Don't fold at this buyer pushback

How do you counter this common buyer push back and move the conversation forward?

It’s presumptuous to think that your customers don’t already have a solution for the service or product you provide. Perhaps presumptuous isn’t the right word. “Naive” maybe?

Of course, they already use someone else. Their need doesn’t usually fall into YOUR lap unless you’re strictly an inbound rep responding to inquiries or leads – which is a tough job because those are RARELY slam dunk guarantees.

Outbound sellers, accept this truth: Prospecting new customers means you’re going to encounter “we already have a provider” and you need to be prepared to move beyond this first and primary pushback.

This is a knee-jerk reaction from buyers meant to protect their time – both in the moment and any future time wasted on a salesperson or a solution that can do the same thing they already have. The cost of change is really what you’re selling against. Apathy, the Status Quo, Satisfaction, Complacency . . . THESE are your competitors and you have to prepare to challenge that push back with a reason that piques their interest enough to have a conversation.

Your job as a seller is to unseat the incumbent. To provide a compelling reason that strikes a prospect’s interest in possibly making a change.

I have witnessed dozens of sellers cave at this initial objection because they’re not prepared for how to counter with their perspective. I’ve sat next to salespeople who, when faced with this response in their calls say something such as, “Oh, um, okay, well, if you ever change your mind, I’d love to send you an email with my information.”

I don’t have the statistics on this but I do have the experience of watching hundreds of sellers take this response to calls as a rejection and closed-door on opportunities. The best indication that this is your stopping point is if you’re not prepared to push beyond the first obstacles.

Consider that buyers are testing you. They’re tired of having their time wasted by sellers who don’t have anything different  – nothing more valuable that they would want or need. They push back to ask, “Do you REALLY want to talk to me? Do you TRULY think you have what I need? Are you worthy of my time? Or are you looking for an easy sale?”

Next time you encounter this pushback, “We’ve already got a supplier for XYZ” – try this counter:

Of course you do. However, people have been known to make changes. Especially if we can show that it makes great business sense or makes your job easier. I’m only asking for a conversation to consider a different perspective.”

OR this counter has a particularly successful response:

“Of course you do – and people have been known to change. In fact, your business thrives on compelling people to change to your XYZ product, right?”

Your customers are in business to earn a profit. They make decisions in the best interest of profit, productivity, work culture, market share, and long-term goals. Figure out how you improve one or many of those things and challenge their status quo by offering a different perspective.

Be prepared. Expect that your customers have NOT been waiting for your call. Know they already have a solution or provider. SHOW up for the challenge and show how you’re different.

Until next time stop hoping and start SELLING!


PS – Do you have another BRILLIANT way to handle this buyer push back? Tell us in the comments below!

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Straightforward, practical and perhaps slightly cheeky, Shawn Karol Sandy's innate gift is helping people find new ways to solve old problems, unique ways to approach new problems and helping businesses re-invent themselves and their sales strategies. With Bold and Brave thought leadership and Clear Action Plans, her impact on business is Measurable and Meaningful and will lead your sales revolution to growth and revenue goals.

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