It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
You’ve been talking to a prospect for a while.
You took the time to educate them about your offer, learn about their goals, and show them how exactly your product or service will help.
You can’t help thinking, “It’s going so well!”
So you ask for the sale… and suddenly, everything comes crashing down.
From fired up and enthusiastic, your prospect becomes doubtful and hesitant. They say, “OK, I’m not sure this is the right fit for me, because…”
…and then they hit you with an objection.
This is a pivotal moment. And the way you react will make or break your sale.
Part of you might be jumping up and down yelling, “Oh no you didn’t! Let’s tell them to go jump off a cliff… er, I mean, to go find someone else.”
And another part of you might whisper with quiet desperation, “No, we need this one – quick, give them a discount! Defend your offer! Do something! Mayday, mayday!”
Don’t give in to either impulse. There’s a better way.
In today’s post, we’ll show you exactly what it is. We’re going to look at 4 common sales objections, and give you specific, actionable templates you can use to turn an undecided prospect into a happy customer.
Sales Objection #1: “I’ll think about it.”
As far as objections go, this is a relatively mild case. That said, it’s still incredibly irritating to deal with – because anything that increases customer friction and prolongs your sales cycle needs to go. Plain and simple.
So what do prospects really mean when they say this?
What they are really saying:
“I think I want this, but I’m hesitant to commit. So I want to take some extra time to talk myself out of it when you’re not hovering above me like a helicopter parent.”
The solution to overcoming this objection is simple: get the prospect to a definite yes or no answer. “Maybe” is not good enough – so don’t settle for it. Let’s discuss how to push back without causing the customer to run for the hills right away.
Here are two great ways to do this:
Option A: “That’s fine, I understand. Can you give me an answer by Monday?”
That’s it. That’s the whole script. You want to establish that you empathize with your prospect’s situation. At the same time, you should politely assert your right to ask for a specific deadline, and open the door for future follow up.
Option B: “Sure, I understand. That being said, [state your reason for scarcity or urgency]. Do you want it?”
This version is a bit more open-ended and sophisticated. It invokes the sense of scarcity/urgency that you’ve established earlier in the conversation. You will want to adapt this template to your specific situation.
For example, let’s say that your company sells and installs solar panels for local homeowners. Your operation is small, business is booming, and you’re pretty busy.
Here’s what you might say in response to a non-committal answer:
“Sure, I understand – getting solar panels is a big decision. That said, we usually get booked pretty fast in May. So if you want to start the summer with a brand new solar roof, you might want to decide now, and I’ll happily book an installation. Do you want it?”
Now, let’s move on to less flexible sales objections that everyone loves to hate: price and time.
Sales Objection #2: “It’s too expensive.”
Don’t you just love this one? Seth Godin said it best (as he usually does): no matter what we’re buying, price is just a situational decision, and it’s never absolute.
We’ll go even further and say that, when people want something badly enough, they find the money to pay for it. So when you get a price-based objection from a prospect, chances are that it’s secretly about something else…
What they are really saying:
“I don’t mind paying for court-side tickets to a Knicks game, or a $5,000 Paris vacation, but I secretly don’t think your offer is valuable enough. So I’d prefer not to part with my money, unless you can make it easier on me somehow, or convince me it’s worth it.”
There are a few ways you could tackle this objection with a prospect:
- Find a way to make the commitment smaller and easier
- Remind them about the value of their investment
- Reveal the hidden cost of missing out on your offer
Let’s look at all three options in detail.
Option A: “I agree, this is a big investment to make. I want to make this as easy as possible for you, with no risk. That’s why I have a payment plan in place / you can try it risk-free for 30 days, and get your money back if it’s not a good fit for you.”
Think about it: is there any way you could ease the sting of a potential purchase for the prospect? If you have a payment plan available, or a free trial, or a no-questions-asked guarantee, now is the time to remind them.
Option B: “You are correct, it’s a premium product / service. And here’s why it will deliver the
results you’re looking for that other solutions won’t. [Explain the benefits and potential ROI of your offer]”
Now, what exactly you tell your prospect will depend on what your product or service is. But here are some worthwhile ideas to communicate to them in the process:
- Tell them that your goal is for them to recoup their investment tenfold as a result of buying from you, or working with you.
- Engage in some “future pacing” and describe to them what kind of ROI they can expect, based on what you know about their goals and aspirations. Take the emphasis off the sale itself, until it’s time to circle back and ask them again.
- Display some proof elements, if you have them, to support your point.
