No one likes rejection, especially in sales, and as sales professionals, we must face our worst fear and deal with the sales objections that quite often come our way.
Let’s say that you’ve been talking to a prospect for quite a while. As a result, you’ve got a good sense of their plans and goals, and it appears that your product/service is a good fit for their business.
Now, you’re prepared to start discussing contract terms or set a date for a product/service walkthrough, but then your prospect says something that almost instantly stops you in your tracks.
It’s just not a great time for us to buy right now. Can we talk about this next quarter?
Awesome! This isn’t just a deal that you had in your pipeline, but you’ve also lost quite a significant amount of investments and as well as time working with this prospect. Now, they’re just not going to buy.
Prospects generally use sales timing objection to stall the deal or force you to just simply walk away. However, sometimes there are true roadblocks, and such a prospect who actually want to buy from you but truly can’t right now, will proactively inform you about their timeline and exactly what’s blocking them from completing this deal.
Most often, this sales objection is raised when a prospect hasn’t seen much value in your product/service or doesn’t feel a sense of urgency to buy right now. Use timing objecting responses to accurately get to the heart of your prospect’s hesitation.
Pushing a sales script isn’t the key to sales objection handling. It is highly like that you have been on the other side of the communication, where a sales representative just doesn’t listen and continues to revert back to their script at every available opportunity.
There are so many words that can clearly describe the frustration of such prospects during these calls, but for the objective of this blog, let’s focus on how to effectively deal with regular sales objections that we face daily in sales.
Common Sales Objections Related to Timing:
- It’s not a good time
- Call me back next quarter
- I’ll get back to you with at a better time
- We’ll think about it
- I’ll have to talk to leadership
Timing related sales objections can be quite hard to overcome. Your prospect is busy and doesn’t have the time for your offer or even you.
So, how can you effectively deal with sales objections? Following are the top 20 responses to sales objection related to timing that you can use;
How to Respond to a Sales Rejection:
1.What’s holding you back?
You’ll be in a much better position to address their hesitation by getting your prospect to talk through their reasoning.
2.If resources and money were no object, would you be willing to start with our product today?
If your prospect says a clear “NO”, they don’t think your product is valuable. Then, find out why. And if your prospect says “YES”, dig deeper to find out about what logistical hurdles are standing in their way.
3.What are the other priorities for your company right now?
It’s quite possible that your prospect has some other pressing projects that need their immediate attention to be completed in time. And if you have the complete picture, you’ll be able to clearly tell how much of an impact your product/service can make right now, or even better, how your product/service can help them achieve their other goals. However, if you discover that prospect’s goals are being pushed aside by their management, follow up with #5.
4.When would be a good time to buy?
If the answer of your prospect doesn’t seem all that different from their current circumstances, follow up with #9.
5.How can I help you with the resources you need to sell this to the decision makers at your company?
Determine where your prospect is facing challenges gaining traction, then help get internal buy-in.
6.What happens to those goals if you don’t act now?
What is your prospect’s Plan B (backup plan)? Maybe they have a good one, and in such a case, your product/service may not be a great fit. However, making your prospects realize they have no other way of solving their problems will put you back in the game.
7.When are you hoping to achieve your “XYZ” goals by?
If your prospect is unable to define this you’re either reaching out to then in the early stage of their buying cycle or their problems aren’t severe enough to warrant fixing right now. However, if they need to achieve a goal in the next three months, there’s clear pain to be addressed.
8.So is your “XYZ” goal no longer a priority for you?
Tie your product/service to a tangible goal that you and your prospect have discussed. It will move the conversation away from the actual purchase process and back to the story of how your product/service can improve their business. And then follow up with #6 and #7.
9.What circumstances will have changed, if I call you back next quarter?
Maybe your prospect is right in the middle of a huge internal initiative and doesn’t have the bandwidth to talk to you right now. Maybe your prospect is waiting for the next round of funding to come in.
Or maybe they are just stalling you.
So, get your prospect to evaluate whether anything; their priorities, their budget, their goals are really going to be different later when you talk to them. And if they will actually be ready to pull just pull the trigger then, why not now?
10.Here’s the ROI timeline if we start in “X” months. Does that work for you?
Clearly, there’s that sense of urgency again. Simply remind your prospect that just implementing a new product/service doesn’t generate overnight results.
Here, the question is implicit; can they afford to wait to buy?
Many sales representatives just hit the mute button and then wait to see how many of their prospects continue.
A prospect with true objection will wait for you to follow upask, or just ask “Are you there?” However, if your prospect starts talking in a stream-of-consciousness or starts to waffle more, it’s a good indication that they are brushing you off.
