Objection handling is one of the key skills every salesperson must possess, and as a result, much has been written about it. There are many methods, methodologies, frameworks, and scripts out there which all purport to be the best way to handle objections, and much money has been made selling them. Many of them (less so the scripts, more so the frameworks and methodologies) are quite useful, and will guide you in the right direction. Throughout all of these there is a common theme, which I'd like to cover here: the simple question "why?"
This is the most common objection you hear, and for some reason, most people have issues dealing with it. Often, when the client says the price is too high, people react with “oh well, next time” and leave it at that, or try to offer them a discount to entice them to buy. In my early days in sales, I remember doing the same. Companies these days are all price sensitive, but that doesn’t stop top salespeople overachieving on their numbers.
We’ve all had prospecting conversations we wish had gone differently. Perhaps the prospect shut you down, perhaps they pushed you away, or perhaps they had some kind of issues with the product. Prospects with many objections are often seen as “difficult”, and this article could just as easily be titled “how to deal with difficult prospects.”
In my opinion, getting someone to commit their time is one of the hardest things you need to do. It’s very common to hear “I don’t have the time to do this right now” or “This is too much right now, call me back in 6 months.” While this may be a genuine concern, in most cases it’s simply a result of being either overwhelmed or realizing that a project may take longer than they bargained for.
I hear salespeople acquiesce, and set up an appointment for 6 months down the line. This is sometimes necessary, and I used to do it regularly as well. But then I had a perceptual shift: if they just told me all the problems they’re having, and they have a genuine need for the product I’m offering, shouldn’t they want to solve that need now? After all, it’s a problem that’s unlikely to just disappear!
Let’s talk about discounting. I bet you have a discount structure lying around somewhere, possibly even on the wall near your desk or your cube. It tells you exactly when you can discount, and by how much. Ignore it for a second, and let me tell you when you should discount: Never.