2 ideas for breaking through sales barriers

By Jill Konrath

Recently, I was approached by a salesperson who was facing a tough challenge. When he gets his targeted buyers on the line, he frequently has to deal with these sales objections:
  • "We recognize your proven credentials, but aren't taking on any new suppliers."
  • "Great stuff, but we're already getting this from another vendor."
He wanted to know how he could break through these sales barriers. Here are the two suggestions I gave him.

1. Analyze what you're saying.

You're probably talking about your product/service way too early. The reason I say that is because the response you’re getting is a common reaction to doing so. To solve this problem, you need to rethink your entire conversation. What would it take to get them to say, “Hmm. These guys really get the challenges we’re facing. They have some good ideas that could help us achieve our objectives. Maybe we should talk with them more.”?

It's likely you need to do more research/prep prior to calling so you can customize your message to their situation. Also, think about sharing a case study at the start of your conversation to give your prospect an idea about how you help others achieve their goals. And finally, be prepared with questions about their objectives and challenges.

2. Be a bit more brazen, albeit nicely.

If you’ve been talking about your product/service too early (which I sincerely believe needs some serious examination), then you are allowing yourself to be brushed off too easily. I’ve often found that it works well to say something like this: “Listen, John. Based on what we’ve talked about, it’s highly likely that we could save your company $X in 2014, at the same time we improve X. You’re not getting that from your current suppliers. So, what do we need to do to get on your approved vendor list?”

That's not being rude. It's being confident in the results you deliver. And you can do it with great sincerity when you know that what you sell truly does make a difference. By changing what you say and not backing down so quickly, you will get different results.

That's my two cents! What other advice would you offer this struggling salesperson?