12.What’s going to be different next quarter?
It’s a rhetorical, broader spin on #9. Ask your prospect’s motivations for brushing you off without coming right out and saying it.
How are you performing against your end-of-year goals, as they relate to your product/service?
One of the best ways to remind your prospect that why they were talking to you in the first place. As a prospect who saw no problem at all with their current business wouldn’t have taken your call. And delaying a purchase will only make those problems much worse.
13.Is there anything I can provide you with to make a stronger case to your stake holders (decision makers)?
Maybe your prospect is hesitant to move forward just because they’ve received pushback from the ultimate decision maker or their manager.
So, ask if there’s anything at all that you can help them to make a stronger case to their boss (decision maker). This may seem like a case study, a one-sheet of talking points, or an informative blog post.
And a simple, “How can I help, “can can mean a huge difference between closed won and closed lost.
14.Do you understand the value of our product/service X?
A prospect almost never says no, to this question.
To really drive this point home, just follow-up with #15.
15.Which part of product/service X do you think would help your business the most?
This question gets your prospect to reiterate their goals pushes them to answer you that why your product/service is a great fit for their company, instead of making them just listen to you talk about it. It can also trigger critical red flags. For example, if you’ve been focusing on just area of your product/service, but your prospect brings up a completely different area, it’s an indication that you need to restart the conversation on different terms.
16.Is it the timing, or there’s something else concerning you?
An objection related to timing may be a smokescreen. So ask this question to find out exactly what’s really holding your prospect back.
Your prospect will either say something along the lines of, “It’s not a good time to buy because [valid reason] …” or “I am worried about (another issue)…”
In either scenario, you’ll find out about the real issue, which you can then fix.
17.Sometimes when people say A, it actually means B. Is it safe for me to assume that’s the case here?”
Many sales professionals save this question for those sales objections which they just can’t overcome.
It’s Sandler’s Negative Reverse Selling methodology, and it goes something like:
Prospect Andy: I’m going into a meeting; can you give me a call next week?
Sales Representative: Andy, I’ve tried to connect a few times now. Usually, when it happens, it just means this is a low priority for you right now. Is it reasonable for me to assume that’s the case?
Prospect Andy: If you don’t want to talk to me, then I’d rather not do any business with you.
Sales Representative: Hey Andy, my deepest apologies. I do want to talk to you, but I feel like I’m driving you crazy here with all these missed calls and voicemails. I’d really hate to continue to bother you if it’s really not necessary. It may best if you reach out to me when it’s a better time for you.
However, it should never feel like you’re taking revenge on a prospect who is uninterested by saying, “you always say you’ll call me back, Andy,” which moves the discussion into an accusation and, sometimes, even an argument. So, by keeping things constructive, you’ve put the negativity on yourself instead of on the prospect.
The simple answers are usually the most effective ones. The prospect is probably expecting that you’ll try to convince them it is a good time to purchase, so this response will hit them off-guard, but in a good way.
And once your prospect has provided you with context, you can then decide whether your prospect is in a good position to move ahead or not.
19.A customer of mine was in a similar situation, so I completely understand. They finally chose to buy product/service X because of (challenge, trigger event, opportunity) and ROI of product/service. Previously, X number of times they have seen Y results.
Your prospect has told you why they want to wait, but you think that it is in their best interest to act soon.
And then use a relevant case study to make your prospect think twice turning you down. Right after you have shown them the evidence that your product/service works effectively, they’ll be much more eager to reap its benefits for themselves.
20.Are there any big company initiatives/events coming up that would make this a high priority?
If a prospect is not willing to commit to your timeline, it may be because their budget is unclear, a big company announcement is on the horizon, or a big industry event is approaching that would make your timeline very difficult to implement.
So, ask questions like, the timeline appears to be a stumbling block for us. Is there an industry/company event coming up that may be causing to hesitate to peruse such an aggressive timeline?
And if their answer is, Yes, I’m actually a little worried that my budget may be cut next week, then you know what the real objection is and also how to go forward from here. However, if their answer is, No, our company has a lot of red tapes right now, and I’m concerned that this timeline doesn’t reflect that. Even now, you’ve gotten to the heart of the real issue and can proceed from here.
The reason for not buying is not always in your control. However, if you can overcome common sales objections by understanding the problems, needs and implications then you are well o your way to successful selling.
Understanding your prospects is very important. And with the help of useful technologies and data you can clearly see your prospects on your website, web-pages they have visited and score their levels of interest in real-time, all of this will help you tailor your sales pitch.