Some objections come across like rejections, and that simply doesn’t feel good. Most of us fear rejection at some level. Other objections could signal that we’ll lose the deal, and we only get paid if we close deals. Still other objections are tricky – they’re just plain difficult to respond to in a calm, convincing way.
Whatever your reason for disliking objections, the first step in overcoming them is to not fear them or dread them.
Objections are not necessarily bad things. They are a normal and healthy part of the selling process. Some objections are simply questions dressed up as problem statements. Other objections are stalling or delaying tactics. Some are “cries for help,” as prospects are stressed out and they desperately want you to prove that you’ll make their life better while not ripping them off.
Let’s focus on one kind of rejection today: the surprise attack. This objection technique is used to proactively put the prospective client in the driver’s seat instead of you or to proactively hurt your negotiating position before negotiating even begins. It can happen at any time during the process and is used by prospects to fluster you or throw you off your game. Examples of this objection include:
“Just so you know, we’re a very small company, so we can’t pay what a lot of your other clients pay.”
“Before we get started, what kind of fees will you charge, because if I can’t afford you, I don’t want to waste our time.”
“I don’t think you have as much experience working with companies in our industry. That’s why we worked with your competitor in the past.”
“Just to be transparent, I’m not going to sign anything today.”
So, what do you do when you get a surprise-attach objection?
First of all, DO NOT PANIC.
Do not get emotional. Do not get irritated or inconvenience. Do not get defensive. Do not deviate from your game plan. Objections aren’t personal; they’re simply telling you that you haven’t created enough value for them to give you time.
Another important piece of advice: do not slam the door.
What do I mean by “slam the door?” Some salespeople will get angry at the client or try to put a guilt trip on them, saying things like, “Geez, I’ve put so much time and effort into working with you and I can’t understand why you would do this to me.”
Any sort of overly negative response or attempt at a guilt-trip is likely to drive a wedge between the prospect and you. Keep in mind that even if you lose a deal right now, if you play your cards right, you might get a deal later because you’re persistent and completely professional.