Taking the 5 most common sales objections and showing how to overcome them. Learn the closing techniques and sales processes that help salespeople overcome the most frustrating of all sales objections!
There are many articles out there from some very renowned sales authors that claim to help you overcome those pesky top 5 most common sales objections. I have probably read nearly all of them, and if you are like me, you never really felt like the method or verbiage could work in a real life scenario. Being I have sold everything from stocks to cars to houses to food to light bulbs, I feel I have unique experience as to how to handle such situations. Today, I would like to share some of those with you.
So what are the big 5 most common sales objections? I think everyone would agree it looks something like this:
2. Too busy
3. Need to think about it
4. Need to talk to 3rd party
5. Just Looking/not serious
Now I am not here to convince you that you can win every battle, or that there is a magic phrase to spew for each sales objection that will suddenly open your prospects wallet. In sales, we try to simply increase the percentages. Think of it this way, a successful batter in Major League Baseball hits an average of .300. That means he strikes out, flies out, or gets out on base 700 times out of a thousand! So what I strive to do is simply help you increase your “batting average” and put a little more money in your pocket.
The main thing to remember about all of the most common sales objections is that they are usually a smoke screen. They in themselves do not tend to be the real reason they are not buying, so you must dig further to get the customer to provide that true reason, and then you can attack it. Number one on the above list however, tends to be the core reason most of the time. Getting people to admit that though, is half the battle!
JUST LOOKING- Let’s start with the 5th most common sales objection. This one can be weeded out far before you get to the point of working the close. Hopefully, you have done your diligence as a salesperson and done some qualifying in the beginning of your interaction with the prospect. This will save you a lot of time, but you also have to be very smart about it. Some buyers hold their card very close to their vest and seem to show little interest in what you show them. Learn to recognize this kind of prospect so you don’t end up blowing a sale because you thought they were just tire kickers!
If these words are said to you at the very beginning, when you first approach the customer, then it is most likely a conditioned response. For example, if you say to them “Hello, welcome to ABC store. How can I help you today?” People are just flat conditioned to say “Just lookin’ “without even thinking about the words that came out of their mouth! You know it’s true, we have all done it. Your response to them then must be “Great, what are you looking for today?”. This will throw them off (because you were supposed to say “Ok, let me know if you have any questions.”) and they will blurt out what they are there for. You then simply say “Great! Follow me!” and immediately do an about face and start heading to that item. Trust me, they WILL follow you. Try it, you will be amazed!
If however this question came up during the closing portion, then clearly they have been spooked by something and you need to uncover what the real objection is. This is done by simply asking questions or doing a take away. Here are a couple example responses by you:
• “Surely Mr. Smith we wouldn’t have gone this far if you weren’t really interested in this product. What is it that holds you back form simply taking it from me?”
• “My apologies then Mr. Smith, I misread your intentions. I wouldn’t have mentioned this deal then because it is only good through today as a special promotion. Tons of people have already taken advantage of it so I just assumed you were going to as well. No harm, it’s only a 25% discount. I would rather have you be ready to buy and pay full price then have you feel pressured just to save money.”
The key is to keep them talking, because as long as they are, they are in the buying cycle!
NEED TO TALK TO 3rd PARTY- Oh yes, we all love the guy who hides behind the fact that he needs his wife’s approval before he can make a decision. Now that does not mean to say that there isn’t a very legitimate agreement between husbands and wives that they show respect to each other by making decisions together. The key is to realize if this buying decision really falls into that guideline. In most cases a guy can chose to buy a DVD player without his wife’s approval, but if he buys that new truck without her knowing, he may find himself sleeping in it!
So, understand your product you are selling and what the likelihood is that they might need approval from another party and fetter that out sooner rather than later. That way you can dictate your sales process accordingly. If the chances are really pretty slim that your product would warrant such double stamps of approval, then the objection is really one of indecision. Nobody wants to make a bad decision, so some would rather walk away then feel buyer’s remorse. It’s easy to lay blame that someone else said no so that they save face. When this comes up, here is what you need to ask:
• “Have you and your wife talked at all about getting a new one of these?”
• “Does she know you’re looking at one now?”
• “Do you think she would like this one, or one of the others we looked?”
• “Does she like to find deals when she shops? Would she like this deal?”
• “When shopping, would she be likely to take advantage of a great deal than let it go by while waiting on your response?”
• “Does she trust your judgment on things like this?”
If the answer is no to either of the first two, you are probably in trouble. If it is indeed a yes, then extrapolate as much from him as you can about his wife’s taste and buying habits. Finally, ask him to call her up and see what she thinks. This day and age, we are all reachable by our mobile devices so don’t fall for the fact that he has to go home to talk to her!
There are of course other 3rd parties, like partners and parents and bosses. But the technique plays out the same and your real objective is to determine if that 3rd party really has that much influence on your sale. If they do, then get them on the phone and talk with them yourself.
NEED TO THINK ABOUT IT- The third most common sales objection is again, just a conditioned response. You most often as a salesperson find yourself hearing this once you have done your presentation and gotten down to ask for the sale. It can be very frustrating to hear, but if you expect it and know what to do next, then it is just another part of the sales process.
