From a buyer’s point of view, a sales objection is a way to communicate to a seller a reason why they cannot buy from them. For a consultative seller, objections are hurdles that can occur at any point in the sales process and must be overcome.
Sales objections are not always a definite “no;” often they are more of a delay tactic or a signal that the buyer is just too busy at the moment to fully consider your proposal. It becomes the salesperson’s job to understand what is going on and to think of the soft “no” as an opportunity to qualify the prospect and, if warranted, take the next step.
Top Sellers Are Adept at Handling Sales Objections
The most successful salespeople are not only effective at overcoming different types of customer objectives, but they are skilled at not creating customer objections in the first place. They prepare for sales calls, set and manage buyer expectations, flex to customer priorities, and show tact in different situations. They receive targeted business sales training and seek to continuously improve based upon customer feedback, win/loss reviews, and manager sales coaching.
Different Types of Sales Objections
Of course, different types of sales objections require different approaches. The best sellers have prepared a strategy to handle each situation in a way that fits with the prospect and where they are in the buying process. We have found that most sales objections fall into four overall categories:
- Lack of urgency
- Lack of relevance
- Lack of trust
- Lack of resources
This Year’s Top Sales Objection
Here are some suggestions on how to counter the year’s top sales objection: “Call me back when the pandemic is over, and things settle down.”
Let’s assume the target buyer really does not want you to call back and is simply being polite. It is OK to ask directly if that is the case. Learning their true feelings about a call-back could save you and your prospect time.
If the buyer really wants you to call back, you should be ready to secure a date and time for the call. “How does 10 a.m. Thursday, January 7th, work for you?”
The goal of your next set of sales questions should be to further qualify the prospect and test how likely they are to be interested when you return the call in 2021. Follow up with questions that measure their interest, such as, “Do you anticipate you will be addressing this project as a priority for the coming year?” Or “Is there an aspect of the problem you face that I should be prepared to discuss?” Or “What can I do in the meantime to sharpen the focus on possible solutions and set you up for success?”
The Bottom Line
The most successful sellers know when a buyer is truly in the market for their products or services and they know when to pursue and when to gracefully back off. It can be an asset to stay in contact with a qualified buyer who is not quite ready to buy; but it is in no one’s best interest to hound an unqualified buyer. Learn the difference, tailor your responses, and be smart about handling the most common sales objections.
To learn how to better qualify sales prospects and increase win rates, download 30 Effective Sales Questions More Important than Budget