Sales objection: "There is a crisis, we can't spend the money"
Everyone will first freeze just like reflecting light on a rabbit's eye. Then, they turn to Elisabeth Küber-Ross and slowly experience the "Mourning Stages":
They deny and do not accept what happens.
They get angry and feel frustrated against what made them this way.
When they understand this is inevitable, they start to look for ways to solve this situation and accept everything after an intense nervousness and stress.
Why do they freeze? Because crises make them.
To develop answers for this objection, a salesperson must understand what crisis means and how it can affect the sales processes.
After the 1929 Great Depression, the world experienced more than 15 separate economic crises. Almost one in every six years! Although people continued their lives as nothing happened, they got significant damages and never learned; because they got used to this.
When the economic market activities slow down for two financial quarters, the recession is at the door, and the house cleaning starts. Since nobody can predict the possibilities, they start the house cleaning with immediate decisions. Managers review all expense items with panic, minimize all expenses, and begin job cuts. And they do these changes and arrangements specifically and mainly from marketing, PR, advertisement, and sales departments that experience the "real moments" with the customers. Companies in crisis tend to break the bond between the company and customers without any reason.
In financial periods when everything goes well, the market grows, profitability is acceptable, and no one wants to analyze, investigate, or decrease costs in business processes, general expense structures, personnel training, efficiency analysis, etc. Because they take the maximum market share in these periods.
In economically shrinking periods, decreasing costs is one of the indispensable parts of survival. But these efforts will only provide palliative solutions and can never save the day. Companies do not have the luxury to save on any operations that expand the market and complete more sales. So, the only thing that saves the day and helps the company to survive in stagnation is sales. But how?
First, the company's upper management must move by considering the crisis they are in and without panicking or giving in to pessimism. Upper management is in the driver's seat. A wrong maneuver might drag the manager and the entire company to the cliff. Therefore, upper management must try to find the answer to "How can I do it?" without disregarding the gravity of the situation but with solid moves and moving forward with hope.
The morale and motivation of the employees play an extremely influential role in the survival of the company. Employee happiness and job loyalty is the most significant source of success. But this is again sustained by the management.
Customers tend to halt or postpone the purchasing decisions other than mandatory purchases in crisis, just like the companies. Loyalty decreases. They are in survival mode, too, and tend to look for other suppliers for cheaper or long-term purchasing options. They are more sensitive about how and what they pay for.
So, in a crisis time, salespeople should know:
Experienced sellers are ready to see the customers' outlook, similar to what they see in their companies. They are aware of the market sensitivity and know that their only priority is to keep positive attitudes at the time of the meeting. With the positive mood they set, a seller must present a good look in physical and mental terms. Salespeople are like artists. No matter what happens in the outside world, they have strong intrinsic motivations not to reflect those to the prospect. But this emotion is never faux or stilted enthusiasm. If a salesperson feels good, he/she knows the sales will increase, so that he/she will feel better about it.
The masters of selling know that the magical word in sales is "trust." And you need trust in crisis times. Sales are built on this fundamental effect, and it has three components:
Trust to oneself.
Trust the company.
Trust to the products.
This is a tripod. If one of these components is missing, the tripod will fall, and everything on top of it will fail, as well. It would be best if you prepared your presentation in this order.
Everything starts and ends with high self-confidence. You have to trust yourself, develop good emotions, and be at peace with your surroundings. Uncertainty in the market in a crisis time makes the prospect extra cautious and observant. The prospect can see if you don't have faith in your or your product more proficiently.
The next thing is trusting in your company and product. A salesperson carries the satisfaction he/she gathers from his/her company to the customers. This works both ways.
In crisis times, the customer wants what the seller wants. They want to deal with honest, reliable individuals; buy the right product from the right supplier at the right price. Customers' priorities in order are first the seller, the company, and the product. The trust in these fundamental factors plays a vital role for both sides, especially in recession periods.
There may be a recession in the markets, but no one says they will close their store until things start to go well. People continue to move forward with all their efforts despite everything. An experienced salesperson always tries to sustain a positive attitude next to a customer who tries as well. He/she avoids negative expressions. Even phrases like "there was traffic." or "the market is slow." are not ice breakers in situations like this.
You can maintain an optimistic attitude with phrases like:
We experienced hard times in the past. Things will get better in a short time.
The business will continue like before, and we will always be there for you like we are now.
We will do more than we can to pass-through this period with minimum damage.
If you survive, I survive. We will be by your side all the way.
Sometimes a prospect can show a negative attitude despite your efforts. In this case, never give up the positive attitude. You should be aware of the fact that sales require approaches based on mutual and trust-based relationships. If you win the customer, you will close.
Generally, people tend to stay closer in hard times. They tend to emphasize their emotional sensitivities in these periods with a sense of belonging to society and increased attachment. The need to become "us" is dominant, and people tend to show more sharing-oriented behaviors. Therefore, an equipped seller will never leave a customer alone when things go wrong and in good times.
Savings policy is one of the priorities for the companies during the recession period. Therefore, they can easily forget about the customers. But the most valuable assets of the companies are their customers, not their goods. Therefore, companies' most critical success is that sellers who survive in crisis times do not lose their essential customers.
Remember what Grant Cardone says: "Price is a myth. While the buyer may research the lowest price, it is the value that they really want, even during tough economic times. People buy products and services that solve problems."
Steli Efti of Close shares 12 steps for ways to be proactive in crisis times:
Assume the worst and be realistic. Being realistic doesn't mean being pessimistic.
Get your act together and start taking action with a strategy.
Act faster, be flexible, and adapt to circumstances.
Get cash-flow to your business with pre-paid contracts.
Speed to close; Every deal you can close today for a little less money is worth a lot more than a deal that might close next week.
Anticipate future objections.
Your yearly plans are irrelevant; change your planning schedule.
Invest in your prospects and customers.
Do what you can, but don't do more.
Don't be tone-deaf. The question is, how can you get your business through this crisis? Help your prospects deal with their challenges.
Find opportunities in crisis.