Objections to purchase

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These are the 5 most common objections of why people decide not to buy something. It is the role of the sales person to overcome these objections:

  • Too expensive. Spending money feels like a loss, and what you get in return may not feel like sufficiently compensates for it.
  • It won't work. This is one of the most common objections scipreneurs face. Are you sure you can deliver on what you've promised.
  • It won't work for me. If the prospect does not experience the problem you are trying to solve, or is not aware of it yet (see: SPIN Sales)
  • I can wait. They know they have the problem but they also believe it's not worth addressing it right now.
  • It's too difficult. Another extremely common challenge scipreneurs face. If the solution is too complicated, they better wait for an alternative.

Each objection can be overcome with different strategies at different levels. Objections on price, for example, can be tackled by using Value-based selling. However, it may just be true, it may be that your solution is too expensive for that specific problem.

With new products it's hard to overcome the hesitancy of whether something will work or not. building reputation is paramount, and especially if that includes referrals from previous customers. For startups, the challenge is to get those few early adopters that can act as product heroes.

When people understand the problem but think the solution is not appropriate for them, Education content for sales can open doors. It may be that prospects didn't have enough time to think about it, or how it'll fit in their current workflow. A "free gift" like a trial or a demo not only builds on the idea of Reciprocation in sales, but also lowers the barrier of understanding what the solution is.

And the same approach with education helps with people who think they can wait. Perhaps they expect more social proof, another referral. Perhaps they haven't realized yet how big the problem is. They never quantified the loss, or they simply got used to how things have always worked.

The last objection, is one that can't be addressed softly. If the product is too difficult to use, it'll circle back to the value proposition-market fit. If the problem you are addressing is really valuable, the difficulties your product imposes can be tolerated. In complex settings, this can be properly studied with jobs theory, since "difficulty" can have many different planes.

A difficult product can be hard to install but easy to use. It can be hard to buy (import/export challenges) but easy to install and use. It can be hard to recycle, or plainly hard to use. In each case, the difficulty will be perceived by a different person, with different power balances, and different incentives.


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Aquiles Carattino
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