How to Overcome the, “My relative handles that for me” Objection

If you’re in B2C sales (business to consumer), then you’ve no doubt gotten the objection, “My relative handles that for me, and I wouldn’t be interested in changing.”

In B2B sales (business to business), this objection often manifests as, “We’ve been doing business with X for years and we get the best (rates, service, etc.) and we wouldn’t be interested in switching.”

Other variations include:

“We have a rep who visits us each week and we don’t want to do business over the phone,”

OR

“I’ve known my rep for years and we have a great relationship so I wouldn’t be interested,”

OR

“Our supplier is the boss’s son (or father, sister, pastor, etc.) and we only do business with people we know.”

The list can go on and on.

The tricky thing about this objection is that we can all relate to having a personal relationship with a family member or someone we really like and trust, so we feel awkward trying to overcome it.

Here’s the thing: sometimes this is a real objection, and sometimes it’s just a smokescreen that works on salespeople so the prospect keep using it. Either way, below are some ways to get around it, or, at least, set the prospect up so they’re thinking about you when that relationship changes:

Response One:

“I totally know how that is, and I’m not here to come between you and that relationship. But hey everything changes, as you know, and if something should change between how you’re doing things now, it’s always good to have done your research in advance so you’re not scrambling later.

Why don’t we at least get together briefly, and I’ll give you some solid options in case you ever need them…”

Response Two:

“I understand and you know _________, every now and then initiatives change. Sometimes you might need a lower price, or more variety of product, or who knows. The point is that it’s always good to know what’s out there.

How about this: it doesn’t cost anything to at least compare what’s really out there these days, and who knows, if things change with you, at least you’ll know who to call to ask questions. Let’s do this…”

Response Three:

“Glad your (brother in law, sister in law, etc.) is handling this for you, but heaven forbid anything ever happen, you know a divorce or a falling out, you’ll be happy you’ve got a good backup!

Let’s do this….(set an appointment)”

Response Four:

“Well _________, you know how life is – people can get sick, or change jobs, or whatever – the smart thing for you to do is to always have a ready back up, you know just in case…

Since it doesn’t cost anything to learn about our services and prices, why don’t I drop by…”

Response Five:

“Because things have changed a lot since you’ve been working with (him/her), I’d suggest you at least be prudent and learn about what the current market has to offer you. Who knows? You may find that there’s an even easier/less expensive option available to you and you can let them know about it!

Let’s do this…”

Response Six:

“I’m happy you’ve found someone you’ve been able to trust for all these years. Let me ask you this: If something changes with that relationship and you find that you need to look elsewhere, could I be the next in line person you speak to about getting this (product/service) from?”

[If Yes – get information and give yours, then]

“_________, just out of curiosity, what might have to happen for you to even begin looking?”

Now you have a variety of ways to handle what may have seemed like an almost impossible objection in the past. Will all these work? No. Will some of them work a lot better than what you’re probably saying now? Yes!

How to Overcome the, “Market, Industry, Economy is bad…” Objection

You hear it all the time: “I/we can’t do anything now because the _________ (fill in the blank with market or economy, or company, or industry, or budget, etc.) is down.”

And the crazy thing is that sales reps actually buy into that objection! I guess if you’re not prepared to overcome it with a good script, and you keep getting it day in and day out, you’re susceptible to buying into it.

I’ve even begun hearing sales teams jump on the “Oh, things are terrible, the world is coming to an end…” objection and actually agreeing with their prospects! As soon as a sales rep gets this objection, I’ve heard them pile on with, “Oh, I’ve been hearing that a lot and things are bad out there! Some of our clients have even closed down their offices, and let people go – oh, it’s terrible!” And then add:

“Well, if things turn around, then definitely give us a call…”

Empowering, huh?

Remember: on every call somebody is going to be sold. The only question is: Are your prospects going to sell you on why they aren’t buying (from you), or are you going to sell them on why they need you more than ever right now?

