Within this video you will learn how to respond to the price objection “that costs too much”. Just how do you respond to a statement like that? View this video and find out!
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Why do objections occur?
It’s an age-old question that gets salespeople crying into their beer. There are, naturally, many reasons why they come up, but they tend to revolve around one main cause…that the value of change doesn’t match the status quo.
Here’s a different way to deal with objections.
When a prospect states an objection, avoid the natural response, which is to defend your position or to fight back. Instead, you can apply the form of conversation known as ‘agree and align’.
In linguistic terms, this is known as a ‘pattern-interrupt’. By raising the objection, the prospect is expecting you to come back with a question, a change to the offer, a fighting response, or something similar. This is a pattern that the prospect may be expecting.
By adopting the ‘agree and align’ conversation, you interrupt their pattern of thought. Here’s how it can work:
Prospect: I’m not sure that one company has all the answers in one product
You: You know, Mr Prospect, I agree with you. I don’t know if my company has all the answers either. So let’s talk about the specific answers you are looking for, and see if we have the solutions that would fit your specific situation.
This reduces the knee-jerk reaction that a lot of salespeople would follow, where they try to justify why they would be right for the customer, when really they are digging an early grave in the sale by trying to make the customer wrong that they even thought about the objection in the first place. It lays the foundation for further discussion and questioning.
Here’s another example:
Prospect: Your prices are really high. Can you do something about them?
You: Do you know, you’re right about them being high. We made a conscious decision to build quality into our products rather than skimp or try to save money by not being the best. Let’s take a look at your needs and see if we can adjust the proposal to match those needs.
What you’re doing here is agreeing with the prospect that the up-front price is higher than other offerings. Then you align the offering to the specific needs that the prospect has, so you can get their agreement. This is in direct opposition to what they might expect.
So there’s no need to fight with the prospect. Do the opposite of what they expect so that you can validate their position. When people feel heard and understood, they often respond by lowering their resistance and starting conversation. It helps you ask more questions, learn more about their company and discover what’s really important to them.
It also offers a different way of looking at objections and how to deal with them.
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It is incredible that three mere words from a total stranger will often create fear, frustration and feebleness in some of the most experienced sales people.
The extremely common response of “I’M JUST LOOKING,” from a prospective customer, actually causes some retail sales reps to walk away and WAIT for the prospect to convert him or herself into a buyer.
Is it an Objection?
However, if you think about it, the term, “I’m just looking,” is not an objection. It is also not a stall. Actually…
“I’m just looking,” is a literal and logical fact that is a clear and decisive step in the sales process.
This step in the sales process also is a good thing for the sales person.
The fact is that people do not LOOK at things they do not like or want. When was the last time you got up and went out to a new car dealership just to look at some cars when you had absolutely no intention of ever buying a new car? If you have went out and looked at some new cars, it is only because you had some desire to eventually purchase a new car.
Even the preverbal window-shopper still has a purchase in the back of their mind, even if that purchase, at the time, is not much more than a dream or a wish. When a prospect says that he or she is just looking, they are telling you that they are looking for something that they desire; something that they want or need.
The LOOKER is a BUYER
Instead of assuming that the “I’m just looking,” prospect is not a buyer; assume the opposite.
When a prospect says, “I’m just looking…” understand that
1. The prospect has the purchase of something in mind
2. The prospect may not yet have a set budget for the item or even believe they can afford it
3. The prospect may not yet have a time frame in mind or believe the purchase is even possible.
If you just look at those three points, you will note that they consist of the things you are supposed to do as a professional sales person; and that is to HELP the prospect.
Help the Prospect
Look at the above three points.
#1 – The prospect has the purchase of something in mind
Is it not your job to HELP people get what they want and need?
#2 – The prospect may not have yet a set budget for the item or even believe they can afford it
Is it not your job to HELP the prospect understand the VALUE of the item or service, and how they can afford it?
#3 – The prospect may not yet have a time frame in mind or believe the purchase is even possible
Is it not your job to HELP the buyer understand the urgency, and how and why they need to act quickly?
