11 Ways to Handle Objections When Selling Your Product

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

How do you handle objections during the sales process?

1. Stay Positive and Focus on Your Strengths

When discussing capabilities and differences with clients about competitors, always highlight the competitive advantages and increased capabilities of what your company offers. If your focus is degrading your competitors, it comes across as petty and focuses the client on the wrong brand, partner and service provider.

– Parker PowersBig Brand Media

2. Explain That You’re the Expert

It happens often; a client doesn’t want to sign on for a marketing service that I know they need. When this happens, I make sure to fully establish that they are the fill-in-the-blank expert, but I’m the marketing expert. I know what I’m doing, I know what works and I am going to be honest about that. I’m not selling frisbees here — I’m selling services that get leads.

– Maren HoganRed Branch Media

3. Pause, Listen and Address

Naturally, hearing “no” can induce anxiety. Personally, I pause to ensure I provide a composed reaction. But before I do that, I also listen carefully to what the prospective customer is genuinely hesitant about. In many cases, they are not upfront with their true reservations. After digging deeper and identifying the real underlying problems, I address each and every one honestly and openly.

– Firas KittanehAmerisleep

4. Discuss Specific Cases

During a sales call or meeting, the potential client might disagree with an idea or method of doing things. I like to bring up facts to support my team’s methods. Talk about how you’ve helped past clients in a way that relates to them. If they still object, take a moment to listen to their reasons. It’s better to keep the relationship solid than to force something upon your potential client.

– Michael QuinnYellow Bridge Interactive

5. Build Crediblity by Telling Prospects Not to Hire You

To build trust with a prospect, simply state that you may not be the right partner for them. Provide suggestions for other types of services they can hire instead. This way you’re still providing value even if you don’t end up working with them. Most prospects will be surprised at this answer and will genuinely come to trust your organization. This will help possibly land the sale either now or in the future.

– Brian HonigmanBrianHonigman.com

6. Identify the Nature of Their Objections and Respond Accordingly

First, I try to determine if the person I’m talking to is really a qualified prospect. If the person objects because they really aren’t a good match for what I’m selling, I acknowledge this and politely end the discussion. On the other hand, if the objection is due to a misunderstanding, I try to supply the missing information that will help them understand what I have to offer.

– Shawn PoratFortune Cookie Advertising

7. Prepare Answers

Most objections you encounter are the same: it’s too expensive, now is not a good time, etc. Prepare for them by coming up with succinct answers (1-3 sentences). When the client brings up that objection, you can respond promptly without having to mentally compute your answer. Embrace objections. They move the sales process forward and help you better understand the prospect.

– Steli EftiClose.io

8. Find the Real Reason for the Objection

A customer will often give you two reasons for an objection: the reason that sounds good and the real reason. Most people dance with the first. The key is to listen and ask guided questions to help understand the real reason they are reluctant to move forward. Perhaps it’s something you can address and help them understand for themselves.

– Andrew ThomasSkyBell Technologies, Inc.

9. Be Proactive

The truth is we likely know what the objections or challenges will be if we have done our homework. Rather than exclusively selling with the positive, I address these possible objections head-on. It shows I’m paying attention and truly want more than their business — I want a relationship. On their end, it builds trust and allows them to be open to other concerns.

– Suzanne SmithSocial Impact Architects

10. (Re)connect With Success Metrics

If someone is unsure at the end of a sales call, I like to ask, “What results would you need to achieve from our engagement to make it a priceless, grand slam investment?” That question directly connects them to what might make the financial commitment worth it, and has a great secondary benefit: it will help us get crystal clear on exactly how to proceed if/when they do enroll.

– Jenny BlakeJenny Blake

11. Sell Your Knowledge, Not Your Product

Personalize your sales pitch using your potential customer’s concerns as a refining tool. Listen to what they are saying and acknowledge that they have a legitimate concern by repeating it back to them. This may feel strange at first, but studies show that hearing someone else say a problem aloud conveys a sense of understanding. Finally, tailor a solution to the specific situation.