Because your product or service can almost always save them money or time or energy or manpower, OR produce more and better results which will mean more revenue or business to them, then let’s face it: they can’t afford not to listen or meet with you!

Here’s the only script you need to overcome the “Everything is terrible” objection and earn the right to meet or do a demo with your prospects:

The next time you get any variation of the, “I/we can’t do anything now because the _________ (fill in the blank with market or economy, or company, or industry, or budget, etc.) is down.” objection, you simply say:

“Well, because of that reason, I’m sure it’s more important than ever for you to (reduce costs, save money, get more results, etc.) and that’s exactly why other companies are meeting with us to see how we can do just that for them. You’ll be happy we met, too. Here’s what I recommend we do…”

You have to be prepared with a positive, upbeat message to overcome their negativity – you have to believe in what you’re selling, in your solution enough – to earn the right to meet with your prospect.

Use the script above as it is, or adapt it to fit your personality and your product or service, and start closing your prospects – rather than letting them closing you…

Ask for the Sale Five Times – At Least!

How many times have you seen a commercial (either a TV ad, a public billboard, ad in a magazine, etc.) for Coca Cola? Perhaps I should say how many times a DAY do you see one?

Now you’d think that people already know about Coca Cola, but did you know that Coke still spends billions of dollars a year on advertisements?

Why do you think that is?

It’s the same reason that infomercials run over and over and over again. After you’ve seen the same infomercial 50 times, you begin to consider it. After another 50 times you think you might actually use it. Another 50 and some of you decide that you’ve got to have it – I mean, heck, they’ve run this commercial at least a thousand times, there must be some value to this, right?

I remember my first sales manager used to say to us that we weren’t even in the closing arena until we had asked for the sale at least five times (and gotten a “no” five times, by the way). After that, he’d say, you’re finally closing…

How many times do you ask for the sale? Do you ask for it in a round-about, soft way and then give up if your prospect says no? Or do you even ask for it at all?

On the other hand, how much more successful would you be if you asked for the order five times and had a prepared response to each objection and, after answering it, asked for the sale again?

Now I know there is a fine line between being obnoxious and being persistent, but the more you’re able to be persuasive and persistent, the more deals you’re going to close.

It’s like Coca Cola. If they had run one ad and quit, we’d all be drinking Pepsi today…

So, how do you ask for the order over and over again? You have options: you can use trial closes, assumptive closes or flat out closes. Here are some scripts to get you started:

Close One:

“Have I given you enough to say yes yet, or do you need to hear more?” (Soft trial close)

Close Two:

“Do you have any more questions or have you decided to put us to work for you?” (Soft trial close)

Close Three:

“Most people choose the starter pack and that works out great. Would you like that, or do you think the professional package is better for you?” (Alternative close)

Close Four:

“Our system can be set up in a matter of a week – and the sooner you give us the O.K., the sooner it’ll be working for you. Would you like to get started with this today?” (Close)

Close Five:

“….And that’s how my other client got over that hurtle. I’d recommend you do the same; you’ll always be glad you did. Let’s go ahead and get you signed up for this – which credit card would you like to use today?” (Close after overcoming an objection)

Close Six:

“Since your (partner, spouse, etc.) goes with whatever you think is best, they’ll probably go with this as well. In the meantime, let’s go ahead and get the paperwork done and a delivery date set. If they change your mind, you can simply call back in, but in the meantime, you’ll have all this completed. Now how would you like to pay for this?” (Overcoming the partner objection close)

Close Seven:

“Now ________, we can go back and forth on this and I’m sure you can come up with many more reasons not to do this – but let’s face it: you know you need it, and I know you want it! So let’s go ahead and move forward. What’s your preferred payment method today?” (Flat out close)

Close Eight:

“It sounds like you understand this now, so let’s get you started. What address do you want this delivered to?” (Assumptive close)

Close Nine:

“Did I answer that for you? Do you have any more questions? No? O.K., great – then welcome aboard! I know you’re going to enjoy this as much as my other clients do. How would you like to pay for this today?” (Close)

Close Ten:

“As my dad used to say, “There’s nothing to it but to do it!” So let’s do this today. Where did you want us to send this to today?”

