Business-to-business (B2B) is the sales paradigm in many small companies. Rather than selling directly to the end consumer, your services or products are bought by other businesses. In most cases, this is where one-on-one sales strategies take place.
Imagine you are in a meeting with one of the biggest clients you have ever tried to woo. Your sales pitch and presentation were spot-on. You clearly defined the benefits and features of your product or services. You even presented real case studies and previous client exultations. You are ready to get this deal! But then the potential whale of a client says, “I’m not sure.”
Those three words can cause you to sweat, shake, and your heart to erupt in palpitations. Are you ready to meet the potential client’s objections? You can avoid these feelings, especially if you prepare in advance.
Here are a few of the most common sales objections and the best known tips to help you be prepared to overcome them:
“Your prices are too high”
This is one of the most common objections. Refrain from jumping through hoops right away to please the customer. There is no immediate reason to suddenly drop your price to get the contract. That is left for the negotiation process.
Instead, keep in mind whether this objection has been raised often with other clients. If so, then it may be a good cause to review your pricing structure. However, if the potential client is the first one to raise such an objection, bring it to their attention. Confirm their position by letting them know you understand the objection, of course, but tactfully do the following:
- State how other clients are happy to pay your stated price
- Highlight the extra value of your product or service that sets the price apart.
- Consider presenting a tiered pricing option, so that you may meet the price they had in mind, but fully explain the lesser value of service or product they will receive.
- If the potential client continues to object, consider negotiating to a price that meets their budget needs and still works for your business.
“Come back in 6-12 months”
Remember, you want to listen to the underlying message in what your potential clients is saying. This statement does not necessarily mean “no.” Instead, explore the objection. Ask why they can’t commit right now. It may be that the pricing isn’t in their budget. In that case, try to explore what their budget would allow, and see if you can meet their budgetary allowance with fewer products, or perhaps removing some service features so you still profit, but your service falls within their pricing needs.
Another option may be to suggest a trial run. See if they would be comfortable doing a one-time product test or a one-month contract instead of a year. This gives them a chance to actually see, feel, and experience the benefit of your company and its product.
“Your company is just too small.”
This is a phrase no small business owner wants to hear. But it’s an opportunity for them to shine.
If the potential client is a larger business, remind them that any bigger business in your industry with similar products and services will consider the client just a small part of their business. In contrast, assure them you will do what it takes to make their account a high priority.
Also, your experience, background, and even your financial backing come into play here. If the objection is raised because they feel you may not be around in a year or two, first assure them of your business’s financial status, including asset base and cash flow, as well as of your commitment to seeing the company succeed. And bring to point your previous experience in successfully running or managing a business. You and your management staff could play a key role in overcoming this type of objection.
While it is never possible to completely anticipate all objections that potential clients may have, always be prepared to meet them head-on with answers, figures, and of course, the benefit they will receive by choosing your company.