DO YOUR JOB — HELP
Sales Person: “Hello, Mrs Looker, how may I help you today?”
Prospect: “No, thank you. I’m just looking.”
Sales Person: “Hello, Mrs Looker and welcome to Heavenly Jewelers. Is there something specific you would like to LOOK at, or you or would you rather just LOOK around?”
(This instantly prevents a DEFENSIVE response from the prospect in regards to just looking.)
Prospect: “Ah, yeah, I’d like to just look around for a while.”
Sales Person: “Excellent! Thank you for choosing Heavenly Jewelers to look around. We encourage people to look as we have the finest collection of jewelry in the area to look at. Please look all you wish.”
(You have avoided defenses and stayed on the same side as the prospect. A little later…)
Sales Person: Is there any particular occasion you are looking around for? I mean, we have special collections with designs specific for certain occasions. Perhaps I can point you to one of those collections where you will have a lot more suitable items and you can take your time and look around there…”
Prospect: “Well…I was thinking of looking at something that I might use for a gift for my granddaughter’s graduation…just thinking about it though.”
Sales Person: “I understand. Take a look in this area…we have many gift items and you won’t waste your time looking at wedding rings and things for which you have no interest…”
Help the looker and remember that most lookers are buyers until a sales person insist that they are not.
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“Well, everything looks good. But I just have to ask my wife about this…”
“Yes, it is a great offer, but I always discuss things like this with my husband first…”
Is It an Objection, a Stall or a Condition?
We are all familiar with the spouse objection, and before I give you a great way to answer this stall, let me first make one thing clear: You first must make sure that you are dealing with an objection or a stall and not a CONDITION.
What I mean is that if your sales process is such that to have a qualified prospect, you need both the husband AND wife together, then you are not dealing with an objection or a stall. If you are doing a “one-legged” presentation, that is a condition. In such a case, you need to strengthen your qualifying and appointment setting. Closing is not the issue.
However, in situations where a couple is not the DM (decision maker), then you have, in most cases a stall, sometimes an objection.
The Real DM
You have the business owner and you know that the spouse has absolutely nothing to do with the business. Yet the shop owner tells you that he has to speak to his wife. Or the doctor or accountant tells you that she has to “run it by” her husband first. In these cases, try the answer below.
This answer, however, is not for the faint of heart. It takes a strong sales person. As always, the words are nothing more than an example of the concept and not meant as a script. Also, it will work for either spouse, as well as for other unconnected people that the prospect wants to use as the basis for a stall.
Shame On You!
As soon as you get that stall, your reaction needs to revert to one pure shock and utter disappointment. You cannot believe what you are hearing. Then, very sincerely and almost defeated, come back with something like this…
“Ah…wow. Um, I really just don’t know what to say, Steve. I mean, I ah…I really don’t know what to even think about that.”
“What? It’s no big deal. I always talk about things like this with my wife.”
“Steve, let me get this straight…you run this business every day, and make all the decisions every day, is that right?”
“And, you have your finger on the pulse of this business. I mean you know what is going on every minute; you manage the daily operations, correct?”
“Yes. But like I said, I like to talk to her about things like this.”
“Steve, you know this business inside and out, and more intimately than anyone on earth can know this business, including your wife. Then, on top of that, you have me, right here in front of you, giving you ALL of the information you need to make a informed, intelligent business decision…AND I’m right here, now, to answer questions.
Now, with all of that, YOU are apparently STILL not able to make a business decision.
So, you are telling me, you are going to go to your wife; who knows one-tenth of what you know and understand of the needs of YOUR business…then you are going to give her just a small fraction of the information.
Steve, I have spent three years learning how to deliver the information I just gave to you in the last 45 minutes. There is simply no way possible for you to give her the same information and you will not have all of the material I have either.
But, you are going to ask your wife; Sarah, right? Who has but a fraction of the knowledge and understanding of your business, and you are going to give her but maybe 10% of the information needed to make an educated decision…
And you are going to PUT 100% of the RESPONSIBILITY to make YOUR business decision on HER shoulders?! Steve, I just cannot believe you would put that type of PRESSURE on your wife.
