You Listened to Your Prospect and Waited Until the New Year – Now What?

“That sounds great, but I don’t have any budget right now.”

“We’ve planned our projects for the rest of the year, and this doesn’t fit in.”

“Can you give me a call next quarter? We’ll be working on next year’s budget then, and I’ll see if we can fit this in.”

Sound familiar? Well it’s January now, so all of those deals should close right away, right?

One of the most common sales objections isn’t a direct objection at all – it’s a delay. Prospects who are actually interested in your product or service might still push it back. Some prospects who aren’t comfortable telling you no will do the same thing.

These sales objections tend to be related to two primary issues – value/ROI and urgency.

If your prospect saw a significant ROI, he’d be more likely to move forward immediately. And if your prospect felt that a problem were urgent, she wouldn’t push the solution back. What can you do to fix it, and make sure it doesn’t happen again?

Communicate Value

First, remember that sales objections related to value or ROI aren’t necessarily about cost. When we think that’s the issue, we may be tempted to discount.

Instead, go back to the beginning. The key to successful consultative selling is asking great questions to diagnose problems you can solve. Did you get deep enough? You need to know the value of the problem so you can match it to your solution.

For some prospects, it may be best to do a reset. Schedule a meeting with the key stakeholders and start your problem-probing process from the start, or from the highest-level problem you identified the first time around.

For other prospects, you might be able to look through your notes from previous meetings for the information you need. Then it’s just a matter of framing your solution to show how it addresses the problem.

Establish Urgency

The most important thing to understand about urgency is that if a problem is big enough, or a solution is valuable enough, it will always move to the top of a priority list. Would you buy a bucket of water right now? What if your desk were on fire?

The strategies above for communicating value are the first step in establishing urgency. If you can expose a significant problem and offer a clear solution, urgency won’t be a problem.

If you’ve identified a solid problem and communicated your solution, and the prospect is still hesitating, don’t push. Continue to stay in touch, and reference the problem and your solution in each communication. You never know – maybe there’s another situation even more urgent that they are handling, and you need to be top of mind when they are ready.

Delay or Hidden No?

Sometimes regardless of what you do, you won’t win an opportunity. It’s always best to get to a “no” as quickly as possible so you can focus on winnable opportunities, but how can you do that when prospects keep delaying?

If you suspect that the delay is really a rejection, go for no. Be up front with your prospect and ask them to clarify. They may be relieved you were the first to bring it up and confirm that you’re not a fit. Alternately, some may have just lost focus and your reminder will get the opportunity back on track.

If you’d like to go for no with some of your current opportunities, check out our post here with 7 different go-for-no email templates.


By | 2016-10-17T16:33:41+00:00 January 6th, 2015|Sales Leaders, Sales Success|0 Comments

About the Author:

Elizabeth is CFS’s Operations Officer and Senior Advisor and is the Product Manager for the Criteria for Success Sales PlayBook. She writes about sales leadership, management, teamwork, motivation, and process based on her work with CFS’s clients. Elizabeth also hosts the CFS roundtable discussion episodes of the Let’s Talk Sales podcast.

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