Techniques For Revealing Hidden Objections

By Lori Turner-Wilson

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series. Prospects speak a language of their own. A seemingly positive, “call me back in a few months” more often than not means “you may try, but you’ll be screened by my gatekeeper relentlessly.”

When a prospect speaks in code, they’re typically stalling because they’re anxious about telling you the truth. You must dig more deeply to get to the heart of the objection, because you can only overcome what you understand. Try these strategies for uncovering the hidden objections behind five all-too-common prospect stalls.

“I’m happy with our current provider.” Try: “It sounds like you have a long-existing relationship. Tell me more about what’s working with that relationship.” Then ask what could be better, opening the door to sell the value of change.

“Send me more information.” Try: “Excellent. Let’s talk more about your evaluation process so I can ensure I’m sending you the most meaningful information. Based on our discussion today, would you agree our product/service offers strong value to your organization?” Next, inquire about those involved in the decision-making process, the criteria they’ll use, and how the information you’ll send will be used accordingly to ensure they’re seriously considering making a commitment.

“I need to think it over.” Try this: “That makes perfect sense. This is an important decision that could create significant opportunity for your business. Tell me more about what’s causing your hesitation.”

“I need to talk it over with Mrs. Smith.” Try this: “I can certainly understand the desire for a collaborative decision-making process. Tell me more about Mrs. Smith’s role in the company and in this decision. Do you anticipate her finding value in this offering like you do? What questions will she likely have?” Work to assist your prospect in how best to sell your service to Mrs. Smith, and ideally, offer to attend the meeting.

“I’ll have to look at the numbers.” Try this: “I’m hearing some hesitation about the budget. Talk to me about what’s causing you pause.” You may not have created enough perceived value to warrant the expense. Once you’ve heard out the prospect, begin to build additional value and ask for the sale again.

Once your prospect opens up and reveals the true objection, restate what you heard. Then validate the concern, and overcome it by: (1) reaffirming your value proposition and gaining agreement that the value outweighs your prospect’s concern, (2) outlining the “opportunity cost” in not moving forward right away, or if needed, (3) adjusting your offering to address the prospect’s uncovered need.

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and Founder/CEO of RedRover Sales & Marketing, www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).