I’m shocked and a little disappointed. I’m sorry.”
While that example may be a bit exaggerated, that is exactly what the prospect is saying. When you make it clear to the buyer what they are actually telling you, usually you will get the truth.
“Well, no. I mean. I make the decisions. I just wanted to talk to her. Actually, the main thing I want to talk to her about is the monthly payment. I’m just a little concerned about that…”
If it is a one-legger, you done. If not, this close may salvage a few sales you may have thought were lost.
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Following is one powerfully effective sales close that I am finding is quickly becoming a favourite among many sales people. The three main reasons I like this sales close is…
1. It is simple
2. It HELPS the prospect sort out the issues and see things clearly
3. It HELPS the sales person find the real problem
So, in case you are not familiar with this gem, here it is again! As always, the wording below is just an example of the process and not a script.
Close Like A Winner
You asked for the order repeatedly, tried everything and the prospect will still not budge.
“Steve, I really appreciate your time today and I am sorry that I was not able to help you. But before I go, I would like to ask you just a couple of quick questions and I ask that you please be as straightforward with me as you can, ok?”
“Oh, of course. You always get the truth from me.”
“First Steve, did you like what I showed you? I mean the product/service/plan, did you really like everything?”
“Yes! Like I said, everything looks just great. I just can’t get it right now. But next month, I think we’ll have a deal.”
Note: The prospect should always say something like this, or you instantly know what the problem is.
“Well, Steve, can you see how the product/service will actually save you a ton of money? I mean was I able to show you how it will actually pay for itself right away and continue to make money for you well into the future?”
Note: If the prospect hesitates or fumbles on this answer, you know where you came up short in your sales presentation.
“Absolutely. I believe it will save that and then some.”
“Steve, who do you think will make the most out of this transaction if you got it today? I mean who do you think will actually gain the most, benefit the most in the long run; you, me or my company?”
“Uh, well. I guess I would.”
Note: A negative answer or stumble here and again, you know exactly where you botched it.”
“Then Steve, who do you think loses the most if you don’t get it?”
Note: Try not to let the prospect answer this question as the answer will be in the form of a defence, and it will seem like an attack. Instead, pause just for a second or two, and then get close and personally sincere and…
“Look, Steve, this is about you/your company/your family. You are the winner….”
Note: Extend a hand to shake.
You are the big winner in this…Now let’s go ahead and get this paperwork started…”
Note: Now assume the rest.
Close. Personal. Sincere.
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“Hi, Mr Prospect. Ethan James here, with XYZ Solutions…”
“I’m not interested!”
Below is a very effective way to handle the “not interested,” come back. However, it is not a script to follow verbatim. Though I am going to put this in the form of a hypothetical cold call, the words are not important. I want to convey the idea, the concept and the thought process behind it. The concept is only to help get you past the initial automatic “not interested” reaction. From there, you can proceed.
The concept consists of five steps:
Here is an example
Sales Person: “Hi, Mr Prospect. Ethan James here, with XYZ Solutions…”
Prospect: “I’m not interested!”
Sales Person: “I knew you wouldn’t be interested Mr Prospect. I fully understand that. Do you have a real quick minute?”
Prospect: “Ah….Well, I guess…”
Sales Person: “You see, Mr Prospect, my information is that your company is a leader in the industry so I have to assume that if you had an interest in my company/product, you would have called me. Does that make sense?”
Sales Person: “I also have to assume that the reason you are not interested is because you already have a supplier you work with and are completely satisfied…good service, great pricing and they have earned your business—is that right?”
Prospect: “Well, actually, yes. I’ve been dealing with the same company for six years—have no complaints.”
Sales Person: “Of course. And that is exactly why I called. At this time, I dare not even think about asking you to give me any of your business; I haven’t earned it. However, I have found that most business owners in your industry…
And you are into your presentation.
Understand that it is normal and OK if the prospect is not interested when you call. Don’t fight it. Use it.