Option C: “I understand. It’s a significant investment. And if you look at it in the long run, you will see that it’s going to save you X times more money than you spend. Right now, you are losing money every day due to [name the hidden costs]. [Your product/service] could change it.
Note that this counter-argument doesn’t have to be about money to be effective. Chances are, your prospect is losing time, sleep, energy, health, and opportunities every day because they haven’t invested in themselves and bought your product or service.
For instance, let’s say that you’re an SEO agency specializing in local search traffic. Here’s what you might say to a hesitant prospect:
“Of course, I understand. It’s a significant amount of money to invest in your SEO. If you look at it as a strategic investment, you’ll find that it will save you at least $10,000 a year on advertising. I did a quick assessment before our conversation today, and noticed that for every ad you have on Google, there’s at least 2 from your competitors.
Thing is, they don’t rank for local search results very highly – and our agency could easily put you on the first page within 2 months. Not only would that save you money on ads, you will stop losing so many leads to competitors. I’d love to know what you think: would that be worth it?”
Tip: you will notice that one word is missing from these 3 templates. It’s the word “but.” That’s by design. If there’s one takeaway you should remember from this entire article, it’s this – never say, “Yes, but…” Once you do, you’ve already lost. Life is too short for selling from you heels!
Sales Objection #3: “I’m too busy / I don’t have time.”
Ah, another timeless classic (pun intended).
Everyone who has sold services or education products knows this objection very well – because you have felt its sting too many times to count.
In a way, it’s a more legitimate sales objection than lack of money. After all, your prospect can always make more money – but unless they are Doc Brown or The Doctor, their time is finite and always running out, one second at a time.
Are they truly so concerned about their precious time, though? Let’s look closer: what’s actually going on with your prospect when they cite extreme busyness as their main excuse?
What they are really saying:
“Making your offer work for me is not a priority. Are you really expecting me to sacrifice Netflix binges, lazy weekends, or those times when I waste 20 minutes to send all my colleagues cute animal GIFs? Puh-lease. Give me one good reason I should do this.”
Sadly, when people say they have no time for something, it usually means they are not ready to prioritize it. One of the ways to counter this objection is simple – call them out on it. Say that your offer will only work if your prospect makes the time for it. Push back!
But if doing so doesn’t align with your brand, or might alienate otherwise ideal customers, there are two more options:
Option A: “Yes, I’m very aware of that. And that’s why we have designed this product / service to accommodate people who have no time, but still want to achieve their goals with X, Y, and Z. Here’s how you can make it work with just X amount of time per day/week/month.”
This one is great if you’re selling a product that your prospect needs to use regularly. By breaking down how much time they actually need to commit, and contrasting it with the potential benefits of your offer, you will make it easier for them to buy.
Option B: “That’s a legitimate concern, and I understand completely. That’s why, once we begin, we’ll do all the work. You will just need to check in with us once a week for X minutes. Does this sound reasonable?”
The second option works very well for services – especially the high-value, done-for-you kind. The #1 reason people invest in services is so they don’t have to do anything. To secure a sale, all you need is to reassure them that this will, indeed, be the case.
Sales Objection #4: “Will this work for me if I’m [insert excuse here]?”
Your prospect can find many, many reasons to avoid commitment:
They live outside of the US. They aren’t an expert in your industry. They are secretly just three 5-year-olds in a trenchcoat. Whatever the specific reason, there’s no way your product or service can work for someone in their unique position…
…or is there? Let’s examine the hidden assumptions here.
What they are really saying:
“I’m scared of change, please convince me! I want to be comforted by the sight of people just like me succeeding with your product or service, so my cognitive bias kicks in and guides me.”
There is really only one way to bust a sales objection like that, and it’s two-pronged:
First, you want to appeal to the broader social proof that your offer works. Emphasize how diverse your customer base is, how many people are using your products or services in different industries, and what kinds of results they had…
“I’m glad you asked! We have tested [your product/service] in 20+ industries, including yours. In fact, one of our recent customers, Jamie, who also runs a luxury car dealership, has managed to boost his sales by 300% after 4 months of using it. In other words, yes, I believe it will work for you.”
Final thoughts – the problem with templates
We have given you specific templates for how to respond to the 4 most common sales objections. But don’t get us wrong – these aren’t “easy fixes.” Following a script – especially someone else’s script – is never a sound long-term strategy.
So if you want to make the most of today’s article, we urge you to do this:
- Copy and save these conversation templates
- Take what you can use without changes
- Discard anything that doesn’t match your style and voice
- Fill in the blanks and make it your own
Sound good? Then we hope you use these to land as many eager customers as you can. Enjoy!