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How to handle sales rejections?
When you are faced with a sales rejection, see it as a chance to get further insights into your prospect’s opinion. Every salesperson will have to face rejection, but how you handle those rejections says as much about you as the sales pitch you gave. It reflects on your professionalism and establishes trust.
4 Types of Sales Rejection and How to Handle them
“We don’t have the budget right now” or “It’s too expensive”
First thing you should do to handle sales rejection is to accept and acknowledge. This is the tipping point where most salespeople give a knee-jerk reaction. Show that you hear them. For example, “We hear that sometimes” or “I get that Mr Tan”. What we are really doing here is helping the prospect to get their guard down because when they say this, it means they have a psychological guard up. By accepting and acknowledging you have started the first step which is to get their guard down. Now you can try to solve it by drilling down – “Tell me more about that”, it could be that the perceived value is not good, or it could be that they feel the need has not been addresses or only some of the need. Is the prospect comparing apples to apples? What is the impact of the need or in other words; what is the impact of not buying any solution? This could be either a sales objection or a prospecting objection.
“I want to think about it” or “I need time to consider it”
Often there are two reasons you will hear this. The first reason is categorised as a sales objection. This assumes prospect has had a conversation or a demo already. The customer is not convinced that this is the right solution. It may mean they don’t trust either you, your product or your company. If this is the case it could mean the prospect has an area of concern that needs addressing. The biggest mistake is to avoid the objection. The correct thing to do is to firstly find out why, and then secondly address it. Similarly, to saying it’s too expensive or it could be something we aren’t aware of. Questioning will help but not fighting it or pressuring the prospect. The second reason is that the objection is categorised as a prospecting objection. Do they need to think about it because they don’t actually have budget? Or because they aren’t the only decision maker or because the need has been only partially discovered?
“I’m too busy”, “I don’t have time”
This is more likely to be a prospecting objection not something you will hear after a sales handover.
Expect this when you are calling or engaging initially. Use some techniques to disrupt the predictable pattern. They predict that you are going to either argue with them e.g. “but it only takes 5 minutes” or ask for a good time “when would be a good time” which they will most likely answer with I’ll get back to you or call me in 2 weeks. Pattern interrupts are great at not making you sound like a typical salesperson. They also increase your probability of overcoming the objection. Instead – pattern interrupt with a counter-objection. E.g. “that’s exactly why I called you, so I was going to propose next Wednesday 10 am to 10.30 am”.
They deal with lots of people trying to sell to them and they assume you are either going to ask them for their time or pressure them into agreeing to discuss it right now. This technique breaks that pattern of expectation and gets the guard down and at the same time making the probability of a positive response much better.
“I’m interested in this but not now come back to me in 6 months”
This is commonly listed as an objection, but is it an objection or just a question of timing? It could be that the prospect is in a contract with a competitor or it could be that other external factors just aren’t the right time. This is normal and many of these situations are what people refer to as marketing qualified leads. Many of these can be nurtured and a healthy percentage will eventually convert to sales qualified leads ready for “handover” or to enter the sales journey. Ask questions to make sure it’s worth nurturing and rule out any misunderstandings – e.g. they want a call in 6 months they think our solution will take a long time to prepare for. Remember not to pressure the prospect though. Ask questions without interrogating them and either overcome them or note that they are genuine opportunities with nurturing.
To improve the way you conveyed your message or pitch to your prospect, read more on how to deliver a successful presentation.