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You did your job: you uncovered the problems and the pain and you helped the prospect clearly see the benefits and the affordability. Then you instilled a sense of urgency by giving the potential customer reasons and additional benefits to move forward today. You also did not wait until the close to address common objections. Instead, you foresaw those familiar stalls and eliminated them during your sales interaction! Yet still, the prospect objects, even admitting that he or she cannot explain exactly why.
No Objection is an Objection
You have probably encountered the prospect who would not buy even though there was no reason not to do so. The fact is that many prospective clients will object, simply because there is nothing to which they can object.
Everyone Wants to BUY, but No One Wants to be SOLD
The reality of human nature is that people never want to feel like someone took advantage of them, or as if they had no control over a situation. When you leave the prospect with nothing to say except “Yes,” it often makes the prospect feel like you trapped them. No one wants to feel he or she was too “easy,” or did not put up a fight.
The No-Objection Objection
Some objections are not even objections, which is why they are so difficult to deal with. The customer tells you, “Seems as though you’ve got an answer for everything…” Or, “It almost sounds too good to be true….” or, “The way you present it, I would be a fool to say no…”
When you hear these types of responses, the prospect is telling you that you have done your job too well. You have left them with nothing significant to argue to make them feel like they had some choice in the matter. You will also find that the lack of control the customer feels in this situation leads to a more intense “buyer’s remorse” causing customer cancellations.
Leave an Objection on the Table
A simple way around this problem is to leave an objection for the prospect to raise. Take one objection that you know will come up, but instead of eliminating it during the sales interaction, leave it until the close.
Then, most importantly, when the prospect brings up the objection, struggle with it. Even though you have the answer to overcome that objection resting on your tongue, wait. Do not overcome the objection too quickly. You must validate the importance of the objection. The only way the customer will feel as if they won something, is if the objection is a problem for you.
A Win Win
Take your time with the objection and allow the customer to use it with power. Then, isolate it, and solve the issue. The customer feels good because they raised a difficult issue for you and forced you to make some concessions.
HELP the Customer
Remember that your job as a professional sales person is to help the customer to buy—to help the customer to get what they want and need. Today’s modern consumer however, is used to dealing with uneducated, outdated, unprofessional sales people. When you come along and do an outstanding, professional job, it is easy for the prospect to feel as though you are too good to be true, which can make them feel uneasy. It is your job to help the prospective client feel comfortable.
Leave the prospect with an objection you know you can handle. Allow the prospect to use this objection and do not overcome it too fast. Then isolate the objection and overcome it and everybody wins!
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Why do objections occur in the first place? There can be many reasons, but it generally boils down to the fact that not enough value has been raised in the customer’s mind.
If it had, you wouldn’t be facing an objection; you would be heading toward gaining a commitment. But not all objections actually turn out to be real. Many situations that occur between salespeople and clients actually turn out to be stalls, or requests for more information.
Here are ten stalls that customers often use when they don’t have specific objections to what you are saying:
* We’re not ready to buy right now
* Give me some time to think about it
* I’m not sure if we have the budget for this
* Can we put this off for 3 months?
* Business is quite slow at the moment
* Price isn’t the most important thing to us
* I’ll need to talk this over with my partners
* We have an agency that does that for us
* We won’t be making a decision today
* We need to get two other quotes
* We’re quite happy with our current supplier
None of these are the actual objection. If you try to handle any of these stalls as if they really are objections, you will find they keep cropping up, simply because they aren’t the real reason why the customer isn’t progressing the sale.
If you hear any of the above, or something like it, dig deeper. Ask what the specific reason is behind what they are saying, so you can determine the real reason for why they are stalling.
For example, if they ask to put the decision off for 3 months, you could ask “What will be different in 3 month’s time?”
If they say that they will have next tax year’s budget sorted by then, you can determine if they would like your products or services earlier, if budget wasn’t the issue. If they say yes, then the real issue is only the budget, and you may be able to defer payment, while offering something of real value to the client. You have sifted through to the real reason for them not to say yes now, and covered it to their satisfaction.
This is your first step in overcoming the real objection. If you come up against a stall, probe further until you uncover what the real reason is.