– Simon CasutoeLearning Mind

How to Overcome the 8 Biggest Everyday Distractions

Listen, we all run into distractions every day.

What’s that over there?

Sorry, back. What was I saying? Oh yeah, distractions.

I believe it was Socrates who first said “Focus is not the absence of distraction. Focus is the presence of distraction and working anyway.” 

Is that not a saying? Whatever. The Young Entrepreneur Council polled eight well-renowned entrepreneurs to find out one thing…

What’s the biggest distraction you run into on a daily basis and how do you overcome it?

Mark Krassner1. Email

On average I receive 170 emails a day. It used to put me in a reactive mode and most of my day would be spent in my inbox. I’d wrap up 12 hours in the office and feel as though I hadn’t accomplished a thing. Now, I only check my messages at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and batch my responses. As a result, I am more focused, get considerably more done and when I do go into my inbox, I’m highly effective.
Mark Krassner, Knee Walker Central


Doug Bend2. Phone Calls

I get numerous calls a day and would not be able to efficiently complete projects for clients if I was constantly being pulled away and then had to refocus. Instead, I often put my phone on mute and return calls either in between projects or at set points of time during the day when it is not disruptive to completing work.
Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC


Brittany Hodak3. “Quick Questions”

The biggest daily distractions are the “quick questions” that people swear will take two seconds to answer. In reality, these questions can pull you off task and interrupt your focus. On average, at least an hour of my day is spent answering “quick questions.” I now work from home one day a week to focus on larger, bigger-picture tasks without interruption.
Brittany Hodak, ZinePak


Aaron Schwartz4. New Tasks

As an entrepreneur, you have 1,000 tasks which you could do — hiring, social media marketing, sales calls, etc. I’ve never been great about organizing my days, and I find myself distracted by thinking, “Oh! I should do X.” To save myself, I’ve recently started listing out my five “must-do” things at the start of the day. Seeing those in front of me keeps me on task.
Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches


Kelly Azevedo5. Notifications

At one time, every five minutes my phone would buzz with a new update or notification. These spanned email, calendar, text, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, messenger. The majority are not urgent, but it’s easy to follow them down the rabbit hole. To manage this I turn off 95 percent of notifications and keep my phone on silent unless I’m expecting a call.
Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems


Derek Capo6. The Internet

Sometimes being online doesn’t allow me to focus on tasks that require more social interaction, or even on tasks that don’t require Internet. Whether it’s skype, email or imessages, sometimes disconnecting from the world for a few hours a day can do wonders for productivity. The Internet has been a double-edged sword for most people, and those that can control their usage will be miles ahead.
Derek Capo, Next Step China

Andrew Thomas7. Unnecessary Meetings

Meetings can take up a great deal of valuable time, so unnecessary meetings are truly a waste of your time. To overcome this issue, validate meeting requests by requiring a detailed agenda from the person requesting the meeting or call. Ask for questions and objectives ahead of time, as you can often just answer them in an email and avoid the meeting altogether.
Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies, Inc.


Laura Roeder8. Facebook

As someone who works in social media, I can publicly admit that I love Facebook but it’s a massive distraction. It’s especially difficult when you actually use Facebook for paid or organic engagement — there’s no way to check your ads without also seeing all of your personal notifications. I try to only check Facebook as a reward or on a specific break between tasks.
Laura Roeder, LKR Social Media

12 of the Most Powerful Questions You Can Ask a Mentor

We all need mentors in order to be successful, but how can you make the most of that relationship and make sure the setup is fulfilling for your mentor as well? Today, we invited in our friends from the Young Entrepreneur Council to answer one question:

What’s the most valuable question you could ask a mentor?

Reid Carr1. How Would You Like Me to Follow Up?

A lot of mentors want to know they made a difference. They want to know what you did as a result of the conversation you had with them — even if you didn’t take their advice. They want to know that their time was well-spent and they are making a difference.
Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive


Kristopher Jones2. Why Do You Do What You Do?