If you’ve done your job and properly qualified your prospect, then chances are they actually want to buy from you. So make it easy on them by asking for the sales at least five times. Remember, the magic happens around the seventh close.

How to Handle the Wife Stall

If you sell B2C (or even B2B) and you get the “I have to convince my wife,” stall, how do you handle it?

If you’re like many of the sales reps I’ve been listening to lately, the answer is: Not very well.

So let’s start at the beginning. The first thing you need to do with this stall/objection is to isolate it. You begin by qualifying that the prospect you are speaking to is sold on your solution regardless of that the wife would say. You use:

“I understand completely – let me ask you: if your wife says she is fine with whatever it is that you want to do, would you move forward on this right now?”

If you get buy in with a “Yes I would!” then you have several courses of action to take. I like to then qualify what it would take to sell her (in other words, find out in advance of speaking to her what her concern is), so I would then ask:

“O.K., and what do you think it will take to convince her?”

OR

“All right, and what do you think is holding her back?”

OR

“What are some of the concerns she has?”

OR

“And what do you think she would need to hear to say yes to this?”

OR

“And how can I help you convince her on this?”

After you’ve gotten some input on what the potential objections of the wife are, and/or gained insight on what her possible buying motives are, then you can set up a time to speak with her (with the husband on the phone, of course) and move to close the sale. You can say either of these:

“Is she available now?”

OR

“Why don’t you go get her on the other phone now?”

If she is not available, then you need to set up an appointment to speak with her at the soonest possible time:

“How about first thing evening, what time would be good?”

To reiterate the steps above:

1) Make sure the husband (or whatever spouse or decision maker you’re speaking to) is on board.
2) Find out what the concerns or buying motives of the wife are.
3) Move to speak with her right then or at the soonest opportunity.

When you then get the spouse on the phone, you can open the call in many different ways. Here are a few:

First, use the information you received from questioning the husband:

“Hi _________, your husband has been telling me that he likes the XYZ and that you like it, too, but you just need a little more information on (whatever the concern is). Can you tell me what you’d like to know?”

OR

“Hi __________, it’s nice to meet you. I’ve been talking to (her husband’s name) and he’s quite interested in moving ahead with XYZ. What might it take to get you onboard as well?”

OR

“Hi _______, this is ______ _______, and your husband wanted me to reach out to you about the XYZ he’s been looking at. I’d like to answer any questions you have so you can feel as confident about it as he is. What would you like to ask me today?”

OR, if you know what the concern is and have a good response to it, open with:

“Hi ________, this is ______ _______, and I’ve been talking to your husband about XYZ. He tells me that you’re concerned with (go over reason), is that right?”

Now Listen….then,

“I’m glad you brought that up – you’re not the first person to have that concern. But the good news is that …” (overcome objection, then ask): “Do you see how that works? Does that make you feel better?”

If and when you get buy in, you simply close the sale with:
“Well, I guess you can see why your husband likes this. Here’s what I recommend we do…”

And ask for the deal. If she is not ready to move, repeat the above steps all the while ending with asking for the order.

Adjust any of these scripts as necessary, but then commit to using them – they’ll work for you as long as you’re willing to use them!

Boost Your Sales by Using This One Word

Catchy title, huh? “Boost your sales using just this ONE word.” Wouldn’t it be nice if there was just one magic word that could really increase your sales?

There is…

Before I tell you what it is, though, let me give you a brief background on how I discovered it. Years ago as I was struggling to make sales, I found a bad pattern had developed in terms of how my sales attempts were ending up. After pitching and pitching, most of my sales were being stalled with some variation of:

“Let me think about it,”

OR

“I’ll have to discuss this with my partner…”

OR

“O.K., why don’t you get back with me in a few weeks…”

Sound familiar? It should. Most sales presentations end this way. After racking my brain for the reason, I finally began listening to how the top closers in my company were closing their sales. And how they were opening and qualifying their prospects as well.

