Ilise’s Corner | How to Close the Deal, Part Two: Preparation Prevents Perspiration

We’ve talked about how the selling process can be unnerving or uncomfortable for you. But did you ever think that maybe your prospective customer feels the same way?

There are a few statements that prospects use when they want to stall or aren’t convinced you’re the one for them. You won’t always be able to work past this stage in the process, but if you back off without responding, you’ll miss out on those opportunities that you can win without knowing which ones they are.

So preparation is key. Be ready with a few ways to respond to these common "objections:"

"We’re not in the market for that right now."

This is the "best" objection to hear because it means the obstacle is timing. All you need to find out is when they will be ready, then be sure to reach out during (or before) that window of time.

"You’re too expensive. We can’t afford your prices."

They may not be fully aware of how your pricing works. Offer alternatives for them to consider. If you really want this client and are willing to offer a freebie up front to get your foot in the door, like a white paper or a complimentary consultation, this is the time to make the offer.

"We don’t have the budget."

This is different from "You’re too expensive" and reflects an opening that you shouldn’t let slip by. Ask what they mean. No budget at all for this type of work? No budget left for this year? (If the latter, find out when the new budget kicks in or when budget planning will resume so you can get back in touch at that time.)

"We already have a vendor for these services."

Yes, but are they happy with their current vendor? This is the perfect time to ask. Probe to find out what they like and don’t like about the current vendor. That will give you essential information about which of your benefits to emphasize as you continue the selling process.

Your prospect may be staying with the current resource because it’s too much effort to find someone else. Your job is to reinforce all the reasons why working with you would make their life easier and be worth the effort to change. You might have to convey this message bit by bit over time, but don’t neglect to use this information if you can get it. Also, they may need a back up resource at the drop of a hat. If you’re waiting in the wings, you’ll be well positioned to fill the need.

Did I miss anything? What other objections have prospective customers raised with you in an initial conversation? And how have you handled them?