How Do You Respond to Objections Against Outsourcing Tasks?

23 replies
I recently met with a potential client to go over what I could offer him. When he requested something out of my scope and I told him I would have to outsource the task to someone on my team he said me I should "be able to do it myself...." When I reminded him that he does not perform every task in his restaurant himself (cooking every meal, waiting and busing tables, etc) He rebutted that I was a freelancer and he was "in the restaurant business." I don't think he meant it as an insult but it certainly made me feel 3 feet tall. I just thanked him for his time, told him I knew the limits of my technical skills and walked out since I sensed difficulty before any contract was signed.

Though, I'm wondering if I should have responded differently or came up with something to make him realize it doesn't matter if it's outsourced to a team as long as it's what he wants in the end is what really matters. I'm worried because I'll face this type of potential client again and want to be ready next time.

What does everyone think?
#objections #outsourcing #respond #tasks
  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    When a contractor gets a job done, he gets the credit. As far as Im concerned where a "customer" is concerned...If my outsourcer did it...It was me. Its called "white label". You have no obligation to say its an outsourcer. I will give my outsourcers plenty of props... but clients dont need to know about them. As far as the clients know it's "my" people, or "my" team.

    The word "outsourcer" only means one thing to a prospective client and that thing is "markup".
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    • Profile picture of the author miss hill
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      When a contractor gets a job done, he gets the credit. As far as Im concerned where a "customer" is concerned...If my outsourcer did it...It was me. Its called "white label". You have no obligation to say its an outsourcer. I will give my outsourcers plenty of props... but clients dont need to know about them. As far as the clients know it's "my" people, or "my" team.

      The word "outsourcer" only means one thing to a prospective client and that thing is "markup".
      just because you outsourced the work does not mean it was done by you! I am currently on a freelancing site, I own my own online site and I am trying to get clients. If the employers hiring do not read my profile, which reads, "I do NOT outsource" and I find someone else labled my work as their own they can be liable! This has happened a few times and it is really discouraging! I feel very strongly against people stealing my work and these people don't know a damn thing about video editing and just how much are they really charging the client? Probably ripping them off as well
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      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
        Originally Posted by miss hill View Post

        just because you outsourced the work does not mean it was done by you! I am currently on a freelancing site, I own my own online site and I am trying to get clients. If the employers hiring do not read my profile, which reads, "I do NOT outsource" and I find someone else labled my work as their own they can be liable! This has happened a few times and it is really discouraging! I feel very strongly against people stealing my work and these people don't know a damn thing about video editing and just how much are they really charging the client? Probably ripping them off as well
        Whoa... Ripping them off? It shouldn't matter WHAT they charge THEIR client when they are using YOU for the work. That has nothing to do with you...

        If someone hires a person from some freelancing site and the freelancer does the job for them, then it is no longer the freelancer's work, it is the person that hired the freelancer. They can't be held liable for anything, except copyright infringement if YOU used someone elses work when hired to complete the project.

        If I build a website for a client... it is their property, it is their website... I can show it off in a gallery if I want as long as there is nothing in the contract against that. It isn't MY website though.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by miss hill View Post

        just because you outsourced the work does not mean it was done by you! I am currently on a freelancing site, I own my own online site and I am trying to get clients. If the employers hiring do not read my profile, which reads, "I do NOT outsource" and I find someone else labled my work as their own they can be liable! This has happened a few times and it is really discouraging! I feel very strongly against people stealing my work and these people don't know a damn thing about video editing and just how much are they really charging the client? Probably ripping them off as well
        Wow, for being a first post, you aren't making many friends. If you got paid, it's no longer your work, it's the client's.

        "Probably ripping them off as well"?

        You mean they charged the end client more than you charged them?
        How dare they make a profit! And all they did was marketing, which...as you know...is effortless. :rolleyes:


        Not a very smart way to think of the people paying you.
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      • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
        Originally Posted by miss hill View Post

        just because you outsourced the work does not mean it was done by you! I am currently on a freelancing site, I own my own online site and I am trying to get clients. If the employers hiring do not read my profile, which reads, "I do NOT outsource" and I find someone else labled my work as their own they can be liable! This has happened a few times and it is really discouraging! I feel very strongly against people stealing my work and these people don't know a damn thing about video editing and just how much are they really charging the client? Probably ripping them off as well
        Contracts.

