Here's a cold, hard truth that every sales team must confront: Customers fib all the time.
Customers may Lie for a number of reasons. Perhaps they've learned it increases their chances of negotiating a better deal . Maybe they're worried about the salesperson lying to them, and so they go on the defensive. Or maybe they're just human.
In any case, it's not a sales team's job to police these lies. Instead, it's up to your team to figure out how to close the sale even in the face of a customer who may be fudging the truth. Here are four of the most common lies told by prospective customers--and how to sell in the face of them.
"I already know all about [topic/product]"
Prospects Frequently pretend to know more than they do because they're worried you're going to pull one over on them if they reveal gaps in their knowledge. (This is especially common in the tech, security, and SaaS spaces. For example, businesses might claim they're taking all the right security precautions, but a quick glance at data security headlines reveals many of them are actually susceptible to massive data breaches.)
While you don't want to grill your customers or talk down to them, it's important to clearly communicate how your product works and what value it offers--even if the prospect claims to know already. This way, you get to control the narrative, and you won't miss out on an opportunity to teach a potential customer about the features and benefits of your products.
"Our budget won't accommodate this"
In the case of bootstrapping startups or businesses that are on the verge of bankruptcy, this may truly be the case. But in many cases, this is simply a euphemism for "We're not sure if we want to prioritize this as much as this investment would require."
Looked at another way, this statement is really a question : They're wondering why they might want to adjust their budget to invest in your product or service.
That means it's your job to provide a compelling explanation for why whatever you're offering should be one of their main priorities moving forward. This requires a clear understanding of the problems they're facing and how your product or service will help them solve it in a way that will elevate their business.
"Your competition offered me a better deal."
Sure, there are times when this could be the case. But very frequently it's a sneaky effort to get you to drop your prices.
In either case, the antidote is the same. It's up to you to position your offering in a way that convinces them it's worth the price--regardless of what your competitors charge. Of course, it's equally important that your offering lives up to these promises. If you're going to claim more value, you'd better deliver it.
"I'd buy this if..."
Someone should make bingo cards out of all the ways this statement is completed. "I'd buy this if... you give me a huge discount/your product had just one more feature/we were a little further along on this project/and so on."
If the issue is about discounts, stand firm on your prices. This conveys self-worth and reduces the risk of coming across like you manipulate your prices based on what you think you can squeeze out of your customers. Holding the line speaks to integrity. That will either win you the customer or it won't, but in either case it won't erode your reputation.
If the issue is about the details of your product or service, that means that: a) you haven't yet done a convincing job of selling the features and values these offerings provide, or b) there's an opportunity for you to improve your product so you can enjoy more success on future sales calls. In either case, it's a win.
There's a reason Sales Teams frequently joke that "buyers are liars". Luckily, that doesn't mean buyers aren't amenable to purchasing your product or service. By looking beyond the lies to the implicit assumptions or inquiries contained therein, you can assuage a prospect's concerns and increase your chances of closing the deal.