Ask your mentor why he does what he does. Successful people often have very strong reasons for why they do what they do. If you can identify why you want to do something, the “what to do” and “how to get there” will often come much more naturally.
Kristopher Jones, ReferLocal.com


David Ehrenberg3. What Mistakes Have You Made?

Everyone makes mistakes. The mentor who willingly owns up to these mistakes and helps you to avoid making the same ones, is a valuable resource and ally. The openness to share mistakes is a good sign that your mentor is candid, will look out for your best interests, and is invested in your future success.
David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services


Emily Eldridge4. What Factors Do You Consider Most Often When Planning for the Future?

This can be situated as a short- or long-term question, but it gives you the opportunity to discuss everything from his core beliefs to problems that need solving to what to learn. While your mentor isn’t a fortune teller, this discussion serves as a catalyst for many ways for you to develop.
Emily Eldridge Holdman, PeopleKit


Divya Dhar5. How Do You Spend Your Time?

Time is — in a way — the most precious commodity. Understanding how to make the most effective use of time is crucial. Often, the most successful people have figured this out, and it’s worth asking them where they spend their time and how they feel it benefits them.
Divya Dhar, Seratis


Parker Powers6. What One Thing Do You Still Struggle With?

What is the one mistake, habit or pattern that you still haven’t overcome after years of business?
Parker Powers, Millionaire Network



Natalie McNeil7. What’s One Thing You Would’ve Done Differently?

I think most people say, “I have no regrets,” but really, there are things they would certainly do differently if they had a time machine. I like hearing what my mentors wish they did differently and what mistakes held them back so that I can learn from those.
Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World


Derek Flanzraich8. What Do You Mean?

Mentors usually don’t want to be revered; they want to help. So, pretending you know everything they’re talking about is a big mistake. Often, you genuinely don’t, so don’t be afraid to ask. They’ll respect you more, and, of course, you’ll probably learn something, too.
Derek Flanzraich, Greatist


Mary Ray9. What Are You Trying to Accomplish This Quarter?

This question invites a wealth of short-term and long-term opportunities for you to learn and do a few things. It helps you understand how your mentor tends to problem solve, enables your mentor to see you in a new light as a resource to help and gives you a chance to deepen your experience in an industry of interest. Consider any question you ask your mentor a two-way street of opportunity.
Mary Ray, MyHealthTeams

Robert de Los Santos10. What Would You Do if You Were Me?

The biggest question to ask is what they think you should do. Explain what position you are in, and leave out all the fluff about how awesome you are. Make sure they have a true understanding of your business and look them dead in the eyes with open ears. If they think you’re serious and actually looking to act on their advice, they will usually give you the best advice.
Robert De Los Santos, Sky High Party Rentals

Charles Gaudet11. What’s One Question You Wish You Asked Earlier?

Peak Performance coach Tony Robbins once told me that the difference between success and failure is much smaller than most people think. The key is to uncover the subtle distinctions that separate those who have from those who don’t. So, I’d ask the question, “What’s one question you wish you asked someone but didn’t?” This may help expose what your mentor felt was most important to him.
Charles Gaudet, Predictable Profits

Aron Schoenfeld12. What Can I Do Better?

Too often, people rely on their mentors for specific situations or how to handle a particular issue. Mentors are there to help guide you as a person and help you grow bigger and better than you currently are. Ask the hard questions such as, “How can I improve?” or “What do I do now that I can and should do better?” Use them to guide you all the time — not simply when an issue arises.
Aron Schoenfeld, Do It In Person LLC

9 Books to Read Before a Fundraising Round

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

What is one great book I should read to learn everything that I need to learn about raising capital for my startup?