Turns out they all were using one magic word. And the word was….

“Today.”

Or some variation of it when they were qualifying. And that’s when I started using it as well and it didn’t just boost my sales, it catapulted it! In fact, it had much more impact than that. It also greatly reduced the number of unqualified leads I sent out and spent hours of useless time with.

Here are some examples of how to use the word today in both your opening and closing statements.:

For qualifying you must qualify the prospect’s timeline and set the proper expectation for the close. At the end of your cold call and before you schedule your demo or send your information, you must ask something like this:

“So _________, I’ve got you on the calendar to do a walk-through of our solution next Wednesday, and if after we’re done you really like this, is it something that you can make a decision on at that time?”

OR

“So _________, I look forward to our demo next Wednesday, and if after we’re done you really like this, I’m going to ask you for a simple yes or no, is that fair?”

Now in some situations if you’re dealing with an influencer, your question will be about what the next steps are, what the decision maker’s time frame is like, how many other companies they’re looking at, etc..

But if you are dealing with the owner or decision maker, you must get a firm commitment as to timeframe, ideally confirming a decision right after your pitch.

For closing calls, you use the magic word:

At the beginning of your presentation, before you go into your slide show or however you do it, you requalify by asking:

“I’m excited to show you this, and at the end if you feel this is the right solution for you, this is something you can move on today, right?”

That’s it. No wishy washy way around it. You must set a clear expectation right from the beginning (and that means on the qualifying call) and then reconfirm it at the beginning of the close.

I know what you’re thinking: “What if they say no?” Then you adjust your presentation to target their buying motive and start overcoming what their objection is. I’ve written many of scripts to help you do that, so check out my blog if you need them: http://mrinsidesales.com/insidesalestrainingblog/

Bottom line: You will make more sales faster and with less struggle if you set the proper expectation on the front call and confirm it by opening your closing call using the magic word: today.

Try it today and see for yourself.

Too Many Options? Narrow It Down to Get the Sale Now

If you sell a product or service with many add-on’s and options or choices, then it’s easy for your prospect to get overwhelmed and want to “think about it.” Many sales reps actually make it for harder for buyers to decide because they keep pitching (instead of closing) and so complicate the sale even further.

If you find that you’ve “talked past the close” as I like to say, then it might be time to un-complicate the sale and make it easy for your prospect or customer to buy something now, rather than putting the decision off.

Here are some ways you can do that. As usual, take some time to customize these to fit your product or service:

Option 1:

“Now _________ I may have made this harder on you than I should have. Let’s look at the basic package again, the (restate the easiest offer), and let me ask you: will this do most of the things you’re looking at this to do for you?”

Option 2:

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices and combinations, so let me make this easy for you: most people in your position go for our X package because they find it does everything they need it to do. And, of course, you can always upgrade later should you have the need.

So let’s do this….”

Option 3:

“I’m getting the feeling we’ve gone over too many options, and it would probably be easier for you if we just took half of these away. Which features don’t you feel you need?”

Option 4:

“I know it’s easy to go back and forth on some of these combinations, so let me ask you: is this a toss-up decision, or are you leaning towards one more than the other – and if so, which one is it?”

Option 5:

“__________, let’s step back here for a moment. You don’t have to get the package that has all the bells and whistles – unless you really want to, of course…. – so tell me, which one of these are you leaning towards?”

Option 6:

“You know, going through all the possible options and combinations could take you hours and hours. You don’t have to do that now. Instead, let’s break this down to your absolute essentials: which features can’t you live without?”

Options 7:

“If you had to pick one package/combination over another, which would it be?”

