Heard any of these objections lately?

  •  “No need.”
  • “All set.”
  • “Have no money.”
  • “Have no budget.”
  • “Happy with whom we are currently using.”
  • “Under contract.”
  • “My brother takes care of that for us.”
  • “No time to deal with that right now.”

If you’re in sales, you’ve heard some (or all) of these at one time or another. So, what’s a salesperson to do?

OK, let me start by stating what not to do. When a prospect offers a bit of pushback, don’t immediately back down and assume that you should simply offer to send them information and get the hell off the phone, out the door…whatever. Don’t immediately offer to be a second source or fallback supplier. And don’t immediately say that you’ll “check in” with them in another few months to see if their needs have changed.

All of these are far too passive and, unless you are fortunate enough to sustain your business with simply picking “low hanging fruit,” then I suggest you consider some of these tried-and-true approaches:

The “we’ve heard that before” approach

Three simple steps, but do them exquisitely and you’re golden:

  • John, I can appreciate that you think that way.
  • We’ve had other clients say the same thing when we initially started to speak with them.
  • What they found out, however, is that we have been able to effectively reduce/enhance/increase their __________ and the results have been wonderful. How are you currently doing _________?

This approach requires that you understand exactly how your product or service will equate to an improvement in the prospect’s situation and are prepared to restate this improvement in your rebuttal. You end the rebuttal with an open-ended question that allows for the dialogue to continue.

The maybe you didn’t hear me. (restate/rephrase benefits)” approach

  • I hear you. What if we could (restate core benefits specific to their stated needs)? Would that be of value to you?

Once again you are going to take this opportunity to restate benefits but make certain to draw a line between the improvements you are offering and the current situation they are in.

The “step down but not away” approach

  • That’s understandable. We’d welcome the opportunity to show you what we could do for you. How about if we work it this way: (provide alternative solution)?

No one likes change and inertia is the biggest obstacle that you will encounter. Make it easy for your prospect to buy. Be out front with them and explain you’d like the opportunity to show them what you can do (on a small project or assignment) and that you are not asking for them to change the way that they are currently doing things without first doing a small trial run.

The most important thing to remember is that you can’t simply ignore the prospect’s concerns and objections. They won’t go away by themselves, and bullying the prospect will not help. You must “earn the right” to win their business and in order to do so you must be respectful and address their issues.

And, of course, the very best strategy is to make sure that you are probing and addressing the prospect’s concerns at every step of the selling process. Doing a “gut check” and getting a read on what they are thinking/feeling is an effective way to make certain that you are not blindsided at the end of the sales dialogue.

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Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.