9 Questions to Sell through Common Sales Objections

Budget, workload, and timing are common B2B sales objections. Use these questions to sell through them and learn more about your prospect.

When company rejects your business-to-business sales pitch, it’s likely to be followed by one of 3 objections: 1) We don’t have the budget; 2) We’re too busy; or 3) Now isn’t the right time. At this point, you have navigated the account, know your internal champion, and have relationships with decision makers – so you are helping your contact make the case internally.

It could be that your value proposition is unclear or not compelling enough. Perhaps there are critical details that didn’t come out in initial discovery. These questions will help you get to the “real no” and gather insights that can tighten your sales game:

No budget

When a prospect blames budget, sometimes your price is too high. But it’s more likely that something is unclear to you or your prospect. There may be challenges and potential opportunities that are hidden from your view. Here’s your opportunity to clarify your value proposition and equip your contact to respond to a budget challenge.

Say to the prospect:

  1. Are there other departments with similar priorities that we could team with on budget?
  2. Can we start small now and scale later?
  3. What happens if you go over budget?

“When a prospect blames budget, sometimes your price is too high – but it’s more likely that something is unclear to you or your prospect.”

Too busy

This is the mantra of employees whose companies are undergoing leadership transitions, planning for a user conference or big trade show, or managing some other stressful situation. These are the teams that have difficulty getting everyone together for a meeting. First, rate the engagement of your internal champion, the one who first considered your solution and/or brought it to everyone’s attention. Has her motivation changed at all, and how can you leverage her leadership?

Say to the prospect:

  1. Let’s talk about your cost to wait. (Share what might be lost if you don’t get started. How much ROI is at risk of being lost by waiting three, six or nine months?)
  2. We can make this simple. (Talk about how many of their employees would be required to get started. For example, perhaps only a single contact or project manager is required to begin. Bottom line: You will work around her schedule to make it happen.)
  3. If it doesn’t get implemented, what are the problems you’ll continue to struggle with? (Share how your solution would resolve those issues.)

“If it doesn’t get implemented, what are the problems you’ll continue to struggle with?”

Bad timing

Making and saving money aren’t always the focus. Find out what else in on their minds. If your contact agrees this is a solution that can help the business, it’s time to learn about what’s in the way and talk about controllable barriers you can manage or eliminate.

Say to the prospect:

  1. That’s an interesting response. Can you tell me more about what you mean by that?
  2. What other priority projects are you trying to complete?
  3. Which people would be involved in our project and these competing priorities? (Speak to the possibility of off-loading some of the work.)

Answering these questions will help you put “no” into context. Keep in mind, of course, that they may not tell you the truth. If they didn’t like you, your pitch, or your product – they may not tell you that. It helps to engage a third party to conduct closed-lost interviews, because you will get more truthful answers than when the prospect talks to someone from your company.

To learn more about win-loss analysis and how to respond to common sales objections, check out this article:

Win More with Win-Loss Analysis – Get Beyond ‘No’: Get the real answers.

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