Effective techniques to use when facing objections
According to Mark Roberge*, when confronted with objections, there are two key best practices to apply:
1) Articulate value early and concisely
You can counteract many objections by simply respecting your prospect’s time and explaining what you want early in your conversation. Every email, voicemail, phone and face-to-face interaction should lead with an assurance that you won’t take much time, followed by a short (30 seconds or less) customised value proposition.
2) Don’t sell your product or service, sell the next step
It doesn’t matter if your prospects aren’t ready for a buying conversation yet. How could they be? It’s possible that they’ve only just learned about you and your product or service. Don’t get into a features/benefits conversation at this stage. If they ask a question, offer to show them the answer in your first meeting.
THE TOP 5 PROSPECTING OBJECTIONS
Here are the five most common objections you will face, along with some very simple approaches to responding to them.
1. “Just send me some information”
There are a few potential responses to this one, depending on what stage your call is in:
- Before you’ve delivered the value proposition: “Can we take 30 seconds now for me to explain what we do, and you can then decide if it’s worth a meeting?”
- Before qualification: “Can I ask you a couple questions now to better understand how we might help?”
- After qualification: “Typically, people find it more valuable to see how this works in a live demonstration.”
2. “We already work with Competitor X”
“At this point, we aren’t asking you to change anything. A number of our clients used, or still use, Competitor X. We’d just like the opportunity to show you how we are different and how we have provided additional value to our clients.”
3. “Call me back in three months’ time”
“of course – if this really bad timing, I’m happy to do that. However, I’d still like to set up a brief meeting to show you what we are doing and how we might help you.”
4. “We don’t have budget for this”
“That’s fine. We don’t expect you to buy anything right now. We’d just like the opportunity to share with you what we are doing and see if it’s valuable to your company.”
5. Do you do X,Y and Z?
“I’m glad you asked that. I believe it will be helpful to set up a meeting where we can answer this question and others with a few specialists.”
WHEN NO MEANS NO
Having said all this, at a certain point, no means no. The responses to the common objections above give you a way to pierce through the reactionary objections prospects give without thinking. However,if you have said your piece and the prospect still objects, let it go. Nobody is going to buy against their will.
Get as clear as you can on the objection and try to determine what your prospect is really concerned about, but don’t push past the prospect’s point of comfort.Rule of thumb: if the prospect says an objection twice, it’s real. No means no.
* Mark Roberge is an Advisor to HubSpot and former Chief Revenue Officer of HubSpot’s Sales Division. He is also a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the Harvard Business School.