Option 8:

“With all of these options you’re going to get our (warranty, performance, delivery, etc.), so any package you pick is going to be fine for you. Tell me, what are you leaning towards right now?”

Option 9:

“__________, let’s make this simple and get you started with the basic package for now. That way you can see how this works for you, we can get into a relationship, and later, down the road, if you want to expand your coverage, you can. At least in the meantime you’re not missing out on these results….”

Option 10:

“Let do this: let’s take the premium package so you won’t have to worry later that you’re missing out on something you wish you had gotten in the beginning. With this package, you’ll get everything you need….”

Having these closes handy when you feel your prospect slipping away or having a hard time making a decision could very well save the sale for you.

“I Want to Think About It” – Ten New Ways to Handle it!

I know, we’ve already been through this objection, but sales reps always want more input on it so here it is:

The bottom line is that when someone says they want to think about it, it means they aren’t sold yet. And it could very easily mean that they aren’t sold on your solution, and they never will be because they have something else in mind.

Your job is to either get to that hidden objection and learn what you need to do to overcome it, or get your prospect to reveal why they aren’t going to go with your product or service.

And that’s why you must get your prospect talking. Now here is why this is so hard for sales people: They don’t want to ask because they don’t want to know! Most sales reps would just prefer to let the prospect “think about it” hoping they will somehow convince themselves and buy at some time in the future.

How often does that happen?

What usually happens is that the prospect then disappears at this point, never to be heard from again. And that’s why sales reps dread this objection.

But top producers know that getting their prospect talking at this point is crucial to find out one of two things (and both of these things is a successful outcome):

1) What the hidden objection really is, and so find a way of dealing and overcoming it, or:
2) What the reason is they aren’t going to move on it, and so be able to hang this up as a learning experience and use the lessons to qualify the next lead better.

Let me repeat – BOTH of these outcomes should be considered a success. The first because you’ll learn what you need to do to get a deal, and the second because you won’t start chasing an unqualified lead that will never buy, and you’ll learn how to not create another one in the future.

So the following ten rebuttals to “I want to think about it” are designed to get your prospect talking – and then you’ll be able to decide which category they go into…

[Note: I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize again that you should have avoided this objection from coming up in the first place by asking this type of qualifying question during your initial call: “And if you like what we have to offer, what would be your timeframe for getting started?”]

Objection: “I want to think it over”

Option 1:

“I understand. Just out of curiosity:

• “Do you understand how the (explain the benefits of savings or making money here) work right?”
• “And do you understand what we mean when we say, (stress any warranties guarantees or customer service options) here, don’t you?”
• “Then while we’re on the phone together, what other questions do you have?”

[If None]

“Then just to clarify my thinking, what part of this do you need to think over?

Option 2:

“Are you going to be thinking over the (name two or three benefits) we spoke about today or about whether or not this solution is the right fit for you?”

Option 3:

“I know I’ve given you a lot to think about today, do you mind me asking what part of this you’d like to think over?”

Option 4:

“I understand, and I’m sure you’ve got other options to consider…do you mind if I ask how we’re stacking up to what you’re also looking at?”

Option 5:

“__________, it sounds like you’re probably considering other options as well – do you mind if I ask who else you’re looking into?”

Layer:

“And how do we stack up compared to them?”

Option 6:

“__________, besides yourself, who else would be weighing in on this?”

Option 7:

“I totally understand, many people I speak with want to consider all their options before making a decision. Tell me, who else is in the running for this?”

Option 8:

“That’s no problem. Level with me, if you would, what would be holding you back from saying yes right now?”

Layer:

“And is this even a realistic option for you?”

Option 9:

“And as you think about it right now, what would be the major reason for not moving forward with it?”

Option 10:

“I understand – not everyone I speak with is ready to move forward with it right away. Quick question:

“What would you need to see here for you to say yes to this?”

As you can see, all of these responses are geared to get your prospect to reveal what it’s going to take for you to get the sale – and some are also geared to get your prospect to reveal why they will never be a deal.

