Inevitably, sometimes, you’re going to get a no when you’re out selling. The key is not to get disheartened or lose confidence and, by treating every objection you’re faced with as a question, to keep the dialogue open and the selling conversation going. Here are some common objections you’re likely to be faced with, along with suggestions and ideas for how to respond: 

Objection #1: “It’s too expensive”

Suggested responses: 

  • “Can I ask, too expensive in relation to what exactly? Are we talking like-for-like or are you looking at another product altogether?”
  • “Can we run through the competitive quote to ensure it is like-for-like before we start looking at the overall price?”
  • “Are you in a position to negotiate at all, or has the order been placed?”

A negotiation needs a common point to start from – don’t simply drop the price. Instead, discuss the situation and assess whether there’s room for manoeuvre. Make a business decision as to whether you want to/can reduce any cost, then negotiate on planning, scheduling, quantities and deliveries in such a way you can justify any price reduction you’re willing to make. Dropping the price immediately makes it look as if you can’t put together a quotation properly, were trying to rip them off, are desperate for the business…or a combination of all three!

Objection #2 “We don’t have the budget”

Suggested responses: 

  • “How much budget have you allocated for this project?”
  • “Can I ask whether the budget is fixed in stone, or is there any potential for more if you can justify it?”

Objection #3: “You’re not on our list of preferred suppliers”

Suggested responses: 

  • “What is the procedure for getting onto this list?”
  • “Who should we speak to about getting onto it?”
  • “Do all orders have to go to preferred suppliers, or are there ways around it for particular types of work or smaller orders?”

Objection #4: “We already have a supplier”  

Suggested responses: 

  • “Could you use an additional supplier to cover spikes or peaks in demand?”
  • “Is there anything your current supplier can’t do that we may be able to help with?”

Objection #5: “We prefer to do it in-house”

Suggested responses: 

  • “Do you have dedicated resource to do this or is this additional responsibility for team members?”
  • “Are there busy times when they struggle to turn work around and we might be able to assist?”

If you treat an objection as a question, or request for further information, then “no” ceases to be the end of the conversation. Dig further, keep discussing, stay involved. You can’t win every job but there’s a balance to be struck by not being put off too easily, and hanging on until the bitter end and alienating the customer. Somewhere in the middle is the “sweet spot” you need to aim for!