When was the last time you got a resounding “Yes, I’ll make the purchase” in the first call? The average salesperson must make at least six phone calls before the prospect becomes a customer. All of these calls are usually met with several objections. This is where objection-handling skills become extremely important for businesses to convert prospective leads into paying customers.
In this article, we look at how to handle objections in sales calls.
What is objection handling?
Objection handling is when sellers address the concerns raised by the prospective buyer about your product or service. The concerns usually pertain to pricing, quality, service delivery, support, lack of need, and so on. If the objections or opinions of your prospective buyers go unaddressed, you are most likely to lose them to your competitors.
Below are the reasons why objection handling is an important skill for salespersons like you:
- It helps you understand the POV of the customer
- You will have an idea of all the common sales objections that your sales team encounters
- It ends up creating a direct feedback loop with your prospects.
- The insights shared in this process can be used to make the product or your service offering better.
- It will help you set the right expectations with customers
10 objection handling tips for specific challenges
Challenge #1 We are using your competitor’s product.
“Oh, X is a good tool. I would love to talk about four areas where we are much superior to them. If you’d be open to it, I’m all excited to share about it. You can hear about it and let me know if it changes your stance.”
A prospect who is working with a competitor is someone who has the need and has even earmarked a budget for it. They aren’t off-limits for you. Find out if they are dealing with any issues with your competitor’s product and talk about the pain points you solve.
Challenge #2 This is way beyond our budget
“I totally understand. Let me explain some of the other plans that should fit your budget perfectly well.”
There are times when your product is beyond the budget. In certain instances, they might not have set aside money for such a solution. The bottom line is to stop focusing on price as a selling point and concentrate on the value that your product offers.
You can also discuss the possibility of your prospect’s funding plans for the future. Accordingly, you can schedule a call for the future.
Challenge #3 I’m not interested
“I am sure that answering a cold call is the last thing you want to do on a Monday morning. Before we hang up, I would like to know if you are still facing (insert issues) them. I have an all-in-one solution that makes them stop being a problem anymore. I can also show you how this will reduce your costs by a huge margin.”
Challenge #4 I don’t want to be a part of a contract that is impossible to get out
“Sure, I understand your reasoning. We can talk about contracts and payment terms that will work perfectly for both of us. Let me show you a few other options.”
Most prospects might balk at long contract durations as most of these are difficult to walk out of. Thankfully, there are alternatives that you can indulge in. Instead of asking for a year-long commitment, you can get on a monthly or quarterly payment option. Closing this particular client is all about how flexible you can be if a long contract is their only objection.
Challenge #5 We have found cheaper offerings of your same product
“I was wondering if there are major differences between the said product and ours. What gives you the most value? Would love to show you how our product offers more value.”
The most important power you can wield during a negotiation is to be willing to walk out of it. In a situation where the prospect says that they get a cheaper version of your product at a competitor’s, you must ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the prospect trying to get more discounts?
- Is this a bluff?
- Do they truly believe that they can get all the features and functionalities you offer at a cheaper rate somewhere else?
Talk about the value that your product offers. Another aspect that can tilt things in your favor is the kind of support that you offer. You must have a number in mind, below which you shouldn’t offer for your product as it will undermine its value in the prospect’s eyes.
Challenge #6 We tried a similar product, but it didn’t work out for us
“Oh, is it? Can you please share with me the issues you faced? Let me see if I can get you interested in our product.”
The chances of the prospect having worked with an inferior product are high in this case. To make them interested, you can do a point-by-point comparison of both products. It will give the prospect a sense of what they are missing out on. Focus on the value and benefits that they can get, rather than bringing up features alone.
Challenge #7 It might be difficult to get internal buy-in from the stakeholders
“Getting the internal buy-in is crucial, I understand. I would love to know who you would be speaking to. What are the main points you intend to share with them? Let me make it even easier for you. Shall I chart down a few points to help with your discussion? If it isn’t too much to ask, would it be all right if I were to send a video pitch? Maybe we can schedule a call with your team if they show any interest?”
You are much better off explaining the advantages of your product than your prospect, isn’t it? Instead of waiting for them to talk to their team, you can make it easier for them. Ask them about the kind of questions they expect their team to ask them. Share collaterals that will help your case.
Challenge #8 What’s in it for us?
“I’d love to answer this. If fixing issues A, B, and C are a priority right now, I can show you how we have helped a few of your competitors solve them too. Not only did they end up optimizing their operations and removing bottlenecks by leveraging our product, but it also reduced their operational costs as well. I’d be thrilled to show you a chart of how it impacted their bottom line.”
This is another objection where more information can help change their mind. Discuss some of the challenges you spoke about. Share testimonials or results that will show the value clearly. Explain how exactly your product can solve the specific issues that they are currently facing. Paint a picture of scenarios where the issues they have will cease to be a problem anymore.
Challenge #9 I’ve heard a few negative things about your product
“Thank you for being straightforward with me. I’ll make sure this feedback gets passed to the right person. I truly believe that it is impossible to satisfy everyone. In this conversation, my goal is to make you satisfied with our offering. Would you be interested in hearing me out?”
Word-of-mouth reviews are a double-edged sword. A stray comment from a peer or a competitor can make your product look in poor light. Hearing a comment like this from a prospect is a chance for you to create trust and build a relationship with the prospect. Instead of reacting negatively to such a comment, thank them for their honesty. Continue the conversation by showing how the specific complaint they heard about your product wouldn’t be an issue for them.
Challenge #10 Does your product offer features A and B?
“I would be happy to explain our suite of offerings. It will be great if we could set up a call. I will rope in my product specialist as well. She will be able to answer in detail.”
The best thing about this challenge is that the prospect is interested, at least in a solution that is similar to yours. Use this chance to set up a meeting. Bring along someone who is well-versed with the product.
Objections are an inevitable part of the sales process. You must be familiar with the common objections that are raised and be prepared with answers for them. Sure, there are prospects that might not be the right fit, but it is imperative that you find ways to be a part of the solution– for a legitimate reason.
You will hear more nos than yeses. Handling objections in sales requires a plethora of skills. The above objection handling techniques will keep you in good stead when you face prospects. A little bit of empathy, sales skills, product understanding, and the gift of gab can take sales professionals a long way.