Again, either way you win.

Always Have This Close Handy…

How many times do you get the objection, “Well, let me talk to my (partner, boss, manager, spouse, etc.)”? In any kind of sale, this is one of the most common objections or stalls prospects use. And they use it because sales reps don’t seem to have any effective come back to it. Variations on this objection include:

“Let me run this by…”

OR

“I’ll have to get with….”

OR

“Let me check with…”

OR

“I’ll show this to my boss and see what he wants to do…”

I’m going to give you the right rebuttal to this and give you a real life example of how I used this – and what I learned – just this week while I was closing a prospect on one of my training programs.

I was speaking with a customer who had recently purchased one of my book of phone scripts. I had never spoken to her before, but decided to call her and see how the scripts were working out for her.

During our conversation I learned what her company was about, what they sold and how many reps they had. I established that she was one of the owners.

After listening to exactly what she was trying to accomplish, I suggested helping her by writing customized scripts and having her record those sales presentations so I could revise and perfect her scripted sales approach.

Then I asked how that sounded.

And that’s when I got the objection above. She said: “I’ll run this by my partner…”

Now this is where 80% of sales reps let the prospect go with, “O.K., when should I follow up?”

That is the wrong thing to do.

Instead, the proper technique is to isolate this objection by taking the other decision maker out of it so you can gauge how your prospect truly feels about it.

Because let’s face it: if your prospect isn’t sold, the other decision maker isn’t going to be either…

So here’s the close you need here: I told her: “That’s great, definitely show it to your partner. Let me ask you: If you’re partner says it sounds good, what would you do then?”

And this is where this technique really pays off. If she had said, “I’d do it!” then I would have set some coaching times (nothing in stone; just set some tentative dates – another form of a trial close), but if she said what she did, then I would know exactly where I stood.

She said, “I’d then go back to my reps and tell them to use the scripts I just bought and see how it goes. I’d tell them I’d already spent a lot of money on them and they needed to produce before I’d be willing to spend more.”

How’s that for a good answer?

Now you’re probably thinking, “Good answer? Mike, it doesn’t sound like she’s going to buy!”

But that’s O.K. Some will, some won’t, who’s next?

You see, what’s so good about this technique, and her honest answer, is that she revealed that she isn’t going to be a deal. That means I get to move on…

Compare this to how most sales reps would just schedule a call back and then begin chasing her?

How many of these types of unqualified leads currently clog your pipeline?

When I say this is the type of close to always have handy, I mean it. Every time you find yourself in this situation, always, always, isolate this objection/stall to find out where you really stand.

It will save you tons of time (and frustration); time you can spend prospecting and finding real buyers…

Stop Pitching the Gatekeeper – and What to Do Instead

One of the biggest mistakes many inside sales reps make is pitching the gatekeeper. For some reason they feel compelled to pour their pitch on the first pair of ears they get, and, unfortunately, this usually gets them into trouble.

To start with, the gatekeeper is just that – someone whose job it is to screen salespeople from getting through to the decision maker. The worst thing you can do is immediately identify yourself as a salesperson by pitching them in hopes that they’ll be so moved by your pitch that they’ll want to put you through. Doesn’t happen. Instead, all you do is trigger their automatic response of, “Just email something, and I’ll forward it to my boss.” Or worse…

By identifying yourself as a salesperson, you’ll actually be making it easier for the gatekeeper to just blow you off with, “We’re not interested.” Think about it: They take sales calls like yours all day long, and after a while (like two days on the job), they’re as sick of getting phone calls as you are of making them. So leading with your pitch is the last thing you want to do.

Also, the reason you don’t want to pitch the gatekeeper is because they don’t care what you’re selling and they usually have zero say in whether to buy from you or not. Again, they are gatekeepers – not decision makers. Pitching them will mean nothing, and all it will do is annoy them and waste your time.

