Objection Category: Buyer Beliefs 2 and 3 – Responsibility and Authority

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7. Objection: My boss won't authorize anything.

When does it usually occur? Early closing after the presentation.
Probable Cause: Buyer does not believe s/he has authority.
Objective: Identify people who play the various decision-making roles.

Prevention Strategies:

  1. Identify from your lead source (referral, directory, or network), the people who (by title or position) would most likely be in the different decision-making roles.
  2. During your initial contact with the receptionist, you could also ask, “Who are the people, who would make decisions about the products/services used in ___ (specify area).” Interact with the highest-level person you can reach.
  3. Always develop everyone you can into a coach. Start this type relationship with the hard to resist question, “Can you please help me?”
  4. From your experience, you could ask about decision-makers typically involved in buying what you sell to make sure they’re in the mix. You can also make sure you’re getting the right person by asking questions about each role. For example, “Who would make the decisions about performance specifications?” Or “Who would decide the necessary level of return on investment before a product/service could be preapproved for the purchasing department to order?”
  5. When closing out this step with someone who could give you this objection say, “I guess one of our next steps will be to do a thorough cost justification so you’ll have the numbers you’ll need to provide to your manager. What is the approval process for this type of project?”

Preemption Strategies:

  1. Quantify (financial, subjective, and emotional) what it costs not to have the Advantages and Benefits of your Unique Selling Points’ Features.
  2. Identify the other decision-makers. “In addition to you, who else would be involved with deciding ____ (name the types of decisions to be made such as, ROI, performance specifications, and ease of use)?”
  3. Ask the decision-maker you’re interacting with how getting your USPs would benefit the other decision-makers. Guide them by asking about specific decision-makers.
  4. Ask how something like this could be worked into the budget.
  5. Lay out a plan for you to meet with the other decision-makers to continue to gather information.
  6. The stronger your quantifying questions, the more sense of urgency you will create. The greater the number of areas where you can find issues (missing USPs), the greater the subjective, emotional, and financial sense of urgency you will create.
  7. Consider that you most likely do not have a line-item in your budget for a new tire for your car, but if you were to get a flat and destroy the tire, what would you do? Most likely you would move money from one area of your budget to another to get a new tire, wouldn’t you? Find the decision-maker(s) responsible for all the budgets you impact. They can move money from one budget to another. Help them find the money.

Response Strategies:

  1. “I understand, my boss won't authorize anything either unless I have some pretty strong cost-justification for at least reviewing a project. Is that about where s/he is right now?”
  2. “I can certainly understand how you feel, I'm in the same position, but if this makes sense and we can cost-justify it, what other information do you think we need to take it to the next step?”
  3. “I wouldn’t expect him to at this step in the process. We’ve got to first make sure the return on investment will be large enough, soon enough, and certain enough for him to feel confident enough to release the funds. I suspect that if you’re operationally set up like my other customers, then I would estimate that you’re currently spending, and have budgeted, at least three to five times the money we would need if you were to use our products and services. So if we can cut your budget in half for this item and use part of that money to make the change, then I think you’ll agree that it’s worth taking a few minutes to explore the possibility, don’t you?”
  4. “Won't authorize anything?”  Now clarify the circumstances under which authorization can be obtained.

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