“I don’t have time to meet right now.”
“We just don’t have the budget.”
“Send me something in the mail.”
If you’re in sales, handling objections is part of the job. How do you get the conversation back on track, make that appointment or close that sale? Handling objections is one of the most important and difficult components to making the introductory call.
Preparing for objections is essential; knowing how to respond is key. It is important to know how to answer the prospect with benefit statements and questions that will uncover the true objection and present the value necessary to take the call to the next level. An objection is a push back- a resistance to agreeing to your request and it’s usually due to the prospect not fully understanding your value proposition. As salespeople, we’ve got to listen closely and read between the lines.
People will rarely jump into your arms in the first 30 seconds of a call and agree to whatever you are asking. If that happens, consider yourself lucky. You’ve just had excellent timing, and it may be a couple hundred phone calls before you get that lucky again.
The good news is that there are only about six to ten objections that you will hear over and over again. It’s still a challenge to get to the “yes”, even if you master objection handling, but if you practice these techniques, you may get more appointments and sales this month than the previous month! Here are a few rebuttals to get you started.
I don’t have the budget.
“Many of our clients have said the same thing in this economy, but after a quick analysis, we were able to show them the great return they could expect, and to this day they are some of our best clients! At this point, I’m only looking to come up with some creative ways we may work together, if nothing else, you’ll have us as a resource for the future, is that fair?”
I don’t have time to meet with you right now.
“I can certainly appreciate your time, and I often schedule several weeks out. Take a look at your calendar, and let’s pencil something in for next month, would the 19th or 31st work for you?”
If you are finding it difficult still to get the appointment, ask the prospect what month may be a better time to follow up. Then record good notes, and actually follow up. Regardless, this objection is an interesting one. We all have the same hours in a day, and we make time for what we want to make time for. Are you able to show the prospect value through thought provoking questions and benefits, so that you move up the priority list?
Send me something in the mail
Is this a brush off or a genuine request for more information? Try this response to find out.
“Mr. Prospect, I’m sure that price is important to you, as it is to all my clients. If we can meet for 20 minutes or so, I can learn a little about your business and come up with something that suits your needs and the price that goes along with it. The brochure just presents a broad stroke on our services, does that make sense?”
If the prospect insists on seeing information before meeting with you, make sure to get his or her permission to call back. Hold them accountable to review it and get a next step.
“After you’ve have a chance to look at the information, I’ll give you a call to see if you have any additional questions. Will you be around Tuesday?”
Notice that every rebuttal ends in a question. Why? If your goal is to get the appointment, ask the closing question wherever possible. However, before you can get to that closing question, be sure to ask the fact finding questions to help you to learn more about your prospect and his or her business so that you can build rapport and become a true solutions provider for that company.
Consider questions you can ask to gain information (fact finding questions) to uncover needs
so that when you are ready to ask for the appointment, you’ve made it easy for the prospect to say yes! If you are unfamiliar with the term Consultative Sell, let’s keep it simple and define it as, “asking questions to uncover opportunity”. We could go a step further and say that by building value through asking good questions, we are also setting ourselves up to a more solid appointment. By allowing the prospect to find out themselves that your product or service could benefit them, there is a greater likelihood that they will keep the appointment, and you will also have insight into their pain points and can better prepare your in person appointment. When the prospect says, “I don’t have time” they mean, “I don’t have time for you because I don’t think this will benefit me”. When they say, “I don’t have the money” they’re saying, “I don’t see how this is going to save me money down the line, and it won’t make me money.” Ask questions that address their true objection. Incorporate benefit statements too!
Address objections up front, before the prospect brings it up.
For example, often the slowest time of the year for restaurant owners is now, so if you are calling on a restaurant owner, an objection you may encounter could be, “this is a slower time for us, and I don’t really have the money to do that now.” Anticipate the objection up front, with, “Ms. Prospect, I know this is a slower time of the year for many restaurant owners, is that true for you too?” Anticipating a Yes, your next response could be, “That’s exactly why I want to meet with you now. I know as the warm weather approaches you’ll start getting busy again, and if we meet now, you can make a strategic decision before the season picks back up again.” Then ask a closing directive question, “Do you have a calendar in front of you?”