Posted Friday, February 4, 2005
When five years ago I was faced with having to sell my services for the first time I was terrified. I hated asking for the sale. I dreaded the part where my potential clients inevitably came up with objections why they couldn’t use my services.
I’ve since learned that lack of objections is not necessarily a good thing. In fact, I now welcome it when prospects tell me “why they can’t”.
Frankly, when a potential client shares his reasons why he or she hesitates to take advantage of my offer, to me it’s a sign of two things; one – they are interested in my services, and two – I’m getting closer to closing the deal.
But many professionals find “overcoming” objections and “closing” the deal stressful, unpleasant and “pushy”. If that’s you I want to share with you two lessons that helped me develop a different mindset around this.
First, a “no” doesn’t always mean “no”. Mostly it simply “not now” or “I don’t have enough information to say yes.”
Second, you can’t “overcome” your prospect’s objections – but you can give them information and tools that allow them to make a new decision.
If you too experience anxiety around “closing sales” here are my favorite responses to the top five objections your prospective clients are likely to raise.
OBJECTION #1: I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT
--> "I don't blame you. Hiring a can be a big decision. Can you share with me what specific aspect of my services you are concerned about?”
--> “Yes, I can see how this can be a big decision. You know I found that typically my clients are initially concerned with one of the three things: is the problem important enough to solve it now, is this the right solution for your situation, can you afford the solution? Which one of those concerns you the most?”
--> “Hmmm... I see. Let me ask you… Let’s say we get started on this project – what are the downsides?”
OBJECTION #2: I HAVE TO TALK TO MY PARTNER ABOUT IT
--> ”Great. What kinds of questions do you think they might they ask?”
--> “Good idea. I always discuss decisions like this with my partner (or spouse). But let me ask you a question – what will you do when your partner doesn’t like the idea of us moving forward with this?"
OBJECTION #3: IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE
--> “Expensive comparing to what?”
--> “Yes, it’s a sold investment. I tell you what - I know this is only worthwhile if you produce solid results, right? What's the one result you would want to be absolutely sure we could produce in the next that would have you really happy you hired me? … Great- why don't we make this our top priority and get started right away?”
--> “Not really. How does this price compare to what it’s costing you to do nothing about this problem?”
--> “Frankly, that’s exactly why you need me.”
OBJECTION #4: I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT ON MY OWN
--> “Hmmmm…how long have you been dealing with this issue? If you haven’t solved it on your own so far what makes you think you can do it now?”
--> “Yes, I suppose you could. But let me ask you something – when was the last time you saw (heard) of a heart surgeon performing an open heart surgery on himself?
--> “With all the respect…I must disagree. If you thought you could solve this problem on your own we wouldn’t be talking right now. Tell me, how would things be different if you could rely on an unbiased opinion to give you a fresh perspective of this problem?”
OBJECTION #5: I DON'T HAVE THE TIME RIGHT NOW
--> “Yes, it will take some time to address this issue. How much more time per week could you devote to other, revenue-generating activities if you could eliminate dealing with this problem on ongoing bases?
--> “That’s funny; you just told me it takes you 10 hours a week to deal with this problem – wouldn’t it make sense to hire someone like myself and solve it so that you can use your time on more productive tasks?”
--> “Wow, if you are that busy and you are still not getting the results you want perhaps it would make sense to start the project by helping you better prioritize your activities and leverage your time more effectively?”
These are only a few examples of responses I found helpful in getting to a “yes” in negotiating a sale. Rather than trying to memorize those specific sentences learn the underlying concept.
On objection is a cover for a deeper concern. By voicing it your prospect gives you an opportunity to address it and provide information to eliminate it. So quit trying to prove your point and instead ask thought provoking questions. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the outcomes ;-)
(c) 2004 Adam M. Urbanski
About the Author
The Author, Adam Urbanski, a Marketing Mentor, helps Service Professionals and Small Business Owners attract more clients. For more free tutorial articles, hot how-to tips and a FREE 32-page marketing guide go to (http://www.themarketingmentors.com)