One of the most challenging parts of an inside sales call is overcoming the many objections that the prospect may come up with to dodge your sales pitch.
Look at these sales objections, not with dread, but as an opportunity to close the deal.
Think about it this way, if the prospect didn’t have any objections and just hung up, you wouldn’t have any chance of getting the deal.
- Pinpointing the Problem
- The secret sauce for overcoming sales objections
- All leads are NOT created equal
- Nail your opening value statement
- Common sales objections
- Overcoming the “I’m not interested” objection
- Closing words
Pinpointing the Problem
There’s a memorable scene in the blockbuster film, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Former stockbroker Jordan Belfort is leading a session in front of a room of salespeople. To illustrate a point, he goes up to a guy in the audience, hands him a pen, and says, “Sell me this pen.”
The salesman nervously takes the pen and begins describing its qualities. Unimpressed, Belfort calls on a second and then a third salesman to give it a shot.
But they don’t do much better.
Where do salespeople go wrong?
When your sales process tanks, it comes down to one thing — not knowing your target audience.
So, how specific should you get?
You have to go really deep.
The word of advice is that you should know the top three industries that normally buy from you. You might sell to people in many more industries, but you should know the top three super well.
This means knowing location, average employee size, average revenue size, and similar basics.
The secret sauce for overcoming sales objections
When it comes to sales objections, it’s best to reduce these objections early in the sales process — so that you’re only getting them around 20 percent of the time.
Now, this doesn’t mean you go and throw out your scripts for handling objections.
You still need to be well prepared to handle them because it will make you a better salesperson. You definitely want to master how your solution works, why it addresses customer pain points, and what differentiates it from other options on the market.
Minimizing sales objectives should stem from knowing your target customer really well — having a clear sense of their industry, size, etc. Once you’re dealing with a prospect who meets that criteria, you should also be very clear on their problem — the problem that your product or service can solve.
Calling and saying: tell me about your needs is a relic of the past and won’t get you anywhere.
Many reps go wide because they don’t want to lose any sales, so they take anybody and everybody, and they end up spreading themselves too thin. The trick is to go deep.
Know your audience + know their problem = $$$.
All leads are NOT created equal
So you’ve gotten hold of a prospect with the “right” title, and you’ve managed to set an appointment.
You’re meeting your objective, right?
Nope, that’s not qualifying. It’s essential to do a precise job of qualifying your leads.
But how do you do that?
Short answer: Look at things from your prospect’s perspective. The advice is to consider the following:
- Do they have a problem your solution can fix?
- Can they afford what you’re selling?
- Is your contact actually able to make purchasing decisions?
This really shouldn’t be about just hitting your numbers. As a Sales Development Representative (SDR), you’re going to be in a much better position if you set quality meetings for the Account Executive.
Nail your opening value statement
Once you have the specifics of your target customer down and you’ve qualified appropriately, the next step is to do the reach out.
And if your Opening Value Statement (OVS) isn’t on point, things can quickly go wrong.
A lot of SDRs make their OVS all about them — rather than what it solves for the prospect.
Structure your OVS “to agitate a pain or scratch and itch,” as Michael Pedone, founder, and CEO of SalesBuzz advises in one of the episodes of the INSIDE Inside Sales show. And you definitely should not start out with a sales pitch.
According to him, you have to think in the words of Twitter. Your opening value statement has to be very short and sweet.
Sample sales script with a strong OVS
Here’s an example:
Hi, this is Darryl Praill of VanillaSoft, and the reason for my outreach is that my company actually offers inside sales teams all the tools they need to engage, qualify and close the sale. If I caught you at a good time, I’d love to ask you a few questions just to see if what we have to offer may be of some help to you. Would that be okay?
Simple, yet effective for three important reasons:
- This short and sweet OVS piques interest right away because we mention a problem he can solve
- We gained permission to continue the call, so the prospect drops their guard and is open to listening
- The more control you give away, the more you retain. By sharing the control, as we do in this example, we’re turning resistance into interest before the resistance happens.
The best approach is to pique interest and gain permission to continue the call. Once they signal they’re open to hearing more, you can start engaging them in the qualifying phase.
Use this strategy and boom; you’re well on your way.
Here are some of the common sales objections and black belt techniques for overcoming them.
Common sales objections
1. I need some time to think it over
Strategy: Uncover what the prospect wants to think about.
There may be unanswered questions that weren’t addressed earlier. Answer the question and try to continue with your sales pitch.
Response: “If you need some time to think about it, I understand. What in particular would you like to think about? Maybe I can offer some more information.”
2. Can you send me some more information?
Strategy: This is often used when the prospect really isn’t interested and wants to get rid of you.
After agreeing to send the information, redirect the conversation by asking an additional question. In many cases, the additional question helps continue the conversation to make the sale.
Response: “Yes, I can email you some more information. What particular information are you interested in?”
3. I don’t need your product
Strategy: If the prospect was qualified properly earlier this sales objection shouldn’t come up.
Reaffirm what the company does, then mention how your product or service has helped a competitor or a similar company in the industry.
This gives credibility to your company. After all, prospects don’t want a competitor to have an edge that they don’t have.
Response: “Your company does X, Y, Z, right? If the answer is “yes” continue. “We’ve worked with company B to increase its client base by 45%. Is this something you would be interested in?”
4. It’s too expensive
Strategy: Point out the advantages of having your product/service and how your company can save time, money, etc.
Hopefully, this will offset the price. You’re selling value. Also, mention any payment plans or options.
