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How to Respond to 12 Common Client Objections

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Encountering client objections is part of the sales process. They aren’t obstacles needing to be flattened. They are issues or concerns needing to be addressed. These examples should all sound familiar. A refresher can help.

Related: 9 Phrases to Get Prospects Talking

1. It’s not the right time.

It’s a way of saying “I don’t want to buy now.” They might be uneasy about the economy or the market. They are uncertain.

Don’t say: What are you waiting for? When will be the right time? Will it ever come?

Instead: Try drawing them out. What are their concerns? Many people focus on the negatives. There are positives that get overlooked. Put them on the table. Show how the positives tie into your recommendations. Advisors are meant to advise. You are suggesting a course of action when they are hesitant to act on their own.

2. Let me think about it.

It’s another way of saying “I don’t want to buy now.” They are seeking to push the decision off. There could be lots of reasons.

Don’t say: That’s understandable. I’m going to leave the room for a moment. (You return.) OK, you’ve had a chance to think about it. Glad we got that out of the way.

Instead: Based on your situation, I’m thinking this is the right course of action for you. (You briefly review reasons.) It sounds like I’m missing something. Tell me about it.

3. I don’t have any money.

They didn’t opt out earlier or understand your minimums. Now they’ve come this far and can’t commit. It’s embarrassing for them.

Don’t say: Why didn’t you tell me sooner? You’ve wasted my time and yours.

Instead: I understand. It’s highly unlikely someone has fresh cash on hand, just waiting to hear from me. Most people have certain dates or events when funds become available. It might be Treasury bills maturing or an annual bonus. What are your dates? We can arrange to talk around that time.

4. I need to speak with my spouse.

They might be buying time. Investing is often a joint decision. There’s a potential problem: Can they explain your proposal in the way as you presented it?

Don’t say: No problem. (Pick up phone, put on speaker.) We’ll call now. What’s the number?

Instead: That makes good sense. I would like to have the opportunity to meet with both of you, so I can understand your situation and present my proposal personally. Can you both come back tomorrow? Can we meet at your place?

5. I already have an advisor.

They see the role as standardized. They have one barber. One auto mechanic. One accountant. They don’t see the need for more.

Don’t say: But they aren’t as good as me. Ditch them. You are moving into the big leagues now.

Instead: Successful people often have multiple advisory relationships. You’re obviously successful. How many do you have? Another approach is “How many doctors do you have?”

6. I’m waiting until after the election.

Some people are hesitant to act in times of uncertainty. Each camp might think the stock market will go off a cliff if the other side wins.

Don’t say: Don’t tell me you’re one of those people who wants the other guy to win. (This could start an argument.)

Instead: Think beyond the election. Look towards trends. We are in a low interest rate environment. There has been an upsurge in businesses selling online. (Name a few others.) These are trends that will likely continue.

7. Call me after the new year.

They might be saying: “I don’t want to focus on this right now.” The reason might be “That’s when my bonus is paid.”

Don’t say: I need your business now. I have numbers to hit before year end.

Instead: Here’s why I think we should be in position before New Year’s Day. The stock market’s performance is measured year to date. You want to measure your performance versus a relevant standard. Although investing shouldn’t be compared to gambling, in this case it’s like a horse race with all the horses at the starting gate.

8. You’re new at this.

They are concerned about your experience. They worry you will be practicing with their money.

Don’t say: You are a new investor. We will learn together. You’ll just be the one that puts up the money. How about that?

Instead: You are investing with my firm. I’m part of a team. We have (number) clients, and (number) assets under management. Our firm has award-winning research. (Name a few awards.) My job is to bring the resources of the firm into your living room.

9. The stock market is too high.

They are concerned that the moment they invest, the market will plunge off a cliff. News commentators will mark the day as the highest point the index ever reached. They will lose money.<

Don’t say: Too high compared to what? This is a new economy! The market is headed to the moon.

Instead: I understand your concern. Nothing keeps going up forever. The stock market is cyclical. There are a lot of positive underlying fundamentals. I suggest we at least get started. We have a strategy called dollar cost averaging … .

10. The stock market is too low.

When the news is bad, news reports tend to make it worse. There are times when it looks like there’s no place left to hide except cash. That’s where your prospect wants to stay.

Don’t say: No one rings a bell at the bottom. If we take a few lumps, we take a few lumps. It’s the way it works.

Instead: Many people view the stock market as one entity, but the indexes are composed of sectors. They don’t all move at the same rate. Some do well as money moves in that direction, but that can be overlooked when the overall number is down. What we are trying to do is determine what sectors would do better going forward and get in there.

11. I’m waiting for interest rates to go up.

They have been at historic lows for a long time. There are cycles. The prospect is hoping there will be a gradual climb back to the rates they remember.

Don’t say: You might be waiting for a very long time. How old are you?

Instead: You are right. Interest rates often move in cycles. The length of cycles varies. We are in a low interest rate environment at the moment. What’s your money earning now? How long do you think you will need to wait before you see a rate you like? Your money should be working for you in the meantime. Here’s the thinking behind my proposal … .

12. You are too expensive.

People can trade almost for free online. Robo-advisors have low fees. You are providing advice. Unfortunately, they are not realizing advice has value.

Don’t say: Compared to what? Investing on your own? You obviously aren’t any good at that, otherwise we wouldn’t be talking.

Instead: We are engaging in financial planning, a process where the purchase of the actual investments is only a portion of the process. It’s important to know where you want to go and have a realistic plan to get there. Working together as a team and advising you is how I add value. When you think of the total amount of assets I’m advising on (including 401(k), etc.), you will see that the fee, spread out across that base, is a relatively low percentage.

Objections are often a request for more clarification. It’s important to understand the underlying concern. You want your client to succeed. You deserve to be paid, because your advice has value.

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