David Ehrenberg1. Inside Silicon Valley

Reading “Inside Silicon Valley” will give you real insight into how VC deals get done. Written by Marc Phillips, Managing Partner of the Silicon Valley-based VC firm Arafura Ventures, this book walks you through a slide-by-slide approach to developing and delivering a successful pitch deck, from crafting your positioning line to pulling together your financials. We consider this one of our bibles of fundraising.
David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

Bhavin Parikh2. Venture Deals

The book “Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist” covers raising capital from A to Z. Brad Feld, a prominent founder-friendly VC, does a deep dive into the different types of capital (e.g., angel, venture), how venture firms work, what terms are actually important, how to negotiate and much more. I wish I would have had this book when we raised funding; I’ll reference it if we raise capital in the future.
Bhavin Parikh, Magoosh Inc

Brett Farmiloe3. Starting Something

In his book “Starting Something: An Entrepreneur’s Tale of Control, Confrontation and Corporate Culture,” Wayne McVicker gets very real about Neoforma, a software firm he co-founded that accidentally became a dotcom darling and eventually a public company. It’s not a book that covers the ins and outs of raising capital; it is more about the cautions of what can happen when that capital is raised. A must-read for all entrepreneurs.
Brett Farmiloe, Internet Marketing Company

Matt ehrlichman4. Pitch Anything

A poorly executed pitch can really put a damper on your efforts to secure funding. he book “Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading and Winning the Deal” by Oren Klaff contains simple and actionable advice that will help you sell the value of your product or business idea effortlessly to anyone.
Matt Ehrlichman, Porch

Danny Boice5. The Startup Game

I would start by reading “The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs” by William H. Draper III. It gives you a nice foundational lesson in the mechanics, dynamics and compensation of VC firms and funds. It’s critically important that entrepreneurs understand these factors so they can understand the motives and desires of angels and VCs. This book will answer questions like: “What is an LP?,” “What is a GP?” and “How do funds work?”.
Danny Boice, Speek

Nicolas Gremion6. Raising Capital

Gone are the days when VC groups pour millions into every next big thing. Competition is fierce, and only the most viable businesses with expert fundraising will reap the capital necessary to drive continuous growth. Read “Raising Capital: Get the Money You Need to Grow Your Business” by Andrew J. Sherman.
Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net

peter minton7. What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know

Written by Brian Cohen, Chairman of the New York Angels, early investor in Pinterest and current cofounder of Launch.It, the book “What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know” gives great insight and concrete advice to startup founders on how to find an angel that is a good match for their company, how angel investors view the investing process (and thus how they should be approached) and what sort of investors are best avoided.
Peter Minton, Minton Law Group, P.C.

Marcos Cordero8. How to Win Friends and Influence People

This classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie has been around for years, but the ability to cultivate relationships is just as important today. Investors give capital to people they know or that come highly recommended. Of course, the substance has to be there, but all else being equal, people prefer to do business with people they like. Nurturing a strong network of people is key to raising capital.
Marcos Cordero, GradSave, LLC

Anthony Saladino9. Zero to One Million

Ryan Allis’ step-by-step approach in “Zero to One Million: How to Build a Company to $1 Million in Sales” gives readers great insight on what it takes to build a successful company. He stresses the importance of building a viable business that meets certain benchmarks prior to looking to raise capital. Following these steps will make your business more attractive to VCs so that when you do go to raise capital, you’ll have the upper hand.
Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

Processes and productivity hacks for entrepreneurs

The following answers are provided by members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

What is your top “hack” for making more impact on your business faster?

Liam Martin1. Taking Shorter Meetings
I’m constantly surprised by employees who are allowed to set up several-hour-long meetings. Next time you’re in a meeting, ask yourself how much money is going down the tube every minute the team sits there. Instead, we switched everything to email and project management software and have online meetings that anyone can jump in or out of at any time.
Liam Martin, Staff.com


Tim Jahn2. Maintaining Accountability

What is your best productivity or process hack? What’s the most “out there” tactic you’ve tried?