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How frustrating is it when your client has gone through your proposal and your presentation and then said ‘I want to shop around and get some quotes form other suppliers’? It’s not obvious from his statment what exactly his objection is to your proposal, so it may be necessary for you to probe a little deeper to find out precisely what he is needing to shop around for.
Here are some ideas on what to do to find out exactly what they will be shopping for:
1) Confirm that they want to get the best product and service around. It may be that they don’t mind what quality they get, as long as it’s cheap. If that’s the case, you need to identify exactly what they want for the money they will be investing. Basically, people want value for money rather than cheap, so you need to confirm if the quality of what you’re offering will be good for them.
2) Ask what they will be checking with the other suppliers. This gets the real objections out in the open, whether it’s price-orientated, delivery-driven or quality-based. It enables you to deal with the challenge up-front if it’s a specific area of concern for him.
3) Confirm that they will buy from the supplier that meets or exceeds their requirements in the particular area(s) they are looking at. This way, you get commitment from them up front
4) Show him your prepared document of how you fare against the competition in all competitive areas. This document shows you’ve done the homework for him. If he’s price-sensitive, look at all the prices your competition offers against similar products, and how you compare against them. Be ready to justify any higher prices you charge through your back-up services, warranties, deliveries, services, etc. This comparison will help your client make the right decision without having to do the legwork themselves.
5) If you don’t have that comparison chart already prepared, tell him you will do it for him and let him have the comparisons. If the competition win, you will tell him how your company can still offer value in other areas that will outweigh the benefits of going with the competition. If they say they don’t want you to go to that trouble, then confirm that their business means a lot to you and you don’t mind going to the trouble of finding out. It keeps you at the top of your game and helps you with your competitor analysis.
So, the prospect saying that he’s shopping around shouldn’t be the major obstacle that many salespeople think it is. If you do your homework properly, you will be able to help your prospect realise you offer the best possible quality and service out of all the competition, and you will save them having to do the hard work themselves. You also prove that you would be the kind of supplier that will offer great back-up and service after they start their partnership with you.
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Customers often use delaying tactics and techniques for many reasons. In fact Doug Hall, in his book “Jump Start Your Marketing Brain” cites research studies that have identified over 80 reasons why customers delay making a decision.
Interestingly, those delays can be amalgamated into five key reasons. Now, it’s not about forcing customers to make decisions (both you and they may regret that later). But if you identify the main reason, it may be that you can take action to encourage prospects to make the right decision today.
Here are the reasons Hall came up with:
Firstly, Too busy to devote time to evaluating options. People make time for what is important, so concentrate on the benefits they’ll get from making the decision now. Maybe they’ll lose money if they don’t choose today, or they’ll lose out on some other benefit that may come their way.
Next, it’s too much pressure during the buying process. You need to make the process easier and more pleasurable. Make the whole process more user friendly. Eliminate as many steps as possible, so the customer has an easy time saying yes. Maybe there’s a way you can reduce the steps or offer help through the process. Most prospects will appreciate this help and accept your recommendations.
Fear of making a bad or wrong decision. Demonstrate your credibility. Show them testimonials from customers who have been in the same position as they are. Introduce them to your customer care department. Provide warranties and guarantees that will make the prospect feel more secure. A free trial may alleviate worries and concerns.
Lack of Information. Provide comparisons of the products in your line, and how your products compare to the competition. Encourage the customer to describe their wants and needs early in the process, so that you can explain how you solve their problems. Be aware that some people will want more information than you might have expected in order for them to feel secure.
Pricing concerns. Many prospects want to make sure they are getting the best deal possible, and will delay if they feel they could get a better deal elsewhere. If you do your homework, as above, you will be able to assist them in determining the best pricing structure and value proposition in the market place and come to the right decision. If they are concerned about possible pricing drops, offer a 30 or 60-day pricing guarantee, where if the price drops within that time, they get the benefit of a credit or price adjustment.
Be aware of these five main reasons why customers won’t make a decision, and use your skills to reduce or eliminate them. You will give your customer the confidence to make the decision sooner rather than later, or not at all.
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