5 Common Sales Lead Objections & How to Handle Them
When you reach out to a sales lead the unfortunate thing that you need to remember is that not everyone is going to end up converting, or at least not everyone you reach out to on the first occasion anyway.
Whether you’re reaching out to a prospect based on some research or you’ve gone down the cold-calling route, your prospect might be interested in your product or service but there might be a number of reasons why you’re not going to be able to close during this first engagement. This is going to be a natural disappointment for anyone working in prospecting, sales or marketing; and sales leads vary in temperature by their very nature, but a “not today, sorry” response doesn’t have to be the end of the matter.
We’re not suggesting that you hound someone until they give in like a child badgering a parent to buy them a new toy or a bag of sweets just to silence them for an hour - far from it - but we are suggesting that you use all of your sales skills and experience to learn how to handle objections from your sales leads so that you can keep the conversation going and perhaps close the deal in a few days, weeks or even months when the timing is right or when the budget allows.
The nature of sales is that you are going to face setbacks and challenges along the way, and the dream of picking up the phone and making a sale on your first interaction and your sales leads might come back with a weird and (not so) wonderful collection of reasons, explanations and excuses why they can't sign up today but might in the future.
However, infuriating this may be, it's up to you to learn how to respond to these knock backs so, with this in mind, here are five of the most common objections that salespeople are likely to encounter from sales leads, and some advice on how to handle them to keep the lead alive.
I don't have time today
When you reach out to a prospect for the first time there is no meeting in the diary, and that means you always risk catching them at a bad moment. They might have a lot of work on, they might be in a foul mood or they might be on their way to another meeting - whatever the situation, it’s common to be pushed back.
The key to overcoming this objection to your sales call is to try and arrange a more suitable time with the person so you can keep the conversation going and get a time in the calendar that works for you both. You can then rest assured that you’ve got their attention for a set period of time, and you can go away and do more research into the company or individual that enables you to create a working relationship and tailored sales strategy for this particular prospect.
I don't have the budget
Another very common objection relates to budget, or a lack of. People are more than willing to sign up for a free trial but when it comes to parting with cash for a subscription or long-term investment they are less willing to sign on the dotted line. A lack of budget is a genuine, and valid, reason to object to any sales advances but that doesn’t have to be the end of the matter, either.
Instead of simply watching your prospect escape from your pipeline, listen to what they’re saying in relation to their (lack of) budget, and work out what you might be able to do - within reason - to try and close a deal based on what they might be willing to spend. When you offer a range of packages it might be best to let your prospect come out first in relation to what money they have available prior to pitching your highest package and losing them, as you might be able to offer the mid or lower range packages that are better suited.
Small businesses are often strapped for cash but willing to spend in order to grow: within reason. Similarly, larger businesses often have greater budgets available but are less likely to spend on the top packages initially. So you might have an opportunity to get them onboard, show them how great your service is and then upgrade them in a few months’ time.
I'm not the right person to speak to
Getting in touch with a prospect is just the first step in the process sometimes, as the details for a lot of people are kept hidden by business owners to prevent sales calls and enable them to focus on the job they’re paid to do. When you get through to someone it’s important to try and build a relationship, even if they’re not the right person to speak to, so that they’re more inclined to pass you on to the correct person rather than simply fobbing you off.
If you do find yourself speaking to someone and get the feeling that they're not a decision maker or able to sign-off on the investment, don't go too deep into the detail or a demonstration as you'll find you're just wasting your time - and may end up doing it all again for someone who does have the power, such as a department head or manager, in a few days or weeks time.
I don't know enough about this
The first engagement with a prospect is often the first engagement they might have had with your business and what you have to offer. As such it’s not unusual for them to want to go away and consider their options for a while, perhaps doing their own research, before speaking again.
When this happens it’s always best to try and arrange another meeting where you can spend some time discussing your proposition, while you can also help your case by sending over some key details about your company and what you have to offer - even case studies from similar companies - that will enable your prospect to understand more about what you do, how you do it and how it might benefit them.
I don't know why the business would need this
Finally, there are people who will turn around and ask why they need your service. After all, they’ve lasted this long without it, how will your product or service change their way of working or living?
This is where your training and experience comes in handy as you can promote your brand and products, while your ability to listen and understand will also be beneficial so that you can respond by explaining how what you have to offer fills a gap in their current offering or solves a problem that they just told you about.
It might have been the case that they didn’t realise such a service was available, or that they could do similar jobs in-house manually, when in actual fact you can save them time and effort by automating a process that delivers greater results.
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