This week I got 3 (three) calls from prospective clients –all asking for help teaching their sales teams to deal with objections. They tell me it is the most dreaded part of sales cycle.. Realistically, objections have not really changed for centuries. Expect, perhaps for one: “I can get it cheaper online, I can Amazon it.” It’s true, in our modern world, 70% of all sales are happening online. Amazon and other on-line sites compete with everybody. But, the underlying objection (“I can get it cheaper…”) is still timeless.

Before we dive into this, it’s important to know that even though the order of objections from a client seems random, the first two objections you hear are usually never real. It is the third one that really uncovers the tangible, relevant and most important issue which you have to be ready for. The rational is simple – if a client is presenting you with a third objection, these are no longer objections, these are negotiations. They do not oppose your offer but rather are interested in doing business with you. It’s their call to lower the barrier. The real message from them is “You have not shared enough value with me, and my fear of failure is still high. Bring the value above the price and I will buy.”

 

All objections will fall into one of the following four categories:

 

1) Time
2) Money
3) Stall
4) Product

 

Let’s look at some examples of objections in each category:

1. Time
• We need to think about it
• We’re going to wait until the economy improves
• We’re going to wait awhile
• I would like to sleep on it
• We never make rash decision

2. Money
• Your price is too high
• I can find it cheaper online
• Your rate is too high
• It’s just not enough for me
• We need to wait for payments/taxes/quarterly bonus

3. Stall
• I need my boss/board/CFO/CEO approval
• We need to shop a couple other places
• We never buy at the first place

4. Product
• I don’t like your color, equipment, packaging
• Your product is not good for us
• We need to talk to other vendors

 

Next week let’s look at how to incorporate Storytelling into our objection-handling techniques. One of my favorites is known as the “911 Objection Handling Technique.” Adding storytelling makes your response to an objection all the more powerful.

 

Have a good weekend! Ed

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