You’ve likely encountered this scenario before; you’ve built a relationship with a fantastic new person that would make an ideal client. After some follow up and a little nudging, you’re finally face-to-face (or these days, screen-to-screen).
You present your service or product and think, “there’s no way to say no to this!”
They seem interested, ask some questions, and continue the conversation. And although you enjoy speaking with this potential client, those magic words, “here’s my credit card” never arise.
But your conviction is stout! You believe in your product or service and are confident your prospect would benefit from what you have to offer—so you leverage your “push-not-pushy” dialogue to move the conversation towards a close.
Then, out of the blue, you’re hit with an objection…
Ugh! Not again. You smile and begin to formulate a response, but on the inside, your stomach falls. Your mind is swirling as the hope of finally getting that next great client evaporates right before your eyes.
Here’s the brutal truth: we’ve all been in this scenario before, and will be over and over again as long as we have something to sell.
As a professional, your life is a constant balancing act of knowing your value, respecting the market you’re working in, and asking to be paid what you’re truly worth.
Years ago when I was building my real estate business, I certainly heard many complaints about price! It’s funny now, but it certainly wasn’t at the time… Building any kind of business can lead to many frustrations.
(In my ~7 years in the real estate industry, I only discounted myself 2 times—both were mistakes. In fact, the Dallas real estate market average commission was between 5-6%, and my standard commission was 6% plus an additional $695 transaction fee on top. We’ll get into the breakdown of how to accomplish similar strides in your work in a later article).
Here’s what made me different: I learned to embrace objections instead of running from them. The further I pushed my mastery of communication and sales, the more relationships I developed over rigorous 16, 17, 18 hour days and the more influential people I began to counsel as I moved into luxury price points—these moments began to teach me that an objection was merely a stepping stone in the relationship I was creating.
The relationships that carried the most weight in my life typically started with the most objections. Coincidence? I began to think not.
As we unpack this scenario, it’s important to remember that after a customer sees a price tag, especially in service-based sales conversations, there’s a high likelihood that nothing else will be heard as clearly.
The first point in this conversation is where the objection occurs. For example, if someone says “it’s too expensive” at the beginning of the conversation, that’s likely not a real objection, but a complaint or defense mechanism. At the very end of your pitch, it means something completely different.
The price someone pays for your product or service is directly related to the perceived and actual value you present.
To illustrate this point, let’s look at a prospective car buyer. No buyer is going to be comparing a McLaren P1 with a baseline Honda Accord, even though they accomplish somewhat the same task in the end. The buyer of the P1 is going to pay much more because of the perceived value (what isn’t tangible but boosts the value of a product, like the rarity and the manufacturer’s reputation) and the actual value (the design, materials, engine construction, and other tangible differences on the McLaren that are easy to identify) that accompanies the brand and the car.
In your offer, you must clearly demonstrate a unique, uncommon, and positive offering that’s hard to find in your competitors. What can you offer that others don’t or can’t? As I say time and time again, “people can duplicate what you do professionally, but not your humanity.”
But let’s say you have this down, and you’re still hitting the “too expensive” objection. Now is the time to dig down into specifics.
As I mentioned in a recent Instagram post, you want to ensure you’re asking “what” and not “why” when you’re presented with objections. “Why” is a dangerous term because it moves your prospect into a defensive position. When walls go up, you can’t close.
If you get to the end of your pitch and the client says “you’re too expensive,” instead of asking “why do you feel this way,” challenge their objection with, “what specifically about the price do you believe is not aligned with the value you were expecting to receive?”
See the difference? One question is challenging, the other is genuinely inquisitive. With this small tweak, you will be able to better root out the real objection, and continue the conversation instead of walking away empty-handed.
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