Overcoming sales objections is tough in early stage companies. You hear the lines over and over again and believe your product is best in market. “We love your platform and see the value, but don’t have any budget this year.” You know you have what it takes to build a big company and this is wrong. “This all sounds good, but we are still in the early stages of our strategy and need time.” The constant grinding down is killing you. “We need to regroup and discuss what we saw and we’ll be in touch; no need to schedule any follow-ups for now.” Within the Acceleration Team, our only focus is what matters most to building (any) successful company: revenue traction. Here are some tips from the front line that work for our founders when they are faced with overcoming common sales objections.
1. Consider Whether Or Not You Actually Qualified. It is incredibly important for founders to craft their compelling narrative and pick a sales qualification framework. Qualifying things in or out allows you to maintain a stable heartbeat of sales momentum. Things like “we don’t have budget” should not be a valid rebuttal that you should be hearing later in the funnel. Before you even think about overcoming sales objections make sure you have a system and process in place to get things out of your funnel. Founders tend to get scared that their funnel will be “thin.” As it went when you were raising money you can always fill the pipeline with more. A hard no or a hard yes are what you want.
2. Understand The Six Principles Of Persuasion. Cialdini’s book Influence remains a key read for anyone selling anything (seriously!). Within the book he talks about the six principles of persuasion: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, consensus and likability. The psychology behind these forces causes people to “move” rather than stall. Come up with language for each, and use them in your sales presentations to specifically help with overcoming sales objections.
3. Sales Is Physics So Apply Some Force, Remove Some Friction. Sometimes your sales motion stalls due to you not applying enough force (i.e. value). Sometimes pushback is due to you not removing enough friction that your buyer is facing. Assess which is the case, and utilize your options accordingly. A fallacy in sales is that price is the biggest friction point, and if you lower it enough, you will win. Sometimes you just need to make it easier to implement a solution, remove fear or uncertainty on their end (i.e. introduce them to a thoughtful reference), or arm them to pitch on your behalf internally more confidently.
4. Be In The Business Of Selling Promotions. What gets your buyer promoted? What gets them a raise? Can you directly help them hit their goals? Can they use your product to get kudos internally? Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Do some research on what they care about, what gets them excited, and other matters from your call notes and discussions to date. Sell into their intrinsic, and sometimes selfish, needs if your product supports those.
All of this is additive through solid qualification and building of strong rebuttals or language against what the prospect throws at you. While you might not solve it on Day 1, constantly refining and iterating but also sticking to these foundational points can be the key to overcoming sales objections.
If you liked “Overcoming Common Sales Objections” and want to read more content from the Bowery Capital Team, check out other relevant posts from the Bowery Capital Blog