Tim Huffaker 2017

As a salesperson, I’ve often thought objections kept me grounded.  After all, if it weren’t for objections, I would probably think I was a highly sought-after consultant. 

It is the constant rebuff of rejections that keeps me focused on who I am and what I do. No other profession comes close to receiving the volume of rejections garnered by salespeople.  In casual conversation awhile ago, my wife, obviously not thinking before she spoke, said she hated salespeople. After recognizing her faux pas and in defense of her statement, she suggested I wasn’t like other salespeople.  I was feeling better until she said the difference was because she loves me. I thought for sure she would heap praise on me as being superior to other salespeople. I deal with rejection everyday.

In all seriousness, there are five rejections salespeople experience on a daily basis.  Without trying to inflict any more pain, I will list each of them and then discuss ways to deal with each of them.  

  1. I want to think about it.
  2. No.
  3. Maybe.
  4. Too expensive.
  5. It’s not the right time.

When you hear the objection, “I want to think about it”, it is obvious you did not identify their need or their pain.  If your product was presented as a solution to their pain, they would want to talk about it and determine if it would cure their pain.  The two of you will be able to resolve concerns and move on to the next step. The words, “I want to think about it”, do not mean they don’t need your product; it just means they don’t see the connection between your product and solving their pain.  Make sure you identify their needs and then be very specific in describing how your product or service will meet their need.

Hearing “no”, isn’t really that bad of a rejection; you at least know where they stand.  Once they tell you no, you can ask why and through understanding the “why”, you have the opportunity to resolve the “no”.  Remember, 84% of all the people who tell a salesperson yes, said no before they said yes. There is a reason for the “no” response and it is your responsibility to find out why.  Ask more questions and better understand their needs.

Far too many salespeople get excited to hear “maybe.”  Don’t forget that maybe is a polite way of saying no. Tell your prospect you understand yes and no, but you can’t comprehend the word maybe.  Ask for either a yes or a no and assure them that even though you prefer a yes, at least you can understand the meaning of no. An answer of no will not offend you and you can still be friends.  When they tell you no instead of maybe, then ask them why they told you no and seek to resolve their concerns.  

When you hear the objection, “too expensive”, it is obvious that one or both of you has placed far too much emphasis on price and put too little focus on value.  Value is a broad term with many components, but it boils down to just one thing; is your product the right solution to solve their problem at the right cost (not price), at the right time, by the right company, with the right experience, according to your desires.  Far too often, and after the fact, too many companies admit they would have paid much more for a product or service had they known beforehand that the product they purchased for the lowest price was incapable of meeting their expectation.

“It is not the right time” has many meanings and is often the result of not asking enough questions in the discovery phase of the sales process.  One meaning could be, “I don’t have the authority to make the purchasing decision”. Another meaning could be, “I don’t have the money”. Yet another meaning could be, “It really isn’t the right time to make a decision”.  Questions are the answer to all of the objections we receive as salespeople. No one will ever close every sales opportunity; it is possible, but very unlikely. However, the more questions you ask, the more you will know. The more you know, the better you will be able to resolve the major objections received by salespeople.

Objections will keep you grounded, just in case you believe you are a highly paid consultant.  Remember, if 84% of prospects say “no” before they say "yes", then keep your head up and your spirits high, because “no” is just one simple step away from “yes”.