How to Overcome Common Objections from Prospects


Sales professionals face many challenges, but perhaps the most daunting is how to handle the objections of prospects. Stumbling blocks can be encountered at any stage of the process–from the gatekeeper on the initial cold-call, or much later, after a proposal has been submitted and presented. Here are a few of the most common objections, and how to deal with them:

The gatekeeper, for example, might inform you that “We’re happy with our current provider,” or “We’re not looking right now.” You could respond by informing the gatekeeper that you are working with several other companies in her industry, and you stopped by to introduce yourself so that, when the time comes, you will be an option for her company to consider. The point is to establish your credibility as a resource with a track record in the industry.

It is also a good idea to do your due diligence before you even walk through the door. Virtually every company has a website where you can discover the names of owners, general managers, and decision-makers. You will likely fare better asking for an individual by name than you would asking for “the person in charge of” this or that.

What if the prospect informs you that she has heard negative things about your company or your products, or that her company has had a bad experience with yours in the past? Maintain your composure, and don’t be defensive. You can differentiate yourself by smiling, listening, and being empathetic. Honesty and transparency will serve you well. More than likely, the prospect merely wants to be heard, and wants you to acknowledge the facts. Nod politely and concede, “You’re absolutely right about that. We have had that complaint, but now let me tell you how we’ve rectified the problem.”

The most common objection, of course, is that the price of your product or service is too high. It may be necessary, on occasion, to simply acknowledge that your company is not a good fit for the prospect. But usually, accommodations can be made. Certain services from the initial quote could be removed, for instance, or higher-end products could be swapped out for mid-range.

These are but a few of the obstacles sales professionals routinely encounter. It would be prudent to document and study a list of potential objections, and devise the appropriate language to counter them.

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