How to Overcome the Partner Objection In Sales
It’s a question I get every time I do a Q&A. It also comes up in my Sales Talk With Sales Pros group often.
As you know, every sales situation is unique. What works in one scenario may not work in the next.
The sales profession is constantly evolving, but sales objectons don’t seem to be. If you have been in sales for a while, you will have heard the ‘I need to talk to my partner objection’ more than a few times. But that does not make overcoming this sales objection any easier.
This common sales objection is usually used by people who either don’t want to make a decision or think your sales pitch is too weak.
The sooner you start viewing all sales objections as part of the process, the sooner your paycheck will start growing. Great salespeople know that eliminating as much emotion as possible from the sales process is the key to success.
If you can learn to respond to objections and stall tactics without emotionally investing, you’ll see your sales numbers increase.
If there’s only ONE thing I get the most objections on, it would probably be “let me speak to my manager.” It ranks right up there with being “friend-zoned” by a girl you like.
I’ve never heard of a sales professional who hasn’t had this (or something similar) said to them.
I Need to Speak to My Partner: The Undecided Answer
Sometimes, you reach a point where a decision must be made urgently, and full technical approval has not yet been granted. It sounds like you’re trying to stall for time, so you don’t have to make a decision right now. The best way to find out if someone favors your product is to ask them directly.
If they’re not in favor of it, then there’s no point in talking to their partner about it. However, if they favor it, you might suggest getting together with both parties so that everyone can talk about it together. Another option would be to write up an agreement stating the deal is void if their husband doesn’t approve it.
When selling B2B, I’ve often used this approach when a decision needs to be made urgently but full approval hasn’t been granted.
Key point 1: The “Stable” personality type use this excuse when feeling threatened.
In the 4-DIS Profile study, it was found that the “Spouse” Objection is often a “Smoke Screen.”
A “smoke screen” is used to disguise or hide something.
Over 45% of people are High Stable personalities. These people value safety and security and want to avoid conflicts.
This is one of the most common objections you’ll hear with this persona, so it’s important to know how to address it.
The “I need to discuss this with my partner” objection is up there with “I want to pray about this” regarding difficult sales situations.
This is one of the most frustrating objections because it feels like the customer retreats to a sacred place. It feels like they’re saying to you, “Please don’t go any further.”.
You know that you should not cross the line.
Key point 2: This statement might not be an objection but could be a genuine concern.
Sometimes, your clients’ decisions may be influenced by their significant others, so it’s best to determine the situation before it becomes a conflict.
Now, let’s move on to the third point.
Key point 3: Understand when you should address this objection
You should address objections before they occur!
Use your judgment for this one.
If a client is a high conflict-avoider and constantly brings up their significant other, it means 2 things:
If a client is conflict-avoidant and constantly brings up their significant other, it means 2 things: 1. The client has not reached a comfortable level with you. 2. You will hear, “I need to discuss this with my SO.”
When two parties need to be present, use your experience and training to determine if this requires a meeting.
If the repair cost exceeds what one person can approve of, then both spouses will need to be involved.
Key point 4: Determine if the “I need to speak to my partner” objection is a ploy or a genuine condition.
If a prospect is ignoring you, then they may be trying to hide their reasons for not purchasing from you.
When encountering objections or conditions, it’s important to take the proper steps to handle them. By looking at these sample responses, you can better understand how to do so.
Discover if it’s a ploy
Client: “I need to speak with my partner.”.
“That makes sense, Betty. I’m sure that he will have some questions about what we talked about. Let’s review it one more time so you feel confident that you can answer his questions.”
Client: “I do believe so, yes.”.
What do you think will be the first question that John asks?
The client thinks the prospect will ask about the price.
“The installation process is fairly straightforward. He’ll likely ask about that.”
The client doesn’t think so and is probably more concerned with the price.
What do you think he will say about that price?
“It costs too much.”.
“I bet that’s exactly how he will respond. What do you think, Betty?”.
