How to Respond to Sales Objections Centered on Timing

BY Rachel Cagle
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It’s just not a good time.” “We don’t have the funds right now.” “Maybe if you circle back again in a few months…” Do these sales objections sound familiar to you? Prospects tend to use this type of objection as a Get Out Of Jail Free card. What can you really say to that? “No, I don’t believe you?” While you may not be able to be that blunt about things and still land the sale, there are many other ways to respond to this all-​too-​common resistance, according to Leslie Ye, writing for HubSpot. Here are a few suggestions that Ye recommends.

How to Respond to Sales Objections Centered on Timing

What’s holding you back?”

This question cuts right to the chase if your prospect hasn’t given you a reason for why now is not a good time. Whether or not they were being truly honest with you, you’ll get an explanation. And that explanation can help you understand the prospect’s hesitancies and craft a solution that can benefit both of you. Finding the middle ground in this manner is the best way to overcome sales objections like this one.

If money and resources were no object, would you be willing to start with our product today?”

Again, this question can help you identify the reasoning behind the prospect’s objection. It can also save you from making the common mistake of offering a discount right away because you assume that the price is the issue. While money is usually the reason behind sales objections like this one, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, your prospect just needs more help realizing your product or service’s value. By taking price out of the equation, you’re subtly asking the client if they believe your product is valuable. If they don’t, they’ll list reasons why the product isn’t a good fit for them. Based on their answers, you can determine if they’re right or which benefits of your product you should talk about next.

When would be a good time to buy?”

Maybe the prospect really does want to buy from you. If now truly isn’t a good time, you need to figure out when the right time is. If your product can truly benefit the prospect and they want to purchase it, you can ask this question to start making a game plan with the prospect so that you can reach out to them at a better time. That way, you can start helping them achieve their goals as soon as possible.

Or this question will expose that they have no interest in making a purchase from you and that they were just making an excuse. Either way, you’ll have your answer.

How can I help you get the resources you need to sell this to the final decision-maker.”

Sometimes the prospect you’re talking to fully believes in the value of your product or service. It’s someone higher up on the food chain who doesn’t and is encouraging the prospect to make sales objections. If your prospect has expressed that the problem with the sale lies with another decision-​maker, ask this question. You can brainstorm how to sway the decision-maker’s mind in both your favors. Going forward, you should remember to keep the ultimate decision-​maker in the loop as much as possible in order to avoid last minute objections.

What happens to your goals if you don’t act now?”

If your prospect is giving sales objections without a backup plan, they could be damaging their business. This is a good question to ask if while during the sales process, your prospect told you about a need they must address in a timely manner. If their backup plan is a solid one, then you need to gracefully step away. However, this question may make the prospect realize that, by rejecting your offer, they’re actually putting their business in a bad position. If that’s the case, you still have a chance to land this sale.

If I call you back next quarter, what circumstances will have changed?”

When your prospect tells you that some other time would be better for them to buy from you, ask this question. What will be different? Will their budget have increased? Will their business needs be more dire so that they can better convince the higher-​ups to buy from you to solve their problems? Or will nothing have changed? Depending on what they say, you can overcome the prospect’s sales objections by making them a better offer. If funding is the issue, you could potentially set up a payment plan that would give them more leeway until the funds arrive. Or, like before, you can work with them to convince other decision-​makers that the time to buy is now. Does the sale really have to wait until later, or can it happen now? You won’t know until you ask this question.

Here is the timeline for ROI if we start in X months. Does that work for you?”

Sometimes, funding is only an issue because the prospect doesn’t realize how solid their return on investment will be. This question will also create a sense of urgency around the decision-​making process. “Remind your prospect that implementing a new product doesn’t produce overnight results,” says Ye. “Can they really afford to wait to buy, or can they agree to come to a middle-​ground regarding the deal?”

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