You’re half-way through your sales presentation when all of a sudden the client says: “No. Stop. I’ve heard enough.”
It’s like a punch in the gut after all the work you’ve done.
This moment happens to every salesperson at some point. A sales objection is a pivotal moment in the conversation, and you control which path you take.
Do you accept the no? Or do you use your abilities to push back on the sales objection and still go for the sale?
If every salesperson accepted “no” at face value, there would be few folks left in the profession. Successful salespeople know how to carefully overcome objections and provide reasons why the client should reconsider.
So picture yourself in the sales conversation. The client presents their objection.
Now, take a deep breath, collect yourself, and be prepared with ways to overcome the most common objections we’ve outlined below. And remember: be genuine and conversational.
Objection 1: We don’t need this product.
It is possible the customer doesn’t need the product you just pitched. However, it’s far more likely this objection is pointing to other concerns. The client agreed to listen to your pitch, so there must have been some interest.
Dig a little deeper to overcome this objection. Find out why it doesn’t feel like the right fit. There’s no harm in pushing for more information. If you didn’t push, the deal would be dead in the water. So ask questions. You might uncover a misconception or they might become more honest with additional probing.
Use anecdotal evidence to help change their minds. Tell them about how Client X of yours (or your colleague) also thought they didn’t need this product, but they were so happy they gave it a shot. Cite the benefits, be specific, and come prepared with case studies to back up your claims. Prove how valuable your product is and always bring it back to the patient. The patient is key, and their care should be your focus.
Objection 2: We already have X product from Y company.
Switching vendors is a lot of work. Your job here is to help the client see why you’re the better choice.
Know your competition here. Be prepared to speak knowledgeably about how your product compares to similar ones in the market. Clients will likely have specific questions about capabilities and features and how it compares to other companies. Be prepared to answer their questions or promise to get them answers if you don’t know in the moment.
Talk about why working with you and your company is going to be a better fit and experience for them. Be ready to talk about any ways you can save them money via price-matching or current incentives, if available.
Don’t make yourself sound too good to be true, but connect the dots with the client to help them realize the big picture: making the switch is worth the effort here.
Objection 3: I’m not the decision-maker here, but I’ll pass along your information.
Politely translated: I’m not interested, and I hope you’ll forget my email. Don’t let yourself become lost in a pile of old business cards sitting on this person’s desk — or worse, in their trash can. Relying on someone to pass along your contact information can lead to a stale deal very quickly.
Offer to be helpful to your contact. Ask who needs to be involved in this conversation to move forward and offer to include that additional person, or people, in your follow-up materials.
Be human. Acknowledge you understand how much they already have on their plate and how busy they are. Position yourself as a thought-partner and a resource who is here to make their jobs easier and less stressful.
While talking about the decision-maker, set up a follow-up appointment with that person. If it’s on the books, it’s far more likely to happen. Plus, by getting the decision-maker’s contact information, you’ll be able to follow up in the event that your client goes silent on you.
Objection 4: Maybe. We’ll get back to you.
Maybe is the worst response ever to a salesperson. It’s like a limp handshake at a formal dinner party. Maybe leads to inflated pipelines and Moby-Dick adventures for deals that rarely come to fruition. Don’t settle for a maybe. Although it seems counter-intuitive, a no is better than a maybe, as it gives you a clear path forward.
Be direct here — ask what is causing the hesitation. Maybe is always fueled by something specific. Find the heart of the maybe and address it head-on, so you can overcome it. Don’t leave the appointment with maybe hanging in the air. Either schedule a follow-up meeting or set the expectation for when you will follow up, so you stay on their radar.
Objection 5: No. Plain and simple.
No sounds pretty final, right? Nothing more to talk about. Well, not exactly. If someone tells you no, they’re actually giving you an opportunity to play in “nothing-to-lose” land. You want to stay professional, as you’re still representing your company, but take this chance to be bolder and dig a little deeper.
Counter back with: why not? Find out why you didn’t get the sale at this moment. See if there’s a way for you to save the sale by addressing their real concern, which might lead back to timing or budgeting issues — both of which you can confidently address.
If it’s still a no, but you haven’t lost their interest, see if you can set up a time in the future to check back in. If they are open to keeping the relationship open to grow, you could win them over in the future. If they are not open to meeting again in a few weeks/months, you won’t waste your time on a dead-end sale and can focus your energy on potential clients.
It is possible you won’t close this specific deal if the client landed on a hard no, but use it as a learning opportunity. Get as much detail as you can and use it to improve your sales process and close the next big deal.
Want to avoid sales objections? Structure your next sales conversation to proactively address potential objections before they pop up.