That’s been tough to hear since I was a toddler asking for more dessert. And it’s especially hard now that I’m offering my writing services to clients.
But when you run an online business, you often don’t even get the chance to hear “no.” If people don’t want your product or service, they simply don’t click the “buy” button.
So what can you do? You need to understand the most common reasons people don’t buy and then shape your marketing and sales material to counter these sales objections.
This way you can weave specific messages and “signals” into your email funnel, website copy, and sales page to address customers’ biggest concerns.
That’s exactly what we’re going to show you how to do in this article. Let’s break down the five most common sales objections and look at tactics for how to overcome them — before customers even say “no.”
Sales Objection 1: Price
People don’t want to spend their hard-earned money. For most, it’s a finite resource.
So if they do have some cash to burn, why should they put it towards your product rather than a nice dinner out or a shiny new pair of headphones?
You know the answer. Now it’s time to tell your audience. And the way to do that is by building value.
Take marketing guru Neil Patel. Businesses pay him $5,000 for an hour of his time, but he’s offering his Quick Sprout Traffic System course and a 30-minute phone call for just $197. How do we know? Because he says it right in his sales email.
Essentially, Patel is saying that this half-hour call is valued at $2,500, but you can save 92% by just signing up for his course. How’s that for value?
Now, you don’t have to charge $5,000 an hour to figure out your product’s worth. Just think about how it can improve your customer’s life.
Say you’re launching a course priced at $200. To a buyer, that might feel like a large investment, especially when compared to buying a cup of coffee or renting a movie. But those are fleeting purchases anyone can make in a given day.
Make it clear that, for the customer, buying your service or product is like putting a down payment on their future. By making this one investment now, they can reap the rewards later.
Will you help them advance their career, for instance? Will you help them lose weight and get in shape? Will you help them make money, so eventually they can buy several new pairs of headphones — one in every color if they want?
Plant your answer into your sales and marketing materials. Include it in your email and write it on your landing page. This way, people won’t have to think, “But is it really worth the $200?” They’ll already have their answer.
Sales Objection 2: Procrastination
Have you ever put off buying groceries, only to find yourself staring at an empty fridge at 10:00 PM, debating whether or not rice and hot sauce is a suitable dinner? (This just got too real for a second.)
It’s not that you don’t need groceries or you think it’s a waste of money. In fact, you know you should get them; you just convince yourself that it’s not super urgent. I mean, you can splurge on takeout for one night, and just go to the store tomorrow, right?
But then tomorrow turns into the next day. And then the weekend comes, and you’re going out with friends anyway, so that turns into Monday. Then Monday comes, and you’re swamped with work, so that turns into Tuesday…
It happens to everyone — including your customers. Even if they love your product, they still might see it as something they can get around to buying later.
That’s why, to overcome this sales objection, you have to create a built-in deadline.
For example, Danny Margulies used a tactic he calls the “Reverse Discount.” To get people to buy, he raised his prices instead of lowered them. Sounds counterintuitive, right? The catch is, he sent an email telling people they had five days to purchase at the original price. After that, the cost would go up by $200.
This move encouraged people to buy right away. And since it didn’t devalue the product by slashing the price tag, it didn’t hurt future sales, either. In fact, the raised price told people that the product was valuable and that they’d better act now, because the price could go up again at any time.
It was this strategy that helped Margulies earn $67K in just five days.
And here’s a testimonial from a grateful customer:
If you want to create a sense of urgency, you can also tell your customers that supplies are limited.
Say you’re running a webinar that comes with a one-on-one chat or critique. Since your time is valuable, you might only have the bandwidth to meet with 100 people. And just like that, you have a limited supply.
To get the word out, include updates on how many spots or products are left. You could post about it each day on Facebook or even include a countdown on your sales page. Just try to be as specific as possible.
“3 seats remaining!” is more effective than “Limited space.”
To wrap this up, let’s go back to our metaphor about buying groceries. If you knew that, after today, all grocery stores were shutting down for two weeks, wouldn’t you grab your keys and get your groceries right now? Wouldn’t you stop putting it off and go stock your fridge?
