiCaprio does a great job of this in The Wolf of Wall Street if you need some examples (Read more: The best Sales Videos to Include in your Sales Training).
Alternatively, sometimes it’s just going to be a waiting game. Sales is about timing, and if your prospect isn’t ready, the only thing you can do is nurture. Provide them with resources, stay in touch, and continuously add-value as best you can. I’ve had deals close two years after the initial sales call, so continuous nurturing does have its benefits!
Objection handling in sales is easily one of the hardest parts of the job. Train your reps the techniques discussed in this article and they will be on their way to becoming top performers.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could compile all of these tips into one onboarding program for all your Reps? If you agree then I strongly suggest that you check one of these Sales Enablement Platform such as 360Learning as these are the perfect solution to reach your quota while decreasing ramp-up time for your Reps!