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5 Common Sales Objections and How to Overcome Them

Consulting Objections

As you work towards reaching an agreement with the buyer of your consulting services you may encounter objections. Luckily, most objections can be easily overcome, if you’re prepared.

Here are 5 common objections and suggested ways to deal with them:

1) “We don’t have the money” – Unless the company is on the brink of bankruptcy, they have money. They are likely paying overhead in the form of rent, utilities, and so on…not to mention salaries benefits and the like. All of that costs money. Your mission my friend, should you choose to accept it, is to find money that is not being well spent and shift it to a place where it will generate a greater return and value.

As a consultant your job is to get your client thinking in different ways.

2) “We don’t need these kind of services” – When you hear this a few possibilities exist. You’re either talking with the wrong person, ie, not the true buyer. Or you’ve misjudged the market and you’re talking with a company that clearly isn’t your ideal client. If the client is an ideal consulting client and you’re talking the true buyer, when you hear that ‘they don’t need’ you, it’s most often the case that you haven’t created the need for your services. Meaning you need to do a better job explaining the value you bring to the table.

3) “I need to check with ….” – You’re talking the wrong person. When you’re talking with the true buyer they won’t have to check with anyone. If you hear this, find out who makes the decisions and arrange to meet with them.

4) “We’ve always done it this way…” – Companies get comfortable doing things the way they always have. If it’s clear they can value from your services you need to ask them, “Is what you did 15 years ago still working just as well for you today?” The answer is almost always ‘no’. Technologies advance. Competition comes and goes. Things always change. Your job is to make it clear that the buyer will be better off when they attack change head on rather than hide from it.

5) “I’m just too busy to do this now” – This is often an excuse. The longer the buyer waits to make the necessary changes in their business the longer they will have to deal with the challenges they currently face. Or the more money they’ll lose. You get the picture. Time is a valuable resource. As a consultant your job is to get your client thinking in different ways. Ask questions like “How much market share could your competitor capture in 8 months if you put off doing X?” and “How important is X to your company’s future?” If the issues are important enough the buyer will rethink putting things off.

What other objections have you had to deal with? Share them in the comments below…


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12 thoughts on “5 Common Sales Objections and How to Overcome Them

  1. Brian Nyanga Jr says:

    This is great stuff Michael. I find that the objections stated here are similar to the ones I face even in the pursuit of clients for my security services business….in essence, I now believe that these are objections met by anyone in the service industry (“non-tangibles”). Thanks for the opener!! God bless!!!

  2. Brent White says:

    Good article on what a consultant runs into on a regular basis. Some of these objections can be handle even before you walk in the door by doing your homework and prequalifying a potential customers beforehand. Not that it will prevent you from hearing these objections (some or all) but it better prepares you with how to handle them.

    • Brent – definitely – doing your research on the buyer/industry is always important. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Sylvia Lee says:

    I agree with the objections list, and have found that some people are simply looking for free consulting – get as much information as possible out of you as you sell them on your services and then move on to the next consultant. Perhaps it makes them feel that they are actually taking action! I also find that some people have a funny sense of costs and don’t’ get the ‘value conversation’ – they just think they shouldn’t have to pay more than $50 an hour for consulting work. I’ve leaned that while these people may be the buyers, it’s not worth investing much time in them because they don’t think in terms of investments, only of direct costs. Please don’t think I’m suggesting all people, or even most, are like this – just that there are some buyers who simply won’t buy, regardless of value. Figuring them out early is important.

    • Sylvia – it’s a good point. Consider an assessment to ‘weed out’ unqualified buyers early in the process.

  4. Aaron Hauck says:

    I think it is incredibly smart to bring up your competitor when you are trying to sell to a business. When you mention their competitor, the conversation changes.

    They start thinking about what their competitors might be doing, and it gets them on track with thinking about improving their current strategies; right where you want them. Great article!

  5. Nathan Hale says:

    Great article. Will have to forward this on to my sales crew. I hear these objections daily and have been pretty effective at overcoming them. But this article will show people how to look at the objection in a different light!

  6. Vikrant Jain says:

    Great article Michael! I’ve also faced an objection like.. “the savings does not justify the price”. I guess, its a combination of objection 1 and 2 as you have listed above.
    It had happened in a project which didn’t really affect their direct sales/revenue, but was a project which would increase their operational efficiency. So, my client had a tough time figuring out the ROI.
    Any views on this?

    • Vikrant – you need to find a way to demonstrate the value and ROI they will receive. It sounds like more questions to your client around how being more efficient allows them to get more done which leads to an increase in sales or profits. Find a way to quantify that.

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