What should you do when you’re trying to sell your services and hear these words:
• “That’s too expensive.”
• “I’ve never heard of you before.”
• “I’m too busy. Call me some other time.”
Give up and move on to the next one?
If you do, your pipeline will soon run dry.
It may be disappointing to hear these phrases over and over again, but these are some of the most common client objections in virtually any industry.
You may not like it, but working on sales is vital to start your freelance web development business.
Client objections are inevitable, but the key to overcome them and close the sale is to come prepared with techniques and strategies on how to handle these objections like a pro.
What are Sales Objections?
Sales objections are problems that prospects tell you are the reasons why they can’t buy your services.
The key to handling objections is seeing them with the right perspective.
Some objections are valid, such as a real lack of budget (in that case you have to move on). But sometimes they represent an opportunity for you to explain the value that you can bring or clarify any questions they might have – which brings them one step closer to a sale.
When your prospects object, you have to understand what’s really going on in their minds so you can handle those objections accordingly.
As with any skills, handling sales objections takes a lot of practice. But over time and with enough practice, you will develop an instinct and familiarity that will help you handle objections with more finesse.
4 Types of Client Objections During Sales
Sales professionals use a qualification methodology called BANT to help determine whether a prospect is a good fit based on their Budget, Authority to buy, Need for the product, and Timeline.
Since a successful sale usually happens because all these four qualifications were met, it makes sense that the most common client objections are the opposite of these.
Almost all client objections can be grouped into the following four categories:
- Lack of budget
- Lack of authority to buy
- Lack of perceived need for the product
- Lack of urgency
“It’s too expensive.”
Any concerns regarding cost, budget, or ROI fall into this category. Clients are worried about the cost often because they’re not sure if it’s worth the risk, or they’re not sure what makes your service worth the higher cost than a competitor’s.
Your job is to justify the cost by showing the value of what you have to offer.
How to handle budget-based objections:
Sometimes, when people don’t want to deal with another sales conversation or aren’t ready to commit to a sale, the first thing they will say is they don’t have any money, even if that’s not the case.
Ask a few questions to uncover the real reasons behind the objection. Try to find out what makes the prospect think that your service is expensive. Putting the price in context will often help ease their minds. Explain the ROI in relation to the price or how much it will cost if they don’t get your service.
This is also why it’s best to offer a pricing tier, like 3 options. Learn how to write winning proposal templates.
Clients with budget concerns will feel more at ease availing of your lower-priced options. You can then upsell them later on.
Learn more about how to price your web development services here.
If the client really has no budget for your service, let it go and move on to the next prospect.
Lack of authority to buy
“I need to clear this with my boss”.
“Let me run this through with my partner”.
You’ll hear this if you’re talking with someone without the influence or authority to buy. What you’ll hear specifically depends on how big the company is.
If it’s a large company, they’ll say they need to talk to their boss about it or they can’t decide on that matter. A small business owner with a business partner will tell you they need to talk about it first.
How to handle authority-based objections:
This one is pretty straightforward. If they really don’t have the authority to make the decision, ask them to connect you to someone who does.
If they need to talk to their boss about it, you can help out by anticipating questions and providing clear, convincing answers.
Lack of need
“I don’t see why I need this.”
This is when a client expresses doubt about whether they need your services.
The key here is to understand and evaluate their needs by asking open-ended questions.
How to handle need-based objections:
Get them to elaborate on why they don’t think they need your service.
This kind of objection commonly arises when you’re proposing a website improvement project and they’re not convinced that something is wrong with their current website.
After all, people don’t want to fix something that’s not broken. In this case, ask them why they think they don’t need the website improvement.
Then explain to them the website’s flaws and why these problems need to be fixed ASAP. What are they losing because of the issues with their website?
Then ask for an appointment where you can show them how you can fix it. You can also send a detailed proposal.
Likewise, if the client is not sure if they need a website for their business, ask questions to understand why they think this way, then respond accordingly.
It often helps to explain how a website can contribute to their bottom line. You can also throw in some data. If you can cite a case study about one of your clients, even better.
Lack of urgency
“I don’t need it right now.”
When prospects say this, it’s important to identify if the timing is really an issue or if they’re trying to brush you off.
How to handle timing issues:
Ask them to elaborate on why it’s not important to them right now or what competing priorities need their urgent attention.
If their response conveys a concrete timing issue, it’s best to ask when is the best time for you to call back.
If they’re giving vague excuses, they’re most likely just putting off taking action on a real pain point, so you may have an opening. In this case, it works best to explain the cost of NOT acting right away.
Tips on Handling Client Objections
Listen to what they have to say.
I’ve come across some salespeople trying to dismiss my objections perhaps in hopes that I will realize that I was wrong and they were right… You can be sure they never heard back from me!
Selling is, in essence, communication, and communication is supposed to be a two-way street. Your prospect needs to feel that they’re in a real, engaging conversation so you can build a good relationship with them.
A trick that always helps in making prospects feel heard is repeating what they just said. When a client objects, confirm their concern back to them: “So what I’m hearing you’re saying is ____. Is that right?”
Then you can answer their objection. Don’t dismiss their objections right away. It’s a little way to show that you actually care about their situation.
Ask open-ended questions.
Objections are often great opportunities to understand the needs of your target customer. After all, there’s no better way to know what your target market needs than asking them yourself.
Ask as many questions as you can to help you understand your prospect’s objection and get down to the real reason for their hesitation.
But it’s important to have the right tone – you don’t want it to feel like an interrogation. You have to sound calm, positive, and inquisitive.
Once you get down to the root of the problem, you’re in a better position to deal with it effectively.
Share customer testimonials.
I’ve found that one of the best ways to handle objections is to share the stories of your past clients who had a similar objection but went ahead with your service anyway and saw a positive result.
This approach shows that you are acknowledging the validity of their concerns and the value that others have found in your service.
The last tip that I’ll share is being honest about your service. Don’t make false claims – ever.
Don’t say the website you built for a restaurant directly resulted in a 200% in-store traffic if it didn’t. It’s just part of business ethics.
Always be upfront about what you can offer, your past results, and back it up with customer stories if you can.
When No Means No
The tips above will help you get past your prospects’ first line of barriers and help you understand the real problem.
But at a certain point, no means no.
If you’ve tried to identify what your prospect is really concerned about and you’ve said your piece, and the prospect still objects, let it go.
A good rule of thumb is if the prospect says an objection twice, it’s true.
Client objections can seem daunting at first, but once you understand the psychology behind it, it gets easier to handle.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this will help you handle client objections more confidently :)
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