I got lucky because I never gave up the search. Are you quitting too soon? Or are you willing to pursue luck with a vengeance?
Half the battle of sales is persistence, but it’s a little trickier than steamrolling through a sales pitch until you hear the dreaded click of someone hanging up. Fortunately, I have good news: sales leads frequently respond in one of only a handful of ways, so that you can prepare yourself ahead of time.
If you really want to see a real pro at work, check out Shark Tank season four episode three when Liz Lovely Cookies pitched to the sharks. That guy knew how to handle any objection, and was a sales machine. To help you step up your sales skills and not take “no” for an answer, today we’re going to take a look at the best ways to deal with some of the most common objections.
Request for More Information
Sometimes leads don’t want to outright say “No,” and instead simply ask for you to send them more information. This is a weasel y strategy by the prospective customer to let you down gently, the dating equivalent of “I’ll call you.” Basically, they’re trying to be non-committal and brush you off.
If the lead asked this during the beginning of your pitch, then you need to proceed with your value proposition.
More frequently, however, a lead will give you this response at the end of your pitch, but you can’t give up yet. Instead, respond with something along the lines of, “It’s easier to see the value of this product in a demo. Can we meet at X time?” After all, I’m from the show-me state, and seeing is believing.
We Can’t Afford It Right Now
Money…it’s the core reason most organizations exist in the first place, and it can be a pain point for customers, especially if you’re customers are businesses with tight budgets. Again, you can’t take their word for it at face value. Instead, you need to put on your investigator’s hat and adopt the role of Sherlock Holmes.
First of all, they could be outright lying to you, in which case you should remain persistent. Secondly, they may mean they can pay for the product or service in full at the present, which could easily be remedied with financing options. If they still say no, respond with something like, “We don’t expect for you to commit to making a purchase today. When is the best time for a follow-up?”
We Already Have a Service for That, or We Already Do Business with Your Competitor
If they’re already doing business with one of your competitors, your lead clearly has a strong need for your product or service. Now it’s your job, through your value proposition, to show your future customer how you are special, unique, and offer superior value compared to your competitor. If you can’t show them how and why you’re better, they’re not going to go through the hassle of buying your product or service. After all, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Respond with something to the effect of, “I’m not suggesting that you make any changes right now, but I did want to show you how we can make your life easier and how the value of our product is superior.” Then, either continue with your pitch or schedule a follow-up.
Also, note that you don’t want to ask permission, because it gives the customer another easy opportunity to say “no.” Instead of asking, “Can we schedule a follow-up,” either ask them when a good time for a follow-up is or be more assertive and suggest the exact date and time to schedule on. For instance, say, “Let’s schedule a follow-up on [date:time].
Check Back with Me Later
The “check back with me later” excuse is all too common, and is usually employed by a lead that wants to passively back out of the sales pitch. But as a persistent salesperson, it’s your job to (respectfully) pursue their business. Instead of giving up and going home, try to set up a meeting or demonstration to save the potential client’s future time.
For instance, in response, you could say something like, “I would be happy to check back in the future. However, to potentially save your time, I’d like to schedule a short meeting to show you how my product/service will improve your business. If, after you see it, you’re still not interested, I won’t have to bother you in the future. What time works best for you?”
Accepting Defeat Gracefully
Sometimes a lead simply either doesn’t want or need your product or service. Given the sheer number of leads sales representatives contact, it’s only expected that not everyone needs what you’re selling. Some salespeople work with the “never retreat” mindset, but at a certain point, repeatedly contacting someone could come off as harassment.
But how far is too far, and how far is not far enough? I would encourage salespeople to be persistent only up until the point they have had a chance to explain their value proposition. If a lead says they’re not interested right off the bat, pursue the sale. If, on the other hand, you have already explained how your product or service works and how it will be an asset to the lead and they still refuse, accept defeat gracefully.
Not all sales are generated through conversations. Many are generated online through digital marketing endeavors such as creating an automated sales funnel and reaching out to leads multiple times with email marketing. If you don’t have a strong digital presence on social media or an active website with fresh content, you’re passing up on loads of leads that would otherwise help grow your bottom line.
Instead of passing up online marketing opportunities because you don’t have the time or because you don’t know how, reach out to a qualified digital marketing professional today. The future growth of your business depends on it.