How to Sell Apps: Handling Common Objections
There is no point in sugarcoating it: sales is synonymous with rejection.
There is no point in sugarcoating it: sales is synonymous with rejection. A salesperson faces rejection every single day, no matter how good their product or service is. If you are selling apps to small businesses, the constant objections can be discouraging. You might be thinking it's part of the job, and there's nothing you can do about it. While it is part of the job, you can learn to handle objections in the most productive way. This doesn't mean telling your prospect they're wrong, it means helping them come to a different conclusion on their own accord.
In the process of persuading them, Hubspot says it's important to distinguish between sales objections and brush-offs. "While objections are authentic, brush-offs are excuses. Objections are far more serious than brush-offs."
Here are the most common sales objections to selling apps and you can handle them:
1. Sales objections about price
- "It's too expensive"
- "There's no money"
- "We don't have any budget left this year"
Selling a product or service to small businesses is arguably even harder than selling to big bureaucratic companies. A small business owner will almost always reference their limited budget as an objection. It is your job to help him or her justify the cost. According to Alyssa Gregory, a small business consultant, the best way to do this is by "breaking down your total cost into smaller amounts that are attached to smaller services so the client can see why your price point is what it is." Most importantly, demonstrate how an app can help the small business save money and increase revenue. After implementation, it will basically pay for itself in a couple of months.
2. Sales objections about competition
- "I can get a cheaper version of your product from someone else"
- "I can get a better product/more features product with a competitor"
Find out what is happening below the surface here. Is your prospect also talking to a competitor? Are they using this objection as a way to drive the cost down? Or does your prospect think the competitor offers a better product or price? To counter these objections, focus on the unique value that your app will provide for their business that they won't be getting from a competitor or an alternative product. For the former, explain how the features you offer compare to the competitors' offerings. For the latter, show how other marketing and operational projects will not yield the same results. Overall, you need to emphasize its worth, not its cost.
3. Sales objections about product
- "I don't see what your product could do for me"
- "I don't understand your product"
- "I don't see the potential for ROI"
- "Apps are just a fad"
These objections are actually requests for more information. Be able to answer these questions in depth, explain exactly how your product can solve specific problems. Use case studies of previous clients to demonstrate how an app provides trackable results and accomplished goals. "Nothing sells quite like hard numbers," says Hubspot. Furthermore, apps are relatively new when it comes to small business application. Therefore, you need to show how mobile apps have become a necessity for any business trying to grow (or even survive). A small business owner, then, often needs a shift in perspective from seeing an an app as a mere add-on to their marketing portfolio to a full fledged mobile solution. To formulate your argument, check out our blog article debunking the myth of an app as an add-on.
4. Sales objections about change
- "I'm okay with the way things work right now"
- "I don't want to change the way we've been doing things for years"
Often these small businesses have existed for many generations, hence they don't want to mess with the status quo. Get the client to see why they need to make the change. Share research that shows how apps are becoming crucial for small businesses to survive. Together with the client, take a look at local competitors and their tools. Showing that competitors are far ahead can open the small business owner's eyes to what needs to be done. In addition to the fear of change, small business owners are often already overwhelmed by all the new tools they need to keep up with, such as social media, online reviews, mobile websites and so forth. Put them at ease by showing how an app easily fits into their current strategy with minimal effort.
5. Sales objections about trust
- "You don't seem to have the necessary experience to do this"
- "I've never heard of your company"
As an app salesperson, you are not just selling a product, you are also selling your services as a mobile marketing expert. For that reason, you should not approach the small business owner as a salesperson. Instead, be a small business advisor. Advise them on their marketing efforts, by showing them where there is room for improvement. Sharing these observations, without asking for anything in return, will build trust. Be honest about your expertise, and be willing to share testimonials and case studies that will diminish your prospect's feeling of uncertainty. They need to be confident in your ability to help their business.
6. Sales objections about timing
- "It's too much for me to take on right now"
- "I'm too busy"
- "Call me again in a couple of months"
If the lack of time is an issue for your client right now, chances are it will still be an issue in six months or a year. To overcome this objection, you need to make the decision to hire you a no-brainer. More specifically, explain how you will help to set everything up, as well as be there for ongoing support. Depending on the arrangement you make with your client, you can take over the entire app endeavor (i.e. design & build, promotion, push notification etc.), making it as convenient as possible for a busy small business owner. Show them that you will go that extra mile to make their app a success.
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