So, what to do? Your job, believe it or not, is to get past the gatekeeper with as little interrogation as possible (and with as little pitching as possible), and connect with the decision maker. That is the person you want to give your brief pitch to… So here are a copy of ways to avoid pitching the gatekeeper, and, instead, getting to the decision maker:

1) By now, you’ve already read about my “Please, please, please” technique. Some of you are already using it and isn’t it great? For those of you who missed it, it’s simple. To avoid 65% (or more) of any screening, simply open your call with:

“Hi, this is (your name) with (your company), could you please connect me with (DM’s name) please?”

That’s it. To read the whole technique, simply check out my blog here: http://mrinsidesales.com/insidesalestrainingblog/

2) If you don’t know the name of the person you’re looking for, simply say:

“Hi, this is (your name) with (your company) and I need a little bit of help please.”

After they ask how they can help you, you say, “I’m looking for the person who handles X – who would that be please?”

That’s it. No pitching, no pleading to be put through, instead you’re simply asking for their help and then directing them to put you through. If you ask this in a polite way, you’ll get through 65% of the time.

3) Now here comes the tricky part: In some cases, the gatekeeper has a little more authority, like an office manager, or executive assistant, etc. In this case it’s O.K. to deliver your opening value statement – just so they know what it’s about – but then it’s highly important to try to get through to the decision maker as soon as possible. Here are a few ways to do that:

The best way is to quickly qualify for decision maker status. As soon as you ask if they make the decision on what you’re selling, and are told that someone else makes the decision, that is your cue to ask to be put through to the actual DM. Try:

“Oh, I see, tell you what: If you’d put me through to (boss) briefly, I’ll explain what this is about and if he (or she) is interested in learning more, I can make an appointment that fits his/her schedule. I’ll be happy to hold on while you connect me…”

OR

“It sounds like the best thing to do before I send something is to have just a few words with (DM), and that way I can save us both a lot of time depending on their level of interest. Could you please let (DM) know I’m holding please?”

OR

“Before I bother you with emails and then follow up calls, why don’t you put me in touch with your (boss) briefly, and I’ll see if there’s an interest on his/her side. If so, I’ll take the appropriate action, if not, we’ll save us all a lot of time. Could you let (the boss) know I’m holding, please?”

4) Sometimes the gatekeeper or office manager will want a little more information on what it is you’re offering, and in this case it’s O.K. to give them more details, but just make sure that you qualify for their role in the decision process and that you ask for the best way to connect with the other decisions makers if possible. Sample questions include:

“And beside yourself, who makes the decision on this?”

Layer with:

“Great, can I connect briefly with them to make sure this is something they’d like to know more about?”

OR

“If this is something you like, how much influence do you have in the decision process?”

If they tell you their boss would make the final decision, then layer with:

“I understand completely. Tell you what, so we don’t waste your time or his/hers, let me have a brief word with them, and I’ll see if this is something they even want to learn more about. I’ll be happy to hold on…”

If you’re then told they aren’t available, try to get their name or direct email address or extension, and when you call back if the assistant isn’t available, ask for the DM directly.

The major lesson here is that you must resist the temptation to pitch the gatekeeper, or to give too much of your pitch to the assistant if they aren’t the final DM. Give just enough to qualify for interest, and then try to get through to the actual DM. This will save you a lot of time and headache later on.

15 Ways to Handle the Competition Objection

Targets hit in the center by arrows
Targets hit in the center by arrows

We all face competition. There is always someone who can do it cheaper, or faster, or better (at least in the mind of your prospect). Because of this, prospects – and even customers – are constantly on the search for a better deal. Knowing how to handle the competition objection effectively can mean the difference between winning the sale or suffering that sinking feeling of having lost the business to someone else.

There are several times you can handle the competition objection, but surprisingly most sales reps wait until it comes up at the end of their closing presentation. This is the worse time to handle it because you have already given your pricing and options and sometimes even your best deal. While you may have to handle the objection of competition during the close – and I’ll give you some scripting to do just that later in this article – the best time to handle it is in the beginning, while qualifying. Here are some ways you can do that:

Qualifying for competition:

Option #1:
“_________, let’s talk a little bit about who else you’re looking at for this – who’s top of your list right now?”

