TRANSFORMING OBJECTIONS INTO SELLING POINTS
By Charlie Cook
You've been working with a prospect, moving closer and
closer to a sale. Just before you clinch the deal, they
decide to go with a competitor's product or service. They
may say that your firm is too small, or you charge too much
or they decided to work with a friend in the business after
all, or all of the above. How do you keep this from
Catherine called from real estate agency in town with a
similar problem. Her firm regularly competes against
national real estate chains and one of the most common
objections prospects give is that Catherine's company is too
small. Given that the average sale price of a home is $1
million in town, with some properties selling for over $10
million, losing a listing hurts.
Its natural to want to avoid potential objections and hope a
prospect never brings them to light. You hope you can make
the sale without your prospect ever balking because your
firm is small, expensive, located in an unusual place, or
Many small businesses are, well, small. You may need to
charge substantial fees to make a good living from your work
and most people have a friend of a friend in the business.
Unfortunately no matter how much you try to avoid them many
prospects will bring up objections and you can lose their
business. How can you overcome these common objections?
Use prospects' objections to your advantage and transform
them into selling points. In the sales process, prospects
always have concerns. If you don't discuss them or
figuratively leave them under the table they will come back
to haunt you later. To move beyond prospects' objections,
acknowledge them. Identify their concerns and put them on
the table for discussion to resolve them. Here's how:
Over the years that you've been in business, you've heard
all of the common objections prospects raise. Take out a
piece of paper and fold it in half. In the left column, list
all the reasons prospects give for not working with your
firm leaving a couple of lines between each reason. Across
from each objection, in the right column, jot down reasons
each objection is actually a plus for your clients.
When you meet with a prospect, use your list to bring up
potential hurdles yourself and address them up front. For
example, Catherine's real estate firm is small compared to
the national chain firms in town. Catherine might say to a
prospect, "You know we are a small firm with ten employees.
Let me tell you about all the resources we have to help you
sell your home. In addition to providing you with the same
resources you'd find at a larger firm we provide more
attention to detail, more local knowledge, etc."
Then Catherine can go on to explain how her firm sells a
higher dollar volume of homes per employee than the national
firms. She could also talk about her highly motivated
brokers who earn higher commissions in large part because
they aren't part of a national chain. She could mention the
$100 million in homes sold last year. After explaining the
many advantages of working with her unique firm Catherine
could ask her prospect, "Are you interested in having a
small firm of highly motivated experts help you sell your
With your experience in the business you know the most
common objections prospects raise but what about others you
haven't considered. How can you keep these from getting in
To make sure you've covered all of a prospect's concerns,
ask them. Jot down a question or two to use to uncover any
hidden or lingering concerns they have. Address them and
move on. After they've explained their concern, restate it
clearly to make sure you have it right and then counter it.
For example if they are hung up on price, explain the value
and benefits of your services and expertise.
Don't know why prospects aren't using your services? You
gave it your best shot, but they still selected another
firm. Its time to do a post-mortem and find out what went
wrong. Call up that lost prospect and ask them why they
picked another service provider. Write these reasons down
and tack them above your desk. The next time you meet with a
new prospect, bring them up.
Early on in the sales process, bring up possible objections
and get prospects talking about their concerns. When these
are on the table you can address each one and show how each
is an advantage. When you put prospects' objections on the
table and transform them into selling points, you'll see
your sales and your business soar.
2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, helps independent
professionals and small business owners attract more clients
and be more successful. Sign up for the Free Marketing eBook,
'7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business', full of
practical marketing tips you can use at: Marketing Plans
for Small Business