Trucking

How Do Truck Drivers Handle Objections? | Essential Tips to Overcome Them

CT Team

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When it comes to facing objections, we know what it’s like. We feel your pain. It’s a frustrating experience to go through all the work of prospecting customers only to have those same prospects drop the same cliché excuses time and time again like: “I’ve got to clear it with the spouse,” or “I’m not sure if we’re ready for that,” and “I’m uncomfortable with that price range.” 

On the surface, these objections may seem like an insurmountable obstacle. But it’s not always as cut and dry as that. If you’re wondering, “How do truck drivers handle objections?” We want you to know, right here, right now, that you’ve come to the right place. You can overcome these objections. We’re on your side and here to help you with some tips for developing a strategy that works for you. One where you can overcome these objections more often, and turn what looks like a losing situation into a win.

Do You Really Know What Is An Objection?

The foundation of how to handle objections is understanding what an objection is, and what it isn’t.

In the trucking industry we are working across multiple regions, and with that comes some variation in how folks communicate.

Depending on how a prospective customer answers, they may be stating an objection, seeking more information, or setting a smokescreen to hide information. A thorough understanding of these concepts is essential for developing a method for overcoming objections. Here are some examples that will help clarify the differences:

A sales objection is any worry a prospect has about a barrier impeding their ability to buy from you - an unambiguous indicator that you need to address more areas of the buying process than you thought. This may involve further research, and some trial and error.

"How much does this set you back?" This is an example of a question or information request. It is critical to understand that this is not an objection. The individual may merely wish to know the cost of an item. They haven't formed an opinion on it yet.

The best play in this situation is to respond to the question in a balanced and succinct manner. That may appear straightforward, but providing consistent, balanced, and succinct responses requires accurate identification and regular practice.

Assume your prospect answers to your balanced and brief response with "I will need to think about it." This is an illustration of a smokescreen. It may be an implicit complaint camouflaged by a convincing assertion. To counter smokescreens, learn as much as you can about the prospect ahead of time, and develop or use your people skills to circumvent the smokescreen. If you have an idea of what their complaint might be, asking for clarification may help to uncover the issue so you can address it.

The 4 Types of Sales Objections and How to Overcome Them

To further refine your handling objections techniques, here are four types of sales objections that can be overcome through understanding. 

Lack of need

A customer must require what you're offering. There may be situations when you have no way of assisting the prospect. However, if the prospect appears to be qualified but does not perceive the value in what you give, you are to blame. Either you are not resonating, you are not researching all conceivable requirements, or you are not addressing the correct need. Here are some tips to overcome it:

  • Concentrate on the results rather than the process.
  • Learn about the prospect's company, industry, and competition.
  • If they are still hardlining with a lack of need, make sure you part with them in a way that leaves a good impression. Their situation will change in the future, and if you’ve left a good impression, you can position yourself to capture their business down the road, when they have a need for your services. 

Lack of urgency

You've established a rapport, money isn't a problem, and the customer feels you can assist. However, the prospect is unable to carry the project further since they are overburdened and waiting for the "perfect moment." Here is how to handle it:

  • If you conducted a thorough requirements assessment, you should be able to give data that indicate the effect of your solution. The prospect must see a monetary value. A lack of ROI results in a lack of urgency.

Lack of trust

The buyer's trust is determined by whether or not you can deliver on your promises. If they do, it reduces risk and brings you closer to a sale. You acquire this trust in the old-fashioned way. Here is how to overcome it:

  • Begin by conducting research. The more you know about the prospect's business and sector, the more confident they will be in your services.
  • Demonstrate a sincere interest in their wants and needs.
  • Balance investigation and advocacy.

Lack of money

This one is super straightforward. Here is how to handle it:

  • Listen carefully and confirm whether or not money is a problem.
  • Avoid discussing the expense structure.
  • Reduce the scope to reduce the cost.

How to Overcome Objections 

You may have heard of the categorical trinity. It is a term used mostly in crime stories, and trials, but it has a broader use, and applies well in the situation of the most difficult sales objections scenarios. Basically, the categorical trinity states that an individual must have the motive, means, and opportunity to commit an act. In the context of this article, if the prospect does not have the motive, means, or opportunity to purchase your services, they will be a tough nut to crack. So what is the best way to handle objections that are this hard-boiled? 

Motive

If the customer is not motivated to purchase your services, they either “have no need for your services at this time” or they “aren’t convinced you’re the right person” for the job.” It’s important to understand which one it is. 

If they have no need for your services, you’re in an “it is what it is” situation.

There’s still hope for future sales to this prospect, because needs change over time. When you encounter this objection, do your best to leave a good lasting impression on the prospect so that when they do need the type of services you provide, they’ll call you first. 

Examine how you and your team are presenting and marketing your services.

If they aren’t convinced your business can best serve their needs, it's time to evaluate and analyze how you are doing things. Then compare that to what your customer is looking for. 

Means

The prospective customer may not have enough in their budget to cover the cost of your service. Furthermore, economic downward trends can force a once promising prospect to tighten their belt. 

Find out as much as you can about your prospect’s financial situation.

This may be tricky at times, however, some signs to watch for include layoffs, plant closures, and the like. The key to overcoming objections based on a lack of means is to determine what the prospect can afford to pay, and whether it’s worth it to you to provide your service at that price or not. Keep in mind, if their top dollar is beneath your bottom dollar amount, then they are no longer a prospect worth pursuing. However, we’d like to once more point out that you should seek to part with the prospect on good terms as situations change and you want to be the first company they contact when they have achieved the necessary means to afford your services.

When the economy takes a downward turn, it’s time to tighten your company’s belt

You need to have some wiggle room to solidify your prospect’s trust by being there for them when they need you the most. But be cautious about how low you’re willing to go to avoid overextending yourself. Look for ways to accommodate your prospects and alleviate their pain during a tough economy, but be ready to cut them loose if they’re obviously failing. Objections during difficult economic times can actually save you from potential defaults by prospects who go insolvent. 

Opportunity

The prospect may not see your services as the best opportunity for their business. Trucking is a highly competitive industry and a competitor may be undermining your efforts through low-ball tactics, or outperforming you in some aspect of the business. 

Keep an ear to the ground when it comes to pricing.

Pay attention to the load boards and other rate indicators to ensure that you’re offering your services at a competitive rate. Failure to watch the trends in trucking is one of the easiest ways to watch your revenue streams dry up. If a prospect objects and it appears to be an opportunity based reason, first look at who they are purchasing services from and look for ways to outprice your competition. 

The various aspects of your business are too numerous to fully cover here.

Suffice it to say that it is important to know your business and your competitors’ businesses inside and out. Are your competitors offering more capacity to meet the prospect’s demand? Do they have a better on-time rating than you? Are they operating equipment better suited to the prospect’s needs?

These are just a few of the many questions you need to ask in this situation. Look for opportunities to outperform your competitors and make your the most appealing opportunity to your prospects. If you determine your prospect is objecting due to opportunity based factors, be direct and ask the prospect for suggestions that might improve their willingness to do business with you instead of your competitors.

Objections are a real pain and a barrier to growing your business. Fortunately, an objection does not have to be the end of the line for the relationship between you and your prospects. Remember, they are your customers, so treat them as such. Look for ways to meet their needs, give them fair prices, and strive to be the best in your sector. Above all, keep in mind that an objection today may be a sale tomorrow.

Don’t give up on your prospects when they object, instead lean into the problem by applying the tips in this article and developing your techniques for overcoming objections.

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