Far too often, your team will have a meeting that produces next-step action items. But then nobody actually executes on those action items, and you’re back at square one. Ensure everyone is accountable for those action items, and keep the progress written down somewhere with a tool such as Trello or a Google Doc spreadsheet.
Tim Jahn, matchist


Ryan Buckley3. Attending Retreats

Retreats sound counterintuitive, but there’s no substitute for getting your team on the same page. This usually requires food and a change of scenery. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to think creatively and get inspired. It’s true what they say: your environment fosters habit.
Ryan Buckley, Scripted, Inc.


Andrew Schrage4. Avoiding Multitasking

Unless you’re knocking out two relatively mundane tasks at the same time, you’re better off concentrating on projects individually, completing them without any interruptions whatsoever and then moving on to the next item. Multitasking is overrated, and it can easily lead to you becoming less productive.
Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance


Matt Murphy5. Using a Freelance Team

Establish a “follow the sun” model by using freelancers. If your business is operating from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., you’re only utilizing a third of the day. Overseas freelancers are available to continue projects as you sleep, which moves things along two to three times faster.
Matt Murphy, Global Citizens Travel


Alexandra Levit 26. Using Sophisticated Apps

In particular, If This Then That connects up to Google Apps and allows them to talk to each other without your intervention. Basically, you create your own recipes so that if a particular trigger is present, an action is generated. One example of a recipe: “If I am endorsed on LinkedIn, publish a tweet on Twitter.” It’s the Holy Grail of automation.
Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work


Cody McKibben7. Creating More Systems

If you want to really scale and grow, your primary job is never to continue doing the work. Your job is to continue building processes. Spend your time learning about systems, turning business processes into clear step-by-step procedures and creating thorough standard operating documents. Then, find reliable people to whom you can delegate those processes. Work on your business, not in it.
Cody McKibben, Digital Nomad Academy


Derek Flanzraich8. Investing in Faster Internet

It’s stunning how often faster Internet is overlooked, but we basically invest as much as people will allow us to on our Internet speed. We’re on it all the time, so nothing relieves stress and improves efficiency like blazing fast Internet.
Derek Flanzraich, Greatist


Robert-J.-Moore9. Displaying Performance Data

We have wall-mounted TV screens that display up-to-the-minute company performance data. This keeps everyone on the same page about what’s important and motivates everyone to make as big an impact as possible.
Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics

Ramping Up Your Indiana-based Startup This Year? This Could Be Your Golden Ticket.

UPDATE: Deadline extended to 2:30 PM, Fri. January 4

They’ve given away hundreds of airline tickets to entrepreneurs. They’ve granted millions of dollars worth of software. And they’re looking for a handful of founders who want ramp up their business in 2013.

Come on, you know who I’m talking about…

Startup Golden TicketStartup America has been known to leverage their partnerships with companies like American Airlines, Intuit, Microsoft, and the New York Stock Exchange to pull in massive favors for growing companies. Just take a glance at their board, which includes a LinkedIn co-founder, Netflix CEO, the CEO at FedEx, and Magic Johnson (as in the former-NBA-superstar Magic Johnson).  These “Wonkas” of the business world are connected and have offered to plug up to 10 fast-growing Indiana companies into their network and resources to ramp up that business in 2013.

Looking for that next national brand to sign on to your product as a customer? Or in need of some high-powered promotion to spread your brand success story?

Startup America is going to help through it’s local Startup Indiana chapter. But you have to take the first step, and it’s down to the wire.

Here’s how to apply…

This golden-ticket opportunity for companies with proven traction and momentum. Startup America will assist you by pouring gas on the fire. This is what we’re looking for our Startup Indiana ramp-up company:

That’s it. But you MUST apply by noon on Friday, January 4 if you want a chance to win this golden ticket. I know that’s a quick turnaround time, but that hasn’t stopped you in the past from taking advantage of big opportunities, has it?

Don’t put this off.  Even if you don’t win the golden ticket, our team at Startup Indiana will help you out in any way we can.