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 make.

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 kind?

  • Does it do the work in the most economical way?

  • 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?

Read other articles and learn more about Alen Majer.

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