Whether you’re new to selling your services, or have been in business for some time, it’s fair to assume that clients—almost always—have an objection of some kind to what you’re offering.
In this video, Chris Do breaks down the 3 most common client objections in sales, and how to respond to each one of them to a group of ArtCenter students.
Clients generally have an automatic answer to every service you offer: no. There are many ways to phrase “no,” but these are the 3 most common objections you’ll hear in the sales cycle:
While rejection is tough to face, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost your chances of landing the client. You just have to learn how to turn those objections into something positive.
How can you turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’? The first step to overcoming client objections is to acknowledge their objection first. This is a negotiation technique where you embrace and pivot.
When you acknowledge the client’s objection, you’re demonstrating several things: you’re listening intently, you’re empathizing, and understanding why the client is hesitant to say ‘yes.’
You can’t always outsmart your clients. What you can do, though, is take something negative, like “you’re too expensive,” and turn it into something positive. Embrace, then pivot.
Blair Enns, author of The Win Without Pitching Manifesto, introduces this idea of trying to kill the opportunity first in his highly-acclaimed book. Think of it as another way to play hard to get.
Try to raise the objection first, own it, and talk about it. So again, let’s say the client tells you you’re too expensive. How you would own that objection, then, would show up with a response like, “I’m not sure you can afford us.”
This is a bit of a more advanced concept called “retreat and follow,” but if you believe in yourself and your ability, the ball lands in your court, and the client has to prove that actually, they can afford you. It completely shifts the dynamic.
People do not want to be sold to. And clients, in particular, do not want to be sold. They want to be served.
If you whisper, people will lean in to listen. If you shout, you will push people away. Learn to reel in your client’s interest and show them that you and your work are valuable.
Brushing up on your negotiation and sales techniques is never a bad idea, so here are a few books Chris recommends to make sure this new knowledge sticks: