How To Differentiate Between An Objection & An Excuse

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

businessman thinkingMany salespeople face a dilemma when they experience an objection from a customer or prospect.

Lots of buyers have objections fitted into their wiring systems, so they are programmed not to go overboard with their enthusiasm for your product.

They think that an objection such as price or delivery will get you to reduce the price or change delivery terms.

It’s unusual to get no ‘objections’ during your consultation with a prospect, but one thing you definitely have to uncover is whether it’s a valid objection or just an excuse to stall or get you to change something that will be to their benefit and mean you lose out on something.

One way to ascertain if the objection is genuine is to ask a hypothetical question.

This would sound like: “Suppose we were to change the delivery quotas and extend the credit terms by 30 days. Would that mean you would be happy enough to say yes to this proposal?”

Now, one of two things will happen here.

Either they will say ‘Yes, that would do it, and we could sign on those terms”, or they will stall and come up with another excuse.

Remember, the question is hypothetical, meaning that you haven’t said you would definitely move on these items, but you have at least confirmed that the queries are genuine and that moving on them would result in an order.

If you find these are real objections you can overcome, you can then say that you will check with production on the schedules and talk to finance about extending credit terms.

But at least you have the confirmation that if these two things changed, you would get the order.

If they are simple excuses, then you will have to dig deeper and find out why they are trying to stall.

The main thing here is to find out how close you are to achieving progress.

Imagine agreeing to their demands and then finding out there are many more ‘excuses’ for not progressing!

Although it’s never easy to let go of potential business, on some occasions, if you’re sure you are being given the runaround, it may be better to spend your time with prospects who  aren’t wasting your time.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Dollarphotoclub

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 6 April, 2016

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