If you’re uncomfortable bringing up potential competition, let me assure you of two things: One, if they are shopping you, they are most likely shopping others, so don’t be surprised, and Two, trust me, it’s better to know in advance who you’re up against so you can position yourself to win the business during the close. And always ask this in an assumptive way…

Option #2:
“How many companies are you getting quotes on for this?”

Once again, don’t worry about introducing the concept of getting quotes, if they are going to do this (and most are), it’s better to get an idea of it now. If they tell you they are getting three quotes (doesn’t matter how many), layer this with: “And who have you liked so far?” Again, be assumptive with this.

Option #3:
“_________, how does your current supplier fit into all this?”

This is a nice opened ended, assumptive way to get your prospect to reveal why they might be moving away from their current vendor – or why they might still be considering using them. A great way to layer this is to ask:

Option #4:
“And if you find that we can give you a better deal than you’re getting right now, what will you do next?”

Obviously you want them to reveal that they’ll take it back to their current vendor to get them to lower their price, and this is what you want to know in advance. Asking this question in an opened ended way like this often gets them to tell you this. You can also ask this in a more direct way:

Option #5:
“________, if we can show you how we can take care of what you’re doing now, and do so for less than you’re paying your current vendor, what will prevent you from taking it back to them and getting them to just drop their price to keep your business?”

Listen carefully to not only what your prospect says here, but how they say it. If they hesitate or if their voice goes up or wavers a bit, then you’re in trouble. You can also handle it this way:

Option #6:
“Now _________, after we do our analysis, I’m pretty convinced that we’ll be able to save you money just like we do our other clients. But ________, I have a concern and I need you to level with me: Sometimes we go through this work to find these savings, and after we do, some companies use them to get their current vendor to lower their prices. Do you see what I mean?”

[Wait for response]

“So I’m happy to do the work for you and show you some savings, but let me ask you: what is the chance that you’ll take these back to your current vendor and do the same?”

OR

“Let me ask you: if we can also show you savings, what would prevent you from doing the same?”

Option #7:
“________, what is going to be the deciding factor on who wins your business on this?”

And if it’s price, then layer with:

“O.K., then after you get all the quotes, will you at least let me compete against the lowest quote to see if I can do better?”

Handling competition during the close: If after you’ve presented your product or service your prospect says they want or need to check on other offers/estimates/quotes, then use the questions below to get your prospect to open up and possibly reveal what it might take for you to win the business:

Option #1:
“I understand, which way are you leaning right now?”

Option #2:
“What would it take for someone else to win your business?”

Option #3:
“What would it honestly take for you to choose us for this?”

Option #4:
“What don’t you see with our proposal that you see in others?”

Option #5:
“Are we in the running with what else you’ve seen out there?”

[If yes]

“What about us would take us out of the running?”

OR

“What would you need to see to choose using us?”

AND

“What can I do right now to insure that we win your business?”

Option #6:
“Obviously you’re going to show this quote to your current vendor – if they match the price, will you just stick with them?”

[If yes]

“What can I do to prevent that?”

Option #7:
“How many times have you taken other quotes to your current vendor?”

[If they tell you]:

“And what do they usually do?”

[If they say they lower their price to keep the business]:

“How can we break that cycle and get you the right pricing from the start?”

Option #8:
“_________, let’s take your lowest bid right now and compare it – services to services – to what we’re offing you. If I find you’re getting a better deal, I’ll tell you so. If I can beat it, then I’ll let you know that as well. Either way – You’ll Win! Do you have that other quote nearby?”

Remember, competition will always exist, but you can beat it and win business if you’re prepared with proven and effective scripts like those above. Pick your favorite ones and tailor them to your particular sale.