I Object! How to Identify Sales Objections That Are Costing You Business

Alyssa Gregory
Alyssa Gregory
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Sales Objections
In a perfect world, we would be able to just do the work we’re passionate about without having to worry about selling our services. But the reality is that we need a steady flow of business to keep our businesses afloat. When you work for yourself, you become the resident salesperson (along with the other 5,729,862 hats you wear everyday). No one else is going to sell your services for you, so you need to acquire some basic sales skills to keep your business thriving.

What is a Sales Objection?

In the world of sales, an area many of us are uncomfortable in, an objection is any barrier that prevents a prospective client from buying your products or services. It’s an excuse, a justification or an obstacle that leads a potential client away from you. Identifying and overcoming these objections is crucial to growing your business. This post will outline how to identify objections that can essentially cost you business. My next post will provide tips for overcoming these sales objections effectively.

Pinpointing the Objection

In order to overcome a sales objection, you need to know what it’s stemming from. The best way to do this is simply by listening. You should listen to what the client is saying and what is going unsaid to get to the core of their skepticism. You should also ask questions that will get the client to open up about their concerns so you can address the issues head on. Here are some questions to work into your communication with the client:
  • What is your biggest concern?
  • Can you explain why this worries you?
  • What would be the ideal outcome?
  • What is your priority with this project?
  • What are the primary factors in your decision?
And don’t ignore the opportunity you have with existing clients. Even though these clients were not stopped by objections, that doesn’t means they didn’t have any hesitation before they decided to move forward. Their experiences can offer you a wealth of knowledge that you can use in all of your future sales opportunities.

Common Sales Objections

There are several common reasons why a client may object. Many times, the reason a potential client is hesitant to sign on with you will fall into one of these categories:
  • Price: “Your services cost too much. I can get the ‘same’ service from someone cheaper.”
  • Fear of Change: “I don’t want to change the way we’ve been doing things for 15 years. Too much can go wrong.”
  • Trust: “It seems like you know what you’re doing, but how do I know you really have the necessary experience to do this?”
  • Personal Politics: “I told my friend’s brother’s son’s wife I’d use her company for my next project.”
  • External Input: “I need to run this by my wife/business partner/friend before I do anything else.”
  • Timing: “It’s too much for me to take on right now; I don’t have time to fulfill my responsibilities in this arrangement.”
In many cases, the objection will rest on a lack of confidence on the part of the client, and it can be a lack of confidence in you AND in themselves and their ability to make a sound decision. The risk of moving ahead may be more than the client is willing to take on, and that leads to an objection that stops the sale. Once you have identified what is holding the client back, you need to take steps to address their concerns and help them move past them, if appropriate. Stay tuned for my next post on overcoming these objections effectively. Image credit: ricohman

Frequently Asked Questions on Identifying and Handling Sales Objections

What are the most common sales objections?

Sales objections are concerns or questions raised by the prospect that indicate their reluctance to buy your product or service. The most common sales objections include the price being too high, the prospect being happy with their current solution, not seeing the value in your product or service, and not having the budget or authority to make the purchase decision.

How can I effectively handle sales objections?

Handling sales objections effectively requires a combination of active listening, empathy, and problem-solving. First, listen carefully to the prospect’s concerns without interrupting. Then, empathize with their situation and validate their concerns. Finally, address their objections by providing clear, concise, and compelling responses that highlight the value and benefits of your product or service.

What strategies can I use to overcome price objections?

Overcoming price objections can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can use. These include demonstrating the value and ROI of your product or service, offering flexible payment terms, providing a cost-benefit analysis, and showing how your solution can help save time, money, or resources in the long run.

How can I prevent sales objections?

While it’s not always possible to prevent sales objections, you can minimize them by thoroughly understanding your prospect’s needs, challenges, and goals. This allows you to tailor your sales pitch to address these factors proactively. Additionally, providing clear and detailed information about your product or service can help prevent misunderstandings or misconceptions that could lead to objections.

How can I handle the “I need to think about it” objection?

When a prospect says they need to think about it, it’s often a sign that they have unresolved concerns or questions. In this case, it’s important to probe further to understand what’s holding them back. Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to share their thoughts and concerns, and then address these issues directly.

What should I do if a prospect says they’re happy with their current solution?

If a prospect says they’re happy with their current solution, it’s important to respect their decision. However, you can still try to understand what they like about their current solution and what they feel could be improved. This can provide valuable insights that you can use to position your product or service as a better alternative.

How can I handle the “I don’t have the budget” objection?

When a prospect says they don’t have the budget, it’s important to understand whether it’s a genuine budget constraint or a perceived lack of value. If it’s the former, you could explore flexible payment options. If it’s the latter, focus on demonstrating the value and ROI of your product or service.

How can I handle the “I’m not the decision-maker” objection?

If a prospect says they’re not the decision-maker, ask if you can speak directly with the person who is. If that’s not possible, ask for their help in presenting your solution to the decision-maker. Provide them with clear, concise, and compelling information that they can easily relay.

How can I build trust with a prospect to overcome sales objections?

Building trust with a prospect is crucial for overcoming sales objections. This can be achieved by being transparent, honest, and reliable. Show that you understand their needs and challenges, and that you’re genuinely interested in helping them find the best solution. Provide clear and accurate information, and follow through on your promises.

How can I improve my skills in handling sales objections?

Improving your skills in handling sales objections requires practice and continuous learning. Regularly role-play different scenarios with your team, seek feedback, and learn from each experience. Stay updated with the latest sales techniques and strategies, and don’t be afraid to try new approaches.