Common Sales Objections
and How to Handle Them
By Alen Majer
You as a salesperson should give every
opportunity to the prospect to ask questions and make objections if
he is inclined to do so. It is frequently desirable to assist in
bringing out these questions and objections. Sometimes the very best
arguments you can make are based on objections by the prospect,
especially if you are thoroughly prepared.
To ignore or try to dodge them is a confession of
weakness which will not be overlooked by a prospective buyer. It is
an opportunity for you to treat the question raised as if it were a
point you would have reached very soon in his talk even if the buyer
had said nothing about it. The objection raised will frequently give
you an opportunity to carry the suggestion it contains to the point
where the idea will answer itself by becoming an absurdity. Among
the usual objections are:
1. The product is cheaper elsewhere:
This may or may not be true. You may not know whether the statement
is truth or false. If you know it is not true, it is not a wise plan
to say so in a blunt, positive way. Neither is it wise to offer to
bet that it cannot be done nor to offer an amount of money to
charitable institutions if the prospect can make his word good. This
comes too near an insinuation that the prospect is speaking falsely,
and while he may know that what he says is false, he does not wish
to be told so.
2. Good points of a competitor's goods:
An objection raised in this form is usually made for the purpose of
starting you on a discussion of a competitor. This is always
dangerous ground. You should say as little about the competing
product as possible, emphasizing the points of difference strongly,
and demonstrating the superiority of your own goods in quality or in
3. The article costs too much; cannot be
afforded: If you can show that the
product you are selling will produce or save for the buyer more than
it costs, your prospect cannot afford to be without it. Two classes
of buyers raise this objection. In one class are those of whom it is
true or for whose purposes a cheaper product will serve as well. In
the other class are those who desire to put the salesperson off or
whose experience has not been sufficient to enable them to know that
the best is the cheapest in service and satisfaction.
To those in the former class you should make no
further effort to sell. For those in the latter class you have a
message. The price paid for a product is forgotten, but the service
secured from it and the satisfaction enjoyed while using it are what
counts toward future trade and repeat orders.
4. The product offered is not needed:
In meeting this objection it is worth while
to raise such questions as:
Is what the prospective buyer has the best
Does it do the work in the most economical
Does it enable the owner to meet the
competition of those who are better equipped?
Does it make the best possible impression
upon those with whom the owner comes in contact?
Would continued use of the inferior product
indicate a lack of progressiveness?
5. The prospect has not time to discuss the
proposal further: This is a method
often employed to get rid of you in the hope that you will not
return. A courteous request for a future time will usually find
available time at the present. When the prospect realizes that you
are not to be put off in that way, he will usually agree to hear
immediately what you have to say.
6. Time to think it over:
In some cases this is bona fide, but in others it is only a
manoeuvre. You must judge between the two. If you decide that you
are facing the manoeuvre or excuse, and your decision will probably
lean in that direction as a rule, you should point out the
disadvantages which are liable to arise by postponement, and the
desirability of immediate action. If the goods are satisfactory and
desirable, if their ownership promises to be profitable, each day of
postponement means so much loss to the buyer.
Have you ever asked your customers - what is the
impact of not making the decision today to buy? How much it cost you
to stand still for next 60 or 90 days of postponing your decision?
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