When was the last time you heard one of the dread phrases in sales? Those in sales cannot help but cringe whenever they hear, “I need to think about it”, “We don’t have the money/time right now”, or “We are currently using/considering XYZ”? Overcoming objections is never easy but these three are among the most challenging. The trick lies in properly identifying the real meaning behind each objection and responding accordingly by effectively communicating your product’s value to win the sale.
1. “I need to think about it”
“I need to think about it” stands out among the most challenging sales objections for its ability to stall and ultimately paralyze the sales process. The trouble is it isn’t a specified “no”, but rather a vague response that doesn’t give you any direction on overcoming their objection. So what do you do?
Approach #1 - Ask the right questions
To overcome this smokescreen, you need to find the real objection. Don’t settle for a, “Let me know when is a good time to call you back?” When your prospects “need to think about it”, it is time to pull out your listening cap. Try asking open-ended questions, e.g. “Other than needing to clear that matter up, is there anything else keeping you from purchasing this product today?” And don’t forget the magic question “What else?” By asking “What else”, you gain the opportunity to see all of the cards on the table.
As Nancy Nardin from Smart Selling Tools said, “The goal of this exercise isn’t (for now) to address [your prospect’s] hesitations or concerns. The goal is to help him to crystallize what the issues might be…Opportunities stall when we listen with ‘happy ears,’ that is, we give credence to the buying signs and happily sweep any discussion of potential threats under the proverbial rug. Buyers will almost always have hesitations. Your job is to bring them out in the open where they can be addressed. Rest assured that unspoken hesitations will not just go away. Instead, they have the great potential to snow-ball growing ever bigger and gaining momentum with each day they go un-addressed.”
Approach #2 - Provide them options to choose from
Another approach, providing options, works best when you have a good feeling for what their real objection is. Discussing available options will force your prospects’ objections to crystallize.
For example, as advised by Mike Brooks from Openview Sales Lab, you can say,
“_______, whenever I tell someone I need to think about it, it usually means one of three things:
1) I’m not going to be a deal for whatever reason, and I just want to get off the phone.
2) I kind of like the idea, but I’m going to have to find the money or talk to my partner, or something else is holding me back.
3) I really like the idea, and I just have to move something around before I say yes.
Be honest with me — which one of those things is it for you right now?”
2. “We don’t have the money/time right now”
The key to dealing with this classic objection is to identify the meaning behind it, which often falls into one of the following three categories:
We love your product, but we just don’t have the budget/time right now:
This can be a frustrating situation to be in; you feel like your lead is hot yet there’s nothing you can do to close it. Now is the time to give your prospect some space and put them at ease by assuring them that you are in it for a long haul. As Mike Brooks advised, say something like “I totally understand. You don’t need to think about buying anything right away. I just want to meet with you so that you can see how our solution can benefit you. Then you can think about it once your budget gets freed up.” And at the same time, provide your prospects with materials that validate the value proposition including: ROI numbers, referrals, and/or success stories of other customers (including success stories of your prospects’ competitors), etc.
We love your product, but we want a lower price:
Ahhh, the negotiation talk! For this type of objection, relevance and validation trump everything else. Be empathetic towards your prospects’ financial goals but remind them how your product/service address their unique problems and needs reinforcing why they were looking for a solution in the first place. Say something like “I understand your situation. How does $$ sound because I want you to be able to start saving time/money on XYZ (their unique problems and needs)”
I love your product, but I have to convince my manager/partner that your product is worthwhile:
This is actually a good spot to be in. As Steven Benson, our co-founder said, “Once your prospect buys in, they become your best sales team. You need to 1) Ensure they understand your product, its value and how it can solve their pain points, 2) Give them all of the resources they would need to overcome the decision makers’ objections whether it is financial concern or fear of changes, and 3) Coach them around it and let them do what they do best - sell.”
3. “We are currently using/considering XYZ”
In this situation, pre-qualifying your prospects will help you avoid wasting time and effort chasing a dead-end lead. As Jill Konrath, an internationally recognized sales strategist, advised, “Unless your product or service is truly groundbreaking, you should always assume that your prospect is already working with a competitor. What you don’t know from the outside is how they feel about their current provider.” So focus on making a change to the status quo:
- Ask if they are happy with their current provider
- Show them how your product caters to optimizing their success
- Bring up on the prospects’ competitors: This is a good tactic to use if you have worked with one of your prospects’ competitors. Mentioning how your product has helped one of their competitors will pique their interest and help them envision how your product can give them an edge over other competitors.
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Badger Maps Team