Exactly. Give your customers that same motivation to buy — not tomorrow, not after the weekend, not when they get home from work — but now.
Sales Objection 3: “This won’t work for people like me.”
With all due respect to the human race, people think they’re special snowflakes. They actively look for reasons something won’t work for them. In fact, the mind oftens invents reasons for people to disqualify themselves (“I don’t have a fancy degree”… “I live in a different time zone”… “I’m not a morning person”). And they don’t even realize they’re doing it.
The solution for overcoming this sales objection is simple: Offer a variety of testimonials.
Prove that your business works not just “for everyone,” but for an array of people.
This way, you don’t have to shoot down the special snowflake point of view; you can cater to it.
Look at the website for the P90X home fitness workout, which helps you “transform your body in just 90 days.”
The product page features men and women, people of different races, people who were overweight, and those who were just a little pudgy. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s meant to show how the program can work for each person who is interested.
Even if you can get a testimonial from a satisfied customer that starts out, “I was skeptical about whether this would work for me, but…” that’s a great move.
Once you have those customers’ stories, showcase them on your product page and sales page so customers are reminded that your offering can work for them, both at the beginning and end of their buying journey. You can even launch an email campaign around a particularly inspiring testimonial.
For example, to market their webinars via email, Writer’s Digest includes quotes from people who have already completed the course.
One quote says, “This is a great class for both beginning and seasoned writers,” letting people know that they can be in any stage of the game, and still benefit from this product.
In the end, the key is drive this point home and stop your customers from second-guessing themselves.
Sales Objection 4: Fear of making the wrong decision
People don’t like making mistakes. Nobody wants to spend money on something that ends up being a dud.
Even if it’s in their budget, they can still start to think, “Am I really making the right decision here?”
To overcome this sales objection, you have to offer a generous guarantee — one that can quiet that dissenting voice in your customer’s head.
For example, I Will Teach You To Be Rich includes a guarantee on its sales page for the Find Your Dream Job 2.0 course. It even has an official seal.
This guarantee promises that you’ll have more job opportunities, more interviews, and more job offers by the end of the course. And if you’re not happy with the course, you can request a full refund within the first 60 days of purchasing.
Hyundai did something similar back in 2009, increasing sales with its empathy-driven Assurance Benefit. This basically said, “If you can’t afford the payments on your new Hyundai within the first year of purchase, just drop it off and walk away.”
Imagine financing a new computer. Five months in, you realize you just can’t make your payments. So you go back to Best Buy or Apple, drop it off, and head home. Fine print notwithstanding, that’s the guarantee Hyundai offered its customers.
After all, it’s not enough to say, “You won’t regret it” or “This is the best move you’ll ever make.” You have to tell your customer why. What will they truly get out of this? How will it impact their life?
Be clear with your message, and let them know exactly why they’re making the right decision.
Sales Objection 5: There might be something better out there
If someone is researching your product, they’re probably researching others, too. All they have to do is click out of your site and onto a different one. And just like that, you go from having someone on your sales page to… well, not.
Say you’re selling a $250 course about how to improve your diet in eight weeks. A customer might think, “This looks cool, but maybe there’s a course I can complete in four weeks instead of eight. Or maybe I can just buy a book for less money and do the research myself, right?”
If you don’t have the answers on your page, your customers will go find them on their own.
That’s why you have to do the homework for them. Tell them what they need to know about your competitors, and why you’re still the best option.
For instance, web hosting company InMotion includes a comprehensive chart on its product page.
With the help of this visual aid, customers can easily see that InMotion is the ideal option for all of their hosting needs. It gives them the information they’re looking for and prevents them from leaving to go check out the competition.
Earning your “yes”
Most of the time, you won’t get the chance to pitch your customers one-on-one and counter each person’s objections to buying. But if you understand what motivates your market to buy, you can address their top concerns throughout the entire sales journey.
This might sound daunting. But once you realize that there are really only a few common motivations behind that “no,” this task suddenly becomes much more manageable.
So go ahead — try it for yourself. Get creative with ways to make your product’s value clear; do the homework for your prospects; share testimonials from satisfied customers. And, in turn, put yourself one step closer to earning that “yes.”