Obstacles versus Objections: How to tell the difference.

Sales Training

Wes Herndon

We here at W Herndon Consulting often witness sales people making the same mistakes over and over again. This post addresses one of those mistakes.

To effectively sale your stuff, you have to know how to ask someone to buy it. As a matter of fact, just asking for a purchase decision is doing more than 67% of the sales people in the world. That’s right! They give this awesome sales presentation filled with great information about their product and they never even give the prospect the opportunity to buy it. What a shame.

That being said, this post is for the 33% who do ask for the sale. It is common practice in the art of sales to anticipate a prospects objection to purchasing your product or service. The problem lies in our confusing objections with simple obstacles. Believe it or not, there is a difference. Objections are, in essence, a client saying this: “I am not buying from you ever because…” The obstacle, however, is fundamentally different. It is the same sentence, but with the words “right now” interjected to replace the word “ever”. In other words, “I am not buying from you right now because…”

Obstacles are actually a little easier to overcome than objections and as a result, should be handled much differently and more aggressively than objections. We do, however, need to recognize the prospects psyche when they present us with an objection. Either they are being truthful when they say they can’t afford to buy right now, or they really have an objection and are just trying to hide by being nice. Either way, it is for us to dig deep enough to find the truth.

Some Common Obstacles are as follows:
1) I can’t afford it
2) I need to speak with my wife, husband, dog, grandmother, cat, or whoever.
3) I need to pray about it, sleep on it, or think about it.
4) I don’t have the money.”

Each of these should be handled in a slightly different way. Below are some ideas for handling each individually. Numbers coincide with the respective obstacle.

1) “I can’t afford it” If you had the money, would this be something you would purchase

2) “I need to talk it over with someone who I trust.” If you were making this decision on your own, what would you do?

3) “I need to pray about it…” What are your initial impressions about this product or service?

4) “I don’t have the money.”When do you think you’ll have the money?

Unfortunately, most sales people actually respond to these obstacles as if they were objections, and in doing so, ruin any opportunity that may have existed to salvage the sale.

If you’d like more training, ideas, or to discuss these ideas in more detail, please shoot me an email at wes@wesherndon.com.


About wesherndon

CEO and Head Groove Master at Groove Web Marketing. You're welcome to follow, but be sure to make your own path as well. http://groovewebmarketing.com View all posts by wesherndon

2 responses to “Obstacles versus Objections: How to tell the difference.

  • T. Lavon Lawrence

    An EXCELLENT article. For any employer of people who are supposed to be moving product and services – or as an employee who’s supposed to be moving product or services – life in the 67% who fail to ask for the sale is just plain wrong. It denies a potential customer a chance to enjoy the goods or offers, and it denies income to the business, impacting profit and growth. In this economy, unproductive sellers are not just a problem, but a serious liability for employers and for THEMSELVES. One road to happiness in this world, strangely enough, is the ability to sell with excellence – the skill and habit of influencing people in a positive way to solve a problem or resolve a need through the use of a product or service designed to do just that. Sales is a calling for heroes. Great post!

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