You're so close to that "yes" you can almost taste it. And then boom, they drop the most dreaded bomb. "But…" "Well…" "Um…"
Objections. The most common roadblock to closing a deal.
But usually, the reason why deals fall through is not due to the objection itself. They fall through because of how you handled it.
In the past we've covered prospect research, running effective outbound sales campaigns, and given you sales email templates for outreach, but what about when the deal gets going? How can you move deals forward and overcome objections?
The good news: plenty of other salespeople have faced similar objections to you. So instead of trying to come up with a way to overcome it by yourself, you can reference one of the templates below. They are based on approaches that have worked to get over those "Maybe" and "But…" and "Only if…" curveballs.
But first, let's go over steps you can take during the initial sales process to minimize customer objections down the road - because the easiest objections to overcome are the ones that your prospects don't raise in the first place!
This one seems obvious, but often the issue isn't that salespeople don't qualify their prospects at all. It's that they skip one or two qualifying criteria, proceed with the sale and end up finding out midway that the prospect isn't a good match. Remember, qualifying prospects is not just about saving your time. It's also about protecting your ego from avoidable rejections.
Key qualifying criteria include:
To avoid objections later on in the sales process, amply demonstrate your product value first.
During the initial sales process, you should be also asking your prospects questions and doing your own research to really understand their goals, needs and how they make money.
This lets you frame every single one of your product features in terms of how you can deliver them at least 2x ROI for using your product. The more your prospect understands and values your product, the less likely they are to object to its price later, one of the most common sales objections.
Let's say that you sell an email tracking tool.
If your prospect says that their goal is tracking their sales performance, you might highlight:
We provide detailed reports and charts on open rates, click rates, attachment open rates and close rates for all emails and email chains so you can see exactly:
a) which salespeople are sending the highest performing emails
b) how many emails it takes from initial contact to deal closed
c) what is the average open and click rate per each type of sales email, sent at which time of day
If their goal is optimizing their sales performance, you might highlight:
We provide you detailed analytics on open rates, click rates, attachment open rates and close rates so you can see exactly:
a) The best performing subject lines and email CTAs for different stages of the sales process
b) Save your best-performing emails as templates the whole team can use
c) Test different email versions (subject line and body) see which one gets a better response
See how you're talking about the exact same tool but highlighting its different features or different uses of its features depending on your prospect's goals? That's how you fit your solution to your prospect's problem.
Now that we've done what we can to avoid as many sales objections as possible, let's get to the templates.
If the prospect raises an objection, the first step is to make sure that your prospect actually likes your product. Otherwise, you may just be running in circles trying to address their objections when they are just smokescreens for "I don't like this product" or "I don't understand the value of your product".
So ask your prospect:
If they say they like your product and want to work with you, review the templates below to see how best to tackle some of the most common objections. If they raise issues with your product features or the value they believe they'll get from using your product, listen to what they say.
The issue could either be that:
a) you didn't qualify them well enough and they're not a good match for your product, OR
b) you haven't educated them enough about your product, how it could solve their problems or how they could benefit from it
One of the most common objections is over price. Do not offer discounts right away or bend over backwards to accommodate your prospects. This only creates the impression that you're easy (aka open to further discounts) or your product isn't worth the initial quoted price.
Instead, offer to remove specific product or service features your prospect doesn't need as much or can do themselves to bring the price down.
(1) Sympathize with their budget concerns.
(2) Offer to remove an aspect of your product or service to bring down the price.
(3) Restate the main goal your product helps the prospect achieve.
When you're negotiating a large contract, it's more effective to lay out several possibilities about how you can bring the price closer to your prospect's numbers. Get creative about what product or service features you can take out of their package to make something work.
(1) Show them you're willing to work with them but do not offer any dollar value discounts.
(2) Brainstorm 3 options where you decrease the features or services you provide or ask the prospect to do something to lower the cost.
(3) If you run a service, you can make a certain % of your final price contingent upon performance targets.
(4) ‘Let me know' is a low-pressure way to ask your prospect for their thoughts on your options.
Sometimes when you email a company, they'll give some variation of "Thanks for the info. I'll keep your info on file."
As you've probably noticed throughout your sales career, very few prospects take the initiative to get back to you.
Instead of letting your ‘info on file' prospects go, reply with:
This creates an expectation in their mind that you'll contact them at some point in the near future so they are more likely to open your email or answer your call then.
In the meantime, subscribe to news from their industry and track their competitors so you can either:
a) use a new industry development as your reason to reconnect when you do in a few months, OR
b) use one of their competitor moves as your reason to reconnect
Unless your prospect really doesn't like, can't afford or doesn't need your product or service, an objection is really just a test.
Does this company understand and listen to my needs?
How does it feel to negotiate and work with this company?
Is their product really worth what they say it is?
So with the right approach and words, you don't just overcome sales objections. You also show prospects that not only is your product worth the money, but the team behind it is a partner they can really work with to get the maximum value out of the product.
Sapph Li runs Art of Emails where she shares free proven sales email templates. Don't guess what to say - reference emails other salespeople have sent that successfully moved the sale forward.