This sales objection is not unlike the rest, it is just a ruse for something else that is keeping them from buying. It is typically followed by the phrase “I’ll get back to you and let you know”. Now, this should be taken as if it were said to you after a first date and you asked if they would like to see you again! It usually will mean that they aren’t sold on the product or perhaps you and want to look around at competitors. This needs to be handled with kid gloves, because if they leave now, you will most likely never see them again. So now you pull out some contriteness and ask questions like:
• “Ok, no problem. Before you go though, if you could help me with a little self-criticism so I can be a better help to future customers; what is the main reason that you chose not to buy today exactly?”
• “What WOULD have had to have taken place for you to leave today with this product, in a perfect world?
Your objective is to find a core reason for them wanting to leave without your product. What is it exactly that they want to think about? Don’t be a pest about it though, just keep it light. Often if you use self-deprecating statements here you can lighten the mood and the pressure of the moment. Things like “I’m not a very good salesperson, so any help I can get when I don’t make a sale is GREATLY appreciated!’ as you laugh a little is a great tension breaker.
Too busy - The second most used sales objection is a fun one. If you have tried to sell a product anytime from about November 15th to December 24th, you know this one as the “Things are so hectic around the holidays, we will just have to get back to you after the first of the year.” objection. If it isn’t a Christmas gift related item you sell, then you hear that objection so much at that time of year that it makes you want to claw your ears out!
Your objective here is to acknowledge how these times can be difficult to budget but that your deal is so compelling that they simply cannot refuse. You have to make the process as easy as possible for them to take the product and you have to make the terms seem so good, that they really would kick themselves if they didn’t do it. So this is more of a strategy than any sort of verbal comeback. Here you need to anticipate this reaction from customers at that time of year, and work out a special promotion and additional perks. If you don’t do that, then you might as well take a vacation for those 6 weeks!
Now if you find yourself at any other time of the year hearing this, then you need to look at it as a smoke screen again. Here the takeaway works very well. You can often trap them into admitting that they would like to buy, if only they weren’t so busy. By using their words against themselves, you can craft together a nice close.
You: “So Mr. White, if I am hearing you correctly, you are saying you would love to have these new kitchen cabinets but you don’t have time to install them now that you’re working extra hours. And you also do not want to pay someone else to put them in, is that right?”
Mr. White: “Yep, that’s right.”
You: “That’s too bad, because this sale price is almost too good to pass up isn’t it?”
Mr White: “Yeah, that’s a shame, but oh well. I will look you up when I have more time”
You: “You know what Mr. White? I can’t let you lose money like that, it just doesn’t sit well with me, especially when I know you want these nice cabinets. Tell you what; I am going to get a confirmation from my manager that we can get installation included for you at no charge. That way you what you said you want. You get a great deal and can come home one day next week to new cabinets without lifting a finger or writing another check. Sound like a plan?”
Now if Mr. White balks, you will get the real objection. Otherwise, you trapped him in his words and he has to go forward. You would be surprised how many people fall into this technique. They may even seem a little perturbed at first, but then they realize the relief of having the decision made, and they focus quickly on enjoying their new purchase.
Money/Cost- So here we are to the final and number one sales objection! This one happens to be the ultimate root of most of the other objections as to why someone doesn’t buy. It is the most difficult to overcome because if people don’t have it, they can’t use it to buy it-period. We all have shopped and looked at things we want but simply cannot afford. So you can’t get upset at others doing the same thing. You just have to weed out those people as quickly as possible.
I heard once that 50% of the people you talk to have no way or no intention of buying your product. 30% could if you gave them a compelling enough reason and actually sold them. And finally, 20% will buy your product in the immediate future either from you or from a competitor. I like that ratio and I think it is pretty accurate. So knowing this, you have a 50/50 shot at selling any customer, and you know that roughly 50% have the financial means to buy your product now. If you identify that 30% buyer, you have a good chance at closing if you can work them though the sales process. That 20% you must identify quickly and make sure you get them nailed down before they leave your store!
So 50/50 doesn’t sound so bad for a sales possibility right? As long as you can identify which side of the coin sits the person you are dealing with, you have it made. That is not as easy as it sounds however. Uncovering those with cash and or credit can be tricky. Often, you will need to pepper quick qualifying questions along the process so you get a picture of what will happen at the close. If money availability is determined early in the sales process, then you know you only have to show them why they want to spend it now and with you. If the money objection comes up in the actual closing process, then you have a lesser chance of finishing your sale. There is no worse feeling as a salesperson than to spend a lot of time with a customer, and find out in the end that they cannot buy.
Sometimes it is a matter of the cost being out of their buying range. Again, research this early so you are showing the product that fits their budget right away. As a realtor, you wouldn’t just go take every prospect looking at million dollar homes. You would find out what their budget is, and if you're smart you show them things that are at the lower end of that budget. Then when they seem like they would like something a little more, you can pull a few out of the hat that are at the top end of their budget and watch their faces light up! If there is any buyer’s remorse by looking at the top of their range, you always have the middle to fall back on. As long as you have them considering product choices, they won’t be focusing on the choice of to buy or not to buy.
If it is a matter of cost, meaning your price is too high, you then have to do some justifying. Remember too, people will actually pay more if they like you. So build that rapport and focus on the things that make you and your establishment stand out in the crowd. Know your competitors and don’t be afraid to discuss their shortcomings, but do so in a professional manner. You want your customers to view you as a consultant, not a salesperson. Then they value your opinion and information. Once you get there, no objection will keep them from buying from you!