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Sales objections can be scary.

You could be halfway through a pitch to a prospect and think everything is progressing smoothly toward a Closed-Won deal. Then the prospect hits you with a sales objection out of nowhere. How do you respond and overcome it?

It depends. Sometimes an objection just means you need to work harder to sell to the prospect, but in other cases prospects need you to address real problems they’re experiencing. What most people call sales objections can actually be split into two distinct categories:

1. Objection: An excuse why a prospect can’t engage further with a salesperson that can be overcome with specific sales tactics.

2. Concern: A serious issue that comes up during the selling process that must be addressed before you can close the deal.

Both are difficult for sales reps to navigate. However, the tactics you use depend on which one you encounter, and understanding the difference will help you take the most effective course of action. The clearest differentiator between the two is when it crops up during the sales process. Objections usually happen at the beginning of an engagement, whereas concerns can occur at any time.

To demonstrate the clear difference between the two, here are some of the most common sales objections and concerns you will come across. And, more importantly, the steps you can take to quickly overcome objections and ease prospect’s concerns so you can win the deal.

Need

Objection: “We don’t need anything like this right now.”

If this is the extent of what the prospect is communicating and she doesn’t bother proving to the rep why there’s no need for the product, it is an objection. This prospect is just using this as an excuse to brush you off and get you to stop calling. Rather than backing off, reps should use this as an opportunity to push the prospect further. Ask how she’s dealing with X or Y pain point today to get more information and understand where her needs are.

Concern: “I don’t think this product solves a real problem for us. We don’t experience that specific problem at our business.”

You can tell this is a legitimate concern rather than an objection when the prospect supplements it with concrete, factual examples of why he doesn’t experience this problem at his business. As you try to sell to the prospect, he simply won’t understand the pain point because it’s not an issue for him personally. In this case, your product simply may not be a great fit for the company, and you should move onto the next prospect.

Timing

Objection: “It’s not a great time to buy right now. Call back in 6 months.”

Most reps have heard this timing objection many times from prospects, but what matters most is at what point in the selling process you hear this response. If you hear it at the beginning of the selling process, it’s a simple timing objection that you can overcome. Though the prospect may believe that it’s not a good time, it’s because he doesn’t fully understand how vital your product is to the business. It’s up to you as a sales rep to create a sense of urgency and make buying your product a priority.

Concern: “We’re in the process of switching to a new CRM. I’m not sure this is the right time to buy.”

This isn’t just an excuse to postpone a decision or put off a sales rep. This is a legitimate concern, because switching to a new CRM could have a huge impact on the prospect’s business for months to come. This shows that the prospect might be a great candidate to buy, but she has a valid roadblock that would cause more problems than solutions for everyone involved. In a case where the organization is in the midst of a major transition that would negatively affect the implementation of your solution, you should come back to the prospect after her company has finished migrating to the new software.

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Cost

Objection: “Your product is too expensive.”

You know this is an objection because the prospect says your product is “expensive” and leaves it at that. This means that you haven’t yet proven the value of your product to the prospect. Instead of accepting the comment at face value, fire back and ask, “What would you pay to see the results that my product could offer your business?” This means that you have to step up and show the prospect exactly why your product is worth the price you charge, and that it’s a good value in the market.

Concern: “I don’t have the budget to buy your product.”

This is a serious issue for your sale. This isn’t really a pricing objection; it’s more of an authority blocker. Your prospect doesn’t have an approved budget to buy your product, no matter how much they would like to. Instead of trying to challenge the prospect and prove that it’s worth the money, go directly to the source. Work with the prospect to approach their supervisor, present the product to the decision-maker, and get a budget approved. Then you can talk dollars, and negotiate with the prospect on the price.

 

In the world of sales, objections are always obstacles that must be overcome. Learn to spot the difference between a real concern and a stubborn or uncooperative sales objection, and you’ll be able to close deals with ease.

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