Cold-calling and setting appointments are the first and typically most challenging steps in the sales process. Prospects often are busy and disinterested in an unexpected phone call from someone discussing a product or service they likely do not know anything about. Below find six common objections and complaints sales prospects express and consider how Rory Angold, a results-driven sales manager, suggests to handle and overcome them.
The top objection potential customers raise is typically about the price. This objection usually comes up early, and before you have even gotten started discussing the benefits and value of your product or service.
An excellent way to handle the price objection is to let the customer explain without interruption as much as possible why the price is a hurdle for them. Then, emphasizing your product’s value and the cost the customer will face by not purchasing can give the customer some time to consider whether the investment you are proposing is worthwhile.
This objection can be a tough obstacle, but don’t give up immediately. Ask the customer if they are satisfied with the contract or product they already have. If a customer is willing to discuss any issues they have their current vendor, they may go into detail with you about things they are unhappy about. Use these cues to address the aspects of your product that are better than the competition.
If a client is willing to disclose their current contract terms, you can quickly assess whether you can offer a better price or higher value. If you have discounts or any offer you are authorized to extend, you might get the conversation moving forward.
Every businessperson is busy. Unless your product is vitally important to them, there is a substantial likelihood that they will put you off so they can get back to work. Try to save these conversations by emphasizing that a buying decision is not imminent. Explain that you would like to discuss the value your product offers to their business so they can take time to think it over. If you can get a commitment to a five-minute conversation about your product at the customer’s convenience, you have gotten around this common customer block.
Sales professionals are used to this brush-off response. Don’t let the “don’t call me; I’ll call you,” response terminate your process. Explain to the customer that you understand written material is useful and sometimes easier to consider, but you want to send them the product information that will be of interest and not waste their time. Ask for 60 seconds to discuss their needs related to your product so that you can provide the right specifications in your proposal. They will either talk with you longer or give you information to create a personalized proposal for a customer you want to pursue.
Many businesspeople will sacrifice value or quality to do business with someone they have known previously, or because of some personal or family commitment. Approach this situation with tact and deference to the customer’s old vendor. Trust takes time to build, and it is not likely that you will be successful by running down a competitor that your prospect already knows and likes.
Suggest that many things have changed in your market recently and their existing provider may not know of recent developments. You might even be able to give them some information they can pass along to their other person. If you can keep the conversation moving, you might be able to identify things about their existing contract they are not satisfied with. Any information can give you insights on how to promote the value of your product in ways that will be most meaningful to the customer.
Treat this objection as a positive response and encourage the customer to follow up with the other decision-makers. Suggest a joint meeting, if possible. Seek input from the customer regarding any additional information you can provide that the other decision-makers might need, and always get a commitment for a follow-up sales call.
Rory Angold has two decades of work experience in leadership and executive positions. He last managed field teams in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming for Zurich Direct Markets, a $1.5B business. Mr. Angold is a results-driven specialist in automotive dealer consulting, training, and reinsurance with a proven track record of developing people, putting together a winning team with an infectious culture that empowers people to want to win.
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