Don’t you hate it when customers ask questions you can’t seem to answer? You drew up a stellar proposal only to face complaints from the client about the cost, price-breakdown, or what they think is a mistake.
Sometimes these situations seem insurmountable. But they’re not. In fact, they may be simpler than you think. As I work with salespeople to help them navigate objections, I find most objections are “single-level” objections — an objection you can diffuse with as little as one word or one simple explanation.
These objections are often the buyer’s way of processing information, and the worst thing we can do is overreact to a single-level objection.
You don’t have to change your price or the way your company operates. Instead, just give the objection the brief response it requires.
Objection 1: “This Costs A Lot!”
Ever presented a proposal or bracketed a price range for a client and they replied, “Oh! That’s a lot of money!” This is a classic single-level objection you can fix with a one-word response: Yes! You can even be verbose and say, “Yes, it is,” or even, “Of course it is,” but all you really have to do is agree with them.They’re right. This is a lot of money compared to other things… like buying a soda. But it’s not a lot of money compared to buying real estate. It’s somewhere in between.
So, yes, they’re absolutely right — it is a lot of money. I’ve observed numerous phone calls and meetings with salespeople talking to clients. Often, when the clients say, “Whoa. This is a lot of money,” salespeople immediately start explaining all the ways they can reduce the price. But they don’t need to change the quote.
They just need to give the client a chance to get used to the price point.
Objection 2: “I only see lump sums in the proposal. I want a price breakdown.”
Not every company’s proposals will look the same — and that’s okay!
Maybe the client reads your proposal and says, “Everyone else breaks the quote down for me. You have lump sums. I don’t understand — can you break it down for me?” The response is, “Yes, other companies do that. Here’s why we do it this way…”This is another single-level objection. It needs a response, but it doesn’t mean you need to change what you’re doing and how you write proposals.
Objection 3: “You Made a Mistake.”
When clients point out mistakes (or what they assume is a mistake because they don’t like it), salespeople can easily fall into the trap of backpedaling.
If you’re reviewing a proposal with a client and they say, “I see you’ve made a mistake here,” you have two options for handling it simply:
1. Agree and Move On
Remember, this is just a single-level objection. Agree, fade back, and move on to the next thing.
You can respond, “Yes. I did. Let me correct that for you.”
2. Counter and Explain
There’s nothing wrong with telling a client, “Actually, no. That is a choice. Let me explain,” or “Yes, I understand why you called that out, but let me explain why it shouldn’t be an issue.”
You’re missing the point if you overreact with, “Oh no! They don’t like my proposal! I need to change something quick!”
Whether you made a mistake or not, handle it with a brief, clear response.
Don’t make single-level objections more difficult than they are. Single-level objections are simple. They don’t require major changes or price drops. In reality, they’re often just the client’s way of understanding the information.
The better you are at handling it, the easier it’ll be for you to keep the conversation moving in the right direction.
Next time you’re faced with one of these objections or another objection that at first seems insurmountable, take a step back. Ask yourself, “Can I respond to this with one word or one clear explanation?” If so, do it!
Then move on. If you dwell on it, you’ll make it a bigger objection than it actually is.