Response: “I understand your concern. If you could save money on X and still increase your profits, would this be worth the initial investment? We have payment plans available. I’m sure we can work something out for you.”
5. Can you call me back later?
Strategy: Find out if the prospect is truly interested or trying to blow you off.
If you asked if the prospect was busy early in the conversation availability would have already been discovered.
Ask for a specific appointment time to see if the prospect really wants to talk to you later.
Response: “I would be happy to. What time is convenient?”
6. I’m happy with what I have now
Strategy: This response is more of a challenge.
Many people have the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality and are afraid of change.
Compliment their loyalty then have prospects think outside the box and explore that there may be something better than what they have by offering a free trial or product demo.
Response: “That’s great. I appreciate your loyalty. A lot of people are interested in looking at other potential product offerings … just to compare. You may find us a better match for your needs, which would be great, or if you decide to keep what you have you can feel good about your current situation. How would you feel about attending a product demo to compare?”
7. I’m not interested!
This one is much more complex than the rest and requires a more detailed approach.
If you hear the ultra common “I’m not interested” objection more than once or twice a week, it might be a hint that you’re doing something wrong.
It might also be because of some of the issues we discussed above.
No matter how far along you are in your career, you’re never above having to re-tool your sales process to accommodate both the regular and new clients you work with.
If you can’t seem to overcome the “I’m not interested” objection, it’s high time to rethink that strategy, sales rep.
Overcoming the “I’m not interested” objection
1. Let it all hang out
Sometimes, your prospects aren’t interested because they just don’t know what the heck you’re talking about, and honestly, they don’t care enough to ask.
And don’t get it twisted – it’s not your job to make them care just yet; it’s your job to make them curious.
After they hit you with the objection, explain how the features of your solution differ from competitors and ask follow-up questions that will point out exactly why your product will meet their needs.
Connect the dots for them, then gauge their interest in learning more.
🗣 “I’m not asking you to make a decision at all. I’m only calling because we recently helped [name competitors] avoid [problem] on their [X that you have a solution for] while streamlining their lead management process. I wanted to ask you a few questions just to see if what we have to offer may be of some help to you as well. Would that be OK?”
2. Show that you #canrelate
You know what it’s like: Even if you’re interested, sometimes you just need more from a sales pitch to be convinced.
That’s where showing your potential clients that you understand them comes into play.
Express your empathy to overcome the “I’m not interested” objection and connect with your lead in a new way.
How do you do that?
Validate their concerns, humanize the call, and let them know you understand how they feel.
Ask about their challenges.
🗣 “It’s absolutely reasonable if you’re not interested in my first call to you. That’s why I want to allow us to schedule another, more formal time. For now, I’ll email you some incredible success cases that might pique your interest. If it does, I’d love for us to keep our appointment.”
🗣 “Not being interested at this particular time in the conversation is not uncommon and makes perfect sense. Should I put you on a 6-month follow-up call?”
Post-yes: “Awesome. What should I keep an eye out for in-between then?”
3. Woo them with your highlight reel
Dazzle your prospects with shining examples of how other companies have successfully used your product to reach their goals – the more stats you can provide, the better.
Whether you email them testimonials, provide customer references, or share the numbers behind why your product works, pull out any example necessary to get your prospect from “I’m not interested” to “I’m available on December 5.”
🗣 “I know you’re not familiar with this yet, but like me and everyone else, I can tell you’re interested in [increasing production, return, etc.], and that’s why I’m calling. Let me ask you a quick question: if I could show you how you can [insert your unique benefit] while saving [time, money, etc.], would you be a bit more interested in setting up a meeting and finding out more?”
4. Keep ‘em talking
Naturally, your prospect’s first instinct isn’t to say yes right off the bat, unless they’re pulling a Jim Carrey in “Yes Man.” (Which is unlikely.)
To keep the pulse of the phone call beating, after the “I’m not interested” objection, ask your potential customer what is and isn’t working for them.
🗣 “What would have to change for you to be more open to something like this in the future?”
🗣 “I’m sure something is missing in your X. What pain points do you have that you’d like to find a solution for?”
5. Set yourself up for later and track their information
Unless your prospect hangs up before you fully greet them, there’s always something to be gained on a sales call.
If all else fails, you should end the phone call with a way to get in touch with your lead in the future, plus any relevant information that can help you close a potential sale.
Just because they’re not interested right now doesn’t mean they won’t be later, right?
That means taking note of anything important that you learned on the call, like their specific needs, budget, or who they currently work with.
Don’t be afraid to sneak some qualifying questions in there, too.
Besides being a general best practice, keeping track of your prospects this way will also save your ass when you call them back six months down the line and can’t remember anything.
🗣 “How about this: I’ll email you my contact information in case you ever do need anything, and then I’ll get out of your hair. By the way, would you be the best person to email this to or does someone else handle [department] now?”
🗣 “I totally understand. I just want to make sure that you still know we’re here if you need something down the road. By the way, do you guys still carry/use/order [product]?”
Will these help you close every single time?
Probably not – there’s no winning formula.
What will happen is you’ll build more confidence, shake up your usual sales strategy, and be able to use these examples to learn how to resolve customer objections – as opposed to just figuring out how quickly you can close a deal.
Understanding your prospects’ needs and pain points is crucial for overcoming common sales objections. Prospects’ answers to your questions will give you a better understanding of their wants, requirements, and product offerings, arming you to shatter any objection based on budget, authority, need, time, and value. Use these expert techniques to combat objections, win over the prospect, and position yourself to close the deal.