As Business Entrepreneurs, many of us are responsible for growing our business. Unless you have hired specifically a seller – you are the seller as well as the Founder.
To grow our business we need clients and to get clients, we need to be good at selling, which for most of us can be tough!
I have been selling for most of my working career and made many mistakes that at the time I didn’t realize. I started as a Sales Executive and worked my way up to be the Sales Director for a FTSE Top 50 organization and had the pleasure of successfully leading sales teams globally and today, I am the CEO of my own organization. My day job is partnering and supporting Multinationals, Business Entrepreneurs, Sales Leaders and their teams improve their sales results.
Let’s be honest, we all encounter push back from our clients during our sales discussions and it is not uncommon for sales objections to come out.
35% of salespeople cite today that overcoming objections is one of their biggest challenges (Hubspot sales research survey).
I love it when sales objections come out, as it is my job to uncover what sales objections my clients are hiding. “Bad news early is a good thing”. What do I mean by that, when our clients tell us what their sales objections are, early in our sales process, then we know how to deal with it.
What usually happens is that we get all the way to a final presentation stage against our competitors and then all these objections come out which we were not prepared for and this can jeopardize our chances of sales success.
So let me ask you – What type of sales objections do you usually hear from your clients?
For me in my 20+ years of selling, the common ones have been “don’t have the budget”; “it’s not the right time” and let’s not forget the most favorite of all “your price is too high”. What makes it worse is when they say “we really like you and what you have proposed, but….. you are more expensive than the competitor”.
Sound familiar? Then, they keep calling you to try and get your price down because they want you at the lowest competitor’s price, which may not be possible to achieve.
48% of salespeople say competing against low-price competitors is their biggest challenge, according to The Richardson Selling Challenges Study.
There is a great technique that helps you “isolate” the price objection to allow you to come back and address it but also gives you the opportunity to see if there are any other objections the client may be thinking about that you can uncover.
So how do you do this?
When your client says “Your price is too high”, you say “Other than that, is there anything else that would prevent you from partnering with us?”
The client can only say “No there isn’t anything else” OR the client could raise another objection – “I would need you to…” which is a request for further information. Either way, you are in better shape as you have uncovered something else you did know about before.
So by saying “Other than that” – what are we are trying to do here is to ISOLATE the objection before we respond to it.
Once it is isolated, we are happy to come back and answer it, but we first want to isolate it just to determine if there is anything else that is standing in my way of getting this contract.
If we know the price objection is a regular feature that comes up in our discussions with prospects, then what is the standard answer we have rehearsed clearly in our minds to respond?
When I have trained CEOs, Sales Leaders and their sales teams and asked them “What have you agreed is your best response to the price objection that no matter who gave you that objection, you should be answering it the same way, who would like to share what that response is?”
No one says a word. Why? Because none of them have a standard prepared answer to the same objection that keeps coming up, which is crazy.
So, as Business Entrepreneurs we shouldn’t act surprised when the client raises the price objective and should be well prepared with a standard response for something you know is going to happen and not be “thinking on our feet” or thinking to ourselves “I hope they don’t bring the price up!!”.
A final thought to leave with you, whilst we are on the price topic, one thing you should never do is give a price to an unsold buyer. I once had an introductory virtual call with a prospect and at the end of the session. she said to me, “This sounds great, Michelle. So, how much would you charge for this training?”.
My response was “Mrs. Client, I unfortunately can’t answer that question as there are still too many variables that we need to unpack further for me to provide you with a customized sales program that will improve your sales results. Only when we get to that point, will I be able to tell you what my price will be.” She got that and we moved forward (and I shared some specific examples with her to illustrate my point).