BY ALYSSA GREGORY
Updated November 20, 2019
Many small business owners don’t have a dedicated sales team and take on the role of sales themselves. This may work out well if the small business owner has a sales background, but what if he has not been trained in sales, and doesn’t have a solid grasp on the finer points of selling?
In this case, the small business owner must take time to learn the skill and create a sales plan to guide the process. Often the key is understanding what is stopping a potential client from making a decision in your favor. Once you know why he is hesitating, you can reply directly to that specific objection. You may hear these sales objections during the selling process; learn how you can overcome each one.
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Example: “Your services cost too much. I can get the ‘same’ service from someone cheaper.”
If a client already has the lowest price they believe they can get, you need to help them justify the difference in cost. One of the key ideas here is to know your competition. Know the reliability rates and review the statistics for the competition’s services to help you establish superiority.
Make sure you focus on the unique value of your products and services that the client won’t be able to get from any other provider.
If your competitor’s services or product are good enough you can’t overcome objections with value, then there needs to be some analysis conducted to work on the quality of the products or services.
Example: “I’m okay with the way things work right now.”
When complacency is the culprit, you can try to use just a touch of fear to get the client to see why he needs to start thinking about making changes. Share some research about the competition and some of the changes they have made in their businesses.
There is often nothing like a look at what the competition is doing that someone isn’t to motivate action.
Fear of Change
Example: “We’ve been doing things this way for 15 years. Too much can go wrong.”
Often related to complacency, a fear of change can make the decision-making process a difficult one for many business owners. One way to overcome this objection is to demonstrate past examples of change and how it was positive.
For example, show the client a list of different ways the industry has changed over the past 10 to 15 years, and how the potential customer can adapt to those changes. This can help them be less fearful and more confident about changing things up.
Cost is a big driver against change. Most of the time resistance to change has to do with the costs of changing the methods or equipment in their workplace. Work with the prospect to find ways to make it less of a concern by demonstrating ways to mitigate or cut the costs.
Example: “It seems like you know what you’re doing, but how do I know you really have the necessary experience to do this?”
Trust is something that takes time to build, so if it is a hurdle for your potential client, you need to be honest and consistent across the board to overcome the objection.
Be forthcoming with information and share testimonials, case studies and references that will take away some of the uncertainty and give the client confidence in your ability to get the job done.
Family Connections and Promises
Example: “I told my brother’s friend’s wife I’d use her company for my next project.”
Sometimes there’s not much you can do to usurp a family connection, but you can get yourself in the position to be the next in line. If this is an objection you’re hearing from a potential client, think a few steps ahead and show the client how your services are better than the family connection. If you can demonstrate that you are saving them both money, you may convince them to switch.
Example: “I need to run this by my wife/business partner/mentor before I do anything else.”
This can often be a positive outcome, assuming the client is truly consulting with others and not just using it as an excuse. One way to make sure it doesn’t end up as a deal-ending sales objection is to attempt to stay in the process.
Try suggesting a joint sales meeting between the client and their counterparts in order to answer any questions and help facilitate the decision.
Example: “It’s too much for me to take on right now; I’m too busy; Call me again in six months.”
If time management or lack of time is an issue for the client right now, chances are it will still be an issue in six months or a year. To overcome this objection, you need to make the decision to hire you an easy one.
See if you can find out what is keeping the client so busy. It sounds as if the client doesn’t have time to make decisions. You may have identified a need. Demonstrate how your services can create more time for them. If this is simply a case of disinterest, schedule a call for three months from that day.
Knowledge is the Power of Sales
Keep in mind that your potential clients may have more than one objection so it’s important to be able to identify each one as you see it occur. Once you know what is stopping the sales process, you can arm yourself with the right arguments that will tip the scale in your favor.
If you know your market and your prospects, you stand a better chance of making sales with them. The key concept behind all these methods is knowledge. If you have done your research and homework and studied the competition, you will be able to overcome all of a prospect’s objections. Their indifference and fears will be overcome and satisfied. It’s time to close on the client.