Hearing no is part of being in sales. It's not my favorite part, but it does come with the territory.
The problem is, a lot of salespeople don't know how to navigate hearing no. They either:
Dig in and become that annoying salesperson who won't take no for an answer. (Not a good look) — or
Start telling the prospect why they're wrong
Neither approach is particularly successful.
I know, 'cause I've tried both.
Instead of the status quo, I am going to share exactly how to successfully overcome sales objectives — including a few lessons I've learned (some the hard way 🙈) over the past few years at Leadfeeder.
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The truth is, some prospects just aren't a good fit. They might not be in the right stage of growth; they might not have the processes in place to make the most of what you have to offer.
For example, Leadfeeder works best for mid-sized companies that are looking to up their lead generation game. A small B2C company with killer generation processes isn't going to get quite as much from our tool as a mid-sized B2B company. Those prospects are ones we let go of.
Other times prospects are a great fit — you just need to get past their objections. And you need to do it without being pushy. Here are four best practices that will help you tackle objections with ease.
Find the true sales objections
When we talk about sales objectives, most salespeople focus on what the prospect says rather than what they mean.
The main objection is not usually the real reason a client says no.
A client might say, "Oh, we don't have the budget for that." or "We aren't ready for that right now, but maybe later."
In reality, they are just looking to shut down the conversation and reach for the most convenient reason.
In other cases, they might not really know why it doesn't feel right — and it is up to you to figure it out.
Here's how to get to the bottom of their real objection:
Listen and acknowledge: Express you understand where they are coming from and acknowledge their feelings are valid. Rephrase their concerns to show you are paying attention. (Be genuine here, don't make it weird.)
Ask questions: Find out where they are struggling and make sure you understand the underlying issue. "So, when you say X, Y, Z, what exactly do you mean?" Repeat back the objections they share, "You mentioned struggling with X, Y, or Z. Does that mean…." and rephrase what they said. This ensures you actually understand their issue.
By listening and asking questions, you'll get a deeper understanding of what the real objection is so you can focus on overcoming it. (Which we'll cover in the next section.)
Focus on motivation rather than need
Most salespeople aren't selling lifesaving solutions. I know, I know, you believe in what you sell. At least I hope you do. But most SaaS and B2B companies aren't saving the world. When salespeople act like their solution will save all of mankind, prospects see through it.
Leadfeeder, for example, is a powerful tool. It is one that we feel strongly about and delivers a lot of value for companies that are looking to find more leads and track what those leads do.
But it isn't going to save a company that's two days away from running out of funding. We're a website tracking tool, not miracle workers.
We need food, water, to breathe. Most of us don't need a tool that finds broken links or helps with competitive research.
Instead of focusing on your solution, work to understand what motivates the person—are they gunning for a promotion? Are they looking to offload some of their current workloads and take on projects they care about? What’s valuable to them?
Focus on how what you offer solves a solution for them personally, not just the company as a whole.
Listen and learn
I know, this one seems obvious, but it can be easy to forget in the moment. When a prospect has an objective, it's natural to want to dive in and offer a solution or tell them why they're wrong.
And while you might be technically right, it won't earn you any sales.
Instead of pushing back — "Oh, it's not that expensive when you consider X, Y, and Z." — take the time to listen and learn. They might tell you what their actual objective is without even realizing it. Or, they might mention another issue you hadn't even considered addressing.
Then, acknowledge their concerns, "I understand why you feel X, Y, Z." By saying you agree and understand, you create empathy instead of resistance.
You might say, "Customer X felt the exact same way. You aren't alone, it's a common observation." Now you've opened a conversation and can lead in with solutions. "X client had similar reservations and here were their results."
The objection doesn't end when they sign on the dotted line
Overcoming an objection isn't a one-shot deal.
Once you've overcome the objective, talk about the next steps — and take special care to ensure their original objection is still top of mind. "I know you are worried about adoption rates, so I want to go over our onboarding process so you can see how we address slow adopters."
Show you listen and value them as a person even after the deal is closed — this will reduce churn.
Now's the fun part. I will share the exact phrasing I use to overcome objections from customers and close more deals.
"We don't have the budget."
This is a common one, and it can be hard to argue with — but not impossible.
Do you see any indications they’re spending? Look on the website, LinkedIn, or other social media networks to see what types of tools or services they are currently using.
Then, focus on the value of the investment. For example, with Leadfeeder, we focus on how we are a three-in-one solution to find score and track leads and then use that data for website personalization. If they are using one or two other tools, our solution can replace them.
"It's too expensive."
Too expensive usually means one of two things:
They don't have a clear idea of success or how to measure it.
The customer is not confident about the outcome.
So, how do you navigate this? Guide them towards a clear idea of success by showing case studies and hard data to explain how it will drive revenue. Will it help them scale? Gain more clients, increase SEO? What does that look like in cold hard dollars?
For Leadfeeder, we'd try to get an idea of their real value and translate that into ROI. Our tool bills by the number of leads, so we might ask how much traffic their site gets and calculate the ROI based on deal value.
"We don't have the time or resources to implement this."
In most cases, this objection points to an underlying issue. Are they overwhelmed with the workload? Do they lack confidence in the implementation of your solution? Or maybe they aren't confident your solution can deliver real results.
Start by being relatable and show you understand their struggle. Then, share how your tool or solution aligns with their current process. Essentially, you want to show them how your solution will save time or money, not cost them more resources.
"Oh, we’re already using <competitor.>"
This is one of the easiest sales objectives to overcome. There are a few approaches that might work, depending on which competitor they use.
If the competitor isn't a direct competitor (for example, they offer your solution as a 'nice to have' feature), share a feature comparison between the two. If you have one on your own site, perfect, otherwise G2 and Capterra often offer detailed comparisons.
If it’s a direct competitor, ask them to do a fair comparison between the two solutions and point out where you shine for their specific needs.
Make sure to keep it honest — for example, if the other solution offers more features, maybe yours is easier to use which means higher adoption rates.
Overcoming objections is key to closing deals. The problem is, it can be a PIA, right? Hopefully, these tried-and-true tips will help your team move prospects past objections and sign on the dotted line.
One final tip — once you overcome an objective, make sure you have a clear idea of when you can get back in touch. Following up is always crucial in sales, but it can also help solidify your solution as the right choice.
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