How to handle an objection before it ever comes up

One of the most frustrating things in the world is getting shot down by the same objection over and over, no matter what you say in response.

It’s not that you haven’t tried to figure out how to handle it. You’ve gone back over your training materials. Your manager ran a mock call with you to go through how to handle the objection. Heck, you probably stole the best reply you’ve heard one of your colleagues use.

Yet it feels like every time someone brings up that objection you’re going to get shot down. Then you get shot down. It’s a living nightmare, one that temporarily ends when the prospect hangs up the phone.

The nightmare lurks in the background on every call as you pray your prospect says “yes” before it comes back.

Fortunately, many common objections can be handled before they ever come up. How can that be?

The best reps make sure they brush aside their most challenging objections in their pitch.

One of my best reps hated the objection, “Why are you calling me?” It always seemed to shut her down, even though we were targeting specific prospects in specific industries. This rep had even worked on the marketing team that identified good prospects before moving into a cold calling role. She could handle any other common objection easily.

None of that mattered. If the prospect asked her that one specific question she would get shot down.

She would get so frustrated every time she ran into that objection, too. I remember a few times where she had to take a walk before getting back on the phones.

Instead of praying she didn’t run into that objection she put a new line in her pitch to combat it.

“The reason I’m reaching out to your company is because my colleague in marketing determined we have similar clients we’re seeing success with….”

One change in her pitch and she stopped running into that objection.

You can handle many objections by tailoring your pitch to prevent them. Let’s walk through a few more common ones and how you can change your pitch to handle them.

Objection: “We already have someone for this.”

Many reps run into this objection because they open themselves up to it. How? It’s not enough to tell the prospect why your product is great. You should be summarizing the key reasons prospects switch from what they’re currently doing to your solution.

If you change how you talk about your benefits from what you provide to why clients become your customers, you’ll be speaking to the prospect’s world.

In my first sales role I ran into this all the time. I was the new vendor in the territory and the only way I was going to succeed was to take business from my competitors. Instead of simply listing our benefits I reframed them as a reason to change.

“Our customers chose us because we could provide a product that worked as well, if not better, for the same price or better, as what they were using, and on top of that we handle the hassle of maintaining equipment and paying attention to when you need to place an order.”

Focus on the reasons customers switched and you’ll have better chance of connecting with the prospect early on.

Objection: “We don’t have budget for something like this.”

One of the biggest challenges selling a new solution to an old problem is budget. This is extremely common in SaaS, because you’re often selling software that does the tasks people still do manually. It’s tough to carve out a line in the budget for “unexpected software vendor that proves they can free up a lot of time,” especially when you can think of a few dozen things you’d like to buy or pay for if you only had that extra budget.

For many SaaS companies the goal is to have that initial conversation with a prospect to achieve three key things:

1) Introduce the concept that yes, software can do that for you.

2) See if there’s enough interest to get considered in the next budget cycle.

3) Find out when the next budget cycle is.

Unfortunately, if you’re stumped by the budget objection you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle with most of your prospects. They’ll always think, “Oh, we don’t have the money for that!”

If this objection is extremely common when you’re prospecting, address is before it comes up.

“Many of our customers took an initial look at this and realized it would more than pay for itself with the time it freed up, along with the security knowing the information was entered and calculated correctly every time, which allowed them to easily add it to their budget.”

By handling budget early on you’re able to have a better conversation around how your solution can help your prospects as opposed to praying they’re open minded enough to talk to a vendor without a line item already in their plans.

Does this work for every objection? No.

Even if you write the greatest pitch ever you’re still going to encounter plenty of prospects who push back with “Send me an email” or “Not interested” or “This isn’t a good time”.

It’s extremely hard, if not impossible, to write a great 30 second pitch that covers every common objection that you’re expecting.

The goal here is to first ask yourself, “Is there an objection that always gets me?”

If there is an objection you can never seem to handle well, consider changing part of your pitch instead of hoping the prospect doesn’t go there. You will run into that objection again and again. Do everything you can to get it out of the way before the prospect drops it on you.

Have you changed your pitch to better handle an objection? Let me know if you have in the comments!

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