Handling customer objections is a part of nearly every sales cycle. Some sales models in fact suggest that the sales professional make every effort to draw out as many customer objections as possible in order to remove any and all reasons that might prevent a sale from happening.
Overcoming objections will always be the most challenging and important part of a sales professional's career. And while there are several objections which stand out from the rest as being very difficult, only one has earned the top spot as the toughest objection to overcome.
A Few Honorable Mentions
- "Can't Afford it." No matter how good of a job you may have done presenting and designing a solution for your customer, if they don't have the money, all your work is wasted. Keep in mind that not "having the money" is a lot different from not "wanting or willing" to spend the money. You may wonder why this objection did not earn the top spot. The reason is simple: This objection should never become an objection if the sales rep does a good job in qualifying. Then, not having the money is not an objection but a reason to either re-think your solution or to find another prospect.
- "I don't like your company." Okay, this is a tough one but, just like the objection above, can and should be flushed out when qualifying a customer. If you are working with a prospect who turns out to dislike your company, then shame on you!
- "Your competition has better pricing." Yet another objection that, though challenging, can be avoided by making sure you build more value in you, your company and your solution than what the perceived value of your solution will cost the customer. Qualify and justify eliminates this objection.
- "I'm not ready." Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a customer will simply not be ready to pull the trigger and make a purchasing decision. Some do so because they have challenges making decisions, some use this objection as an excuse for actually wanting to make a different decision and most use this objection to mask their real objection. Asking a simple question like "what needs to happen in order for you to be ready?" is a powerful way to flush out the real objection behind the "not ready" disguise.
The Envelope Please . .
The number one hardest, most difficult, baddest, meanest and most challenging customer objection that a sales professional will ever face is the seemingly innocuous three word statement:
"I'm Not Interested."
Dead in the water, up the creek without a paddle, left standing with your mouth hanging open and a blank stare filling your face.
Sure, you can reply back with a snappy "not interested in what?" question but the truth is, if your customer is not interested in what you are selling after hearing about what you are selling, you have a tremendous hill to climb. And many, even some of the best sales professionals in the world, will not invest their time and energy trying to convince a non-interested customer to become interested.
You've Lost the Mindset
Here's the thing that makes this objection the toughest one to overcome. It is human nature to do whatever it takes to be consistent with what we believe we are. If someone says that they are not interested, their brain will go to work to further convince them of all the reasons why they are not interested.
Hearing this objection should not be misinterpreted as a negative reflection on you, your product or your skills. Some people are just not interested in what you do or what you sell and there isn't much you can do about it.
All is not Lost
Lastly, while "I'm not interested" may be the toughest objection, it doesn't mean it can't be overcome. Using each occurrence as a testing ground may reveal a magic bullet that gives you the skills needed to face this objection squarely in the face and to smile with confidence!