Every rep dreads hearing "no." Here are some tips for anticipating the worst and how to handle the situation for the best possible outcome.
Making sales pitches is never easy -- but if you can establish the right mindset right out of the gate, you'll be able to face the most common sales objections with poise and confidence.
For sales reps, getting into that mindset means doing the research to truly understand the prospect they're about to call or email, understanding their pain points, and feeling truly confident and certain that you have a solution that will solve that pain.
Once your reps are in the right headspace, it's time to help prospects see how your solutions can make their life easier. The following strategies can help you pivot from the five most common sales objections, while making your prospect feel safe and planting the seeds for a successful sale.
"Not Now, Thanks"
Your prospects have already established a rhythm to their business life -- so it's very common for them to brush you off at first, or be otherwise resistant to a change in their routine. That goes double if they think you're just going down a list of prospects: Nobody wants to feel like they've being contacted just because they're a name on a list. Instead, tell them exactly what made them special enough to target for a call or email, and how your offering can resolve specific pain points that they face.
When you show that you truly understand the hurdles they face, you establish instant credibility for your proposed solution -- and you convert the prospect from an attitude of "So what?" to "Me too!" Once you have a toe in the door, you can use the conversation to ask a few questions that'll lead to even better understanding of how you can help them, or to share some research about what the prospect's competition is up to -- the perfect motivator for quick action.
When your prospect asks a product-related question, that's your opportunity to set up the next meeting.
You Cost Too Much
While you shouldn't be deterred by this very common objection, you should be ready for it. Be respectful of the prospect's time, let them know the call will be brief, and get straight to a customized value proposition that explains exactly how you can improve their return on investment and make yourself worth a spot in their budget.
Here's a quick tactic for making pricing friendlier: Break down package rates into smaller prices that are tied to specific services, with a quick, clear explanation of how each service will boost your client's bottom line. And, of course, you'll always need a ready answer for how your service is different from -- and better than -- the competition.
Never lead a cold sales call with the question "Is this a bad time?" After all, the prospect has a business to run -- so the answer is almost always "Yes, this is a bad time." On the other hand, if the client is in a genuine time crunch now, that isn't likely to change -- unless you can offer a solution.
Again, signal your respect for their time by getting right to the point. Highlight the convenience and benefits of your solution, and make sure the client knows how quick and easy it is to get started. This is a lot easier to believe if you make good on your promises to keep the call short.
Never be shy about asking questions too, as long as they help you -- or the prospect -- understand the relationship between your solution and their pain points. For example, if they ask you to call back in six months, tell them you'd be glad to -- and ask them what will have changed in that time, and use that information to help provide a personalized solution that truly makes their life easier.
Any established prospect will already have relationships with vendors and service providers -- in fact, they may already be working directly with the competition. Do your research before you call, because if you know exactly who the competition is and how your solution compares, you'll be able to tell the prospect exactly why they should switch.
Use your time with the prospect to highlight what makes your service or product unique -- perhaps your services are more streamlined, offer better customer support, or can address challenges that your client is likely to face down the road, even if they continue with a competitor for now.
The Power to Make a Decision
Sometimes, no matter how much you research ahead of time, your first contact doesn't get you to the right person. If your prospect is clear and definite that they couldn't make a decision for you even if they wanted to, ask who you should talk to next. You might even be able to drop the first prospect's name as a referral to help you get in the door with the second one.
Remember: Confidence and Knowledge Make Sales
The bottom line is that confidence and industry knowledge are what generate sales. If you're selling a solution that you truly believe in, and if you're making sales contact with prospects that you truly believe your solution will benefit, it's almost impossible for you to go wrong -- even in the face of common sales objections like these.