(This is the script section that deals with handling any objection or smokescreen.)
This is an awkward situation.
Client: “The price is a little high.”.
You’ve just realized that your client probably has a problem with you. It likely has little to do with you and everything to do with their perception of your value and worth.
Now you need to address their concern.
Sales Objection or Condition Response
If she says she thinks it’s fine, then she either has a sale objection or a condition. You have 2 options here:
If a prospect tells you they need to consult with a spouse before making a purchase, this is known as a sales obstacle or barrier. You can either involve the spouse in the conversation or schedule another appointment to meet with them.
You will have to make the best decision here, and I understand how important each decision can be. If you could let me know how you would prefer to be contacted and when would be a good time to follow up, I would appreciate it.
Now let’s learn how to set an appointment for your significant other.
Betty, I want to ensure that John has all the information he needs because I read over a lot of material today. I understand it is a lot to process. I can return later in the afternoon to review these options with you both.
How about 6 pm on Thursday? Does that work for you both?
How to Avoid This Kind Of Objection
It’s better to avoid this “need-to-talk-to-my-wife” excuse for not picking up the phone altogether than to try to handle it if it comes up.
Preparing properly for your initial sales conversations is the best way to ensure you don’t waste your prospect’s time.
This is by filtering.
Qualify the decision-makers
A key ingredient to preventing the “I need to talk to my spouse” objection is to find out who the decision-makers are in the first place. This way, you can avoid having sales conversations with people who aren’t able to make decisions.
What good would it do to dive deep into your sales conversation with just one of the spouses if they’re not the only decision-maker?
Yes, there would be some use in delivering a sales presentation to the husband or wife. If the spouse also needs to know the ins and outs of your product or service, they may be more likely to purchase.
Some sales professionals make the mistake of showing one prospect’s information to their spouse and then hoping that the partner will convey the information accurately.
Relying on others to get sales for you is a bad strategy for growing your business.
Before diving into your sales pitch, it’s important to qualify your lead. This will ensure you’re talking to the right person and that they can afford your product or service.
Use An Intent Statement For Sales Success
An intent statement is an incredibly powerful tool that we can use to set the tone and expectations for our sales conversations. By handling objections early on and positioning ourselves as trusted advisers, we can create a much more successful outcome for everyone involved.
The Pre-Frame focuses on three things.
“I want to let you know that I’ll be asking some deep-diving questions. Do you mind if I ask a few questions that might uncover some pain points?”.
You’ll want to get permission before asking questions that could uncover pain points so your potential customer doesn’t feel uncomfortable. By doing this, you’ll be setting yourself up for sales success.
It determines whether or not you can indeed help them with what they need.
The second step is to find out exactly who the decision-maker is.
The best way to handle this “I need to speak to my significant other” response is to prevent this from happening.
If they are happy with what they hear today and you can help them, is everyone available to say yes if they want to proceed forward, or would they need to talk to someone else?
If they respond positively and mention that they will need to speak with their spouse before making any decisions, it is crucial that you schedule a time when both parties are available. This way, you can avoid any objections later in the sales process.
Many sales professionals and entrepreneurs mistakenly proceed when a prospect says they need to speak with their spouse.
The key to success is to always only talk to decision-makers.
By not wasting time with people who don’t want to buy, you avoid coming across the “I need to discuss this with my wife” excuse.
Learn more about using the intent statement for sales success here.
Do not be discouraged when your client tells you they need to consult with their partner before making a decision. Perhaps the partner is the real decision-maker in this business. You don’t want to upset the chemistry in their relationship by pushing hard. Try to get an audience with both partners so you can discover if this isn’t just a ploy to reject or back out of the deal.
The tips we have shared in this article should give you a perspective on how to overcome the partner objection and close the sale, or at least guide you on the next steps. There’s a possible long-term client to be gained here, so consider your next steps carefully. Here’s to closing this one and the next deals.
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