Selling doesn't come naturally to many small business owners, but that doesn't mean they can't do it effectively. Often the key is understanding what is stopping your potential client from making a decision in your favor. Once you know why he or she is hesitating, you can reply directly to that specific objection.
Here are seven common sales objections you may hear during the selling process, as well as some ideas on how you can overcome each one.
Example: "Your services cost too much. I can get the 'same' service from someone cheaper."
When the bottom line is the biggest hurdle for a client, you need to help him or her justify the cost. Try breaking down your total cost into smaller amounts that are attached to smaller services so the client can see why your price point is what it is. And make sure you focus on the unique value of your products and services that the client won't be able to get from any other provider.
Example: "I'm okay with the way things work right now."
When complacency is the culprit, you can try to use just a touch of fear to get the client to see why he or the needs to start thinking about the making changing. Share some research about the competition and some of the changes they have made in their businesses. There is often nothing like a look at everything your competitors are doing that you are not yet doing to move you to action.
3. Fear of Change
Example: "I don't want to change the way we've been doing things for 15 years. Too much can go wrong."
Often related to complacency, having a fear of change can make the decision-making process a difficult one for many business owners. One way to overcome this objection is to demonstrate past examples of change and how it was positive. For example, show the client a list of different ways the industry has changed over the past 10 to 15 years, and how the potential customer has adapted to those changes for the better. This can help him or her be less fearful and more confident about changing things up.
Example: "It seems like you know what you're doing, but how do I know you really have the necessary experience to do this?"
Trust is something that takes time to build, so if it is a hurdle for your potential client, you need to be honest and consistent across the board to overcome the objection. Be forthcoming with information and share testimonials, case studies and references that will take away some of the uncertainty and give the client confidence in your ability to get the job done.
5. Personal Politics
Example: "I told my brother's friend's wife I'd use her company for my next project."
Sometimes there's not much you can do to usurp a family connection, but you can get yourself in the position to be the next in line. If this is an objection you're hearing from a potential client, think a few steps ahead and show the client what you can do in phase two of the project or in an off-shoot that will likely come about from the work being awarded to a family member.
6. External Input
Example: "I need to run this by my wife/business partner/mentor before I do anything else."
This can often be a positive outcome, assuming the client is truly consulting with others and not just using it as an excuse. One way to make sure it doesn't end up as a deal-ending sales objection is to attempt to stay in the process. Try suggesting a joint sales meeting between the client and their counterparts in order to answer any questions and help facilitate the decision.
Example: "It's too much for me to take on right now; I'm too busy; Call me again in 6 months."
If time management or lack of time is an issue for the client right now, chances are it will still be an issue in six months or a year. To overcome this objection, you need to make the decision to hire you an easy one. Start by listing all of the benefits of working with you, outline the value of the products and services you offer, and explain how easy it is to get started. Make the decision to hire you a no-brainer and you will remove this objection.
Keep in mind that your potential clients may have more than one objection so it's important to be able to identify each one as you see it occur. Once you know what is stopping the sales process, you can arm yourself with the right arguments that will tip the scale in your favor.