        The solution here is contracts. If they can not resell your work you put that in the contract. End of story.
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  • Profile picture of the author kellyyarnsbro
    Stick to what is agreed, and don't expect and think that the outsource knows everything. If so don't expect to get more from him since it's beyond what he can do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew H
    The word "outsourcer" only means one thing to a prospective client and that thing is "markup".
    This is so true. Just get the job done. Client doesn't need to know who actually did the work.
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    • Originally Posted by mcflause View Post

      This is so true. Just get the job done. Client doesn't need to know who actually did the work.
      I agree. As long as you can give your clients quality work, it shouldn't be an issue. Just make sure to ensure the quality of the outsourced work before you deliver it to your clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    When they built his restaurant did one guy do the whole thing or did they bring other trades a subs?
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    Growing older but not up!

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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    That was the wrong conversation to have with your prospect. As a rule, the inner workings of your business are not to be shared. Kind of like, it takes away the mystery of how you do what you do, which is what they're paying for. And if you came across as not well versed in what he was seeking, his loss of confidence in your abilities may have been another reason he didn't buy.

    So this guy wasn't going to buy. You replied by defending your position. That put you in a weak spot. He'll keep objecting because he's not buying.
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    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Lesson learned, no need to tell a prospect it won't be you doing all the work.

    'We' can do everything even if 'I' can not do it myself. In a meeting I am never me, I am always 'we' .

    Thousands of people can do a website, only a relative handful can make it profitable, those that can make it profitable probably wouldnt be able to put the damn thing together or fix any bugs, and even if they did that would be a total waste of their time.

    It's a tough one when first faced but now you wont bring it up again, forget this bozzo, sounds like a retarded loser.
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    Mike

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  • Profile picture of the author eperkins153
    Originally Posted by Ehanson View Post

    I recently met with a potential client to go over what I could offer him. When he requested something out of my scope and I told him I would have to outsource the task to someone on my team he said me I should "be able to do it myself...." When I reminded him that he does not perform every task in his restaurant himself (cooking every meal, waiting and busing tables, etc) He rebutted that I was a freelancer and he was "in the restaurant business." I don't think he meant it as an insult but it certainly made me feel 3 feet tall. I just thanked him for his time, told him I knew the limits of my technical skills and walked out since I sensed difficulty before any contract was signed.

    Though, I'm wondering if I should have responded differently or came up with something to make him realize it doesn't matter if it's outsourced to a team as long as it's what he wants in the end is what really matters. I'm worried because I'll face this type of potential client again and want to be ready next time.

    What does everyone think?
    I think you should never have said anything about outsourcing. Back to the restaurant example the people that come in to eat do not ask AND are not told what is going on in the kitchen. In most restaurants as you said there are people besides management doing the heavy lifting etc not only that in the majority of restaurants you never even see them its done in the back kitchen away from you. The delivered product "the food" is brought to you later.

    Your service as a consultant is the EXACT same, you basically act as the waiter and find out what the prospect needs and wants you to bring him. He doesn't care how you make it, or who you outsource it too. I have NEVER been asked that or offered that information to any client and neither should you.

    Thats like the waiter saying..ok you want this for dinner, are you aware that this person named _____ is going to cook it for you and not me because I'm only the waiter and don't know how to cook?

    Thats basically exactly what you said to your prospect by telling him you didn't know how to do it yourself, and when you offer that kind of information it's natural for a person to then ask questions about what you just told them. So back to the example if a waiter said that to me I would NATURALLY ask....ok well does that cook know what there doing? is that normal for him to cook it? why are you telling me this? etc

    By you saying that you create a problem that was not there prior to you saying it. It makes the prospect nervous. You basically said ... Mr. Prospect I have VERY limited skills and I want you to give me your money but I'm letting you know that I'm actually NOT the person that is going to do the work for you some 3rd party whom you NEVER met before is going to do the work for you.... but don't worry, it will be fine trust me.

    Would you hand a few thousand dollars to a person who said that to you? before you were about to buy something from them? you haven't even see yet?

    You need a script for the meeting because the prospect did nothing wrong in that situation. What he responded with was normal if you are a responsible person who cares what they do with there money.

    Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    A few notes:

    1. Never call them outsourcers or even subcontractors. Your clients don't need to know that. You can call them your team or even just say "we" as in the company. They don't want to hear that your company can't handle it so you have to get someone who can. They want you and your company to stand behind it.

    2. If you are not sure if something can be done be honest. "I will need to speak with members of our web design team on that. Is it ok if I get back to you on Thurs with our suggestions for how to impliment that?" The hosting/web company that does a lot for us does this all the time since me and my boss ask for things that the average RV dealership would never think to ask for. If you do this you will have time to find an outsourcers and get some pricing before contacting them.

    3. Rather it is an employee, sub-contractor, or outsourcers who does the work in the end it is still your company doing it. This is why personally I believe once your company gets big enough you start bringing things in house with employees or at least local outsourcers vs. going for the cheap ones. In the end you will make more money with lower margins and exceeding expectations vs. high margins and cheap quality.

    4. Depending on what you are doing you should be introducing yourself as something other than an Owner/CEO/etc. These businesses are used to working with Sales People with titles like Account Manager or Media Consultant. They are use to working with just one cog in a larger company. You can be a one man show and still give this apprence. Don't want to look too low? Why not District Manager? You can tell them as part of your job you are responcible for a certain number of accounts directly. When you grow and assign them to one of your employees (Account Manager) they will understand.

    That said some people would rather sell as a small business owner. But even with that you should talk about your team and use "we" to talk about your business. People want to believe they are working with successful companies. It is part of social proof.
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  • Profile picture of the author TurnKeyShane
    Yes the word outsource is bad as has been noted. My guess is you said in a weak way and people can sense that so it made him uncomfortable that you were not sure of what you were doing. If you do it in a strong way such as Aaron suggested I need to check with my programmers about this aspect of the project to make sure I quote you accurately then you should be fine.

    And about using a team I use that to my advantage. I state that everyone has different skill sets. A designer is usually more creative and makes for a poor programmer while a programmer is analytically and is usually not a good designer. The people who say they do it all usually produce poor to average quality of work. I've never had anyone who didn't understand this and I use it to my advantage as a selling point over my competition who are one man shows.
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  • Profile picture of the author Doran Peck
    The final answer is.

    Never say the word Outsource. Never reveal that you outsource.

    Its none of their business what tools you use.

    Develop before hand, what you will say when something catches you off guard or is outside your personal expertise.
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  • Profile picture of the author Igor Fridrihs
    Never ever tell to your customers about outsourcing. If a task is out of your scope just tell him that you need to talk to your team how to do it to a customer advantage, make a note and leave.

    Word outsourcing makes customer alerted. He does not understand and he will try to find another person to get the same service. He would think that he should pay too a middleman.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    He buys food and equipment from distributors, he doesn't make everything himself. But I wouldn't tell him that as it applies to you outsourcing.

    Tell him you can check with your team and get back to him with a proposal. It's truthful and he won't question it. You don't have to say if your team is in house or outsourced.

    He's assuming "outsource" means higher cost. When in fact, he outsources to lower his costs, just like you do.

    But since you mentioned outsourcing, you can relate his buying from a food distributor as outsourcing to get various food and he puts it together in the kitchen. Growing all his own produce and protein would be costly and time consuming, just as you can go to established software vendors to get products/code cheaper and pass the savings on to him. Tell him, why charge him to re-invent the wheel and pay you to re-create it when you can get it cheaper for him, but you finish it off as a custom piece for him.

    That should get you out of the jam.
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    In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt "Trust, BUT VERIFY" ~ Ronald Reagan

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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    The bottom line here is that either "you" can or can't do the job. If the "you" means a member of your team, it is still the proverbial "you." The client doesn't need to know who actually did the work as long as you are 100% confident in the person who actually does the work.
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  • Profile picture of the author cshilling22
    It sounds like the issue may not have been that the work was being outsourced (he doesn't mention exactly what it is) but that the business owner felt like the original poster did not have the expertise to effectively supervise the work to make sure he was receiving the best service. I think it shows a lack of confidence in the original poster and not necessarily the way he chooses to run his business. Some other indicators are the fact that he thinks of him as a freelancer instead of a business owner.
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  • Profile picture of the author shane_k
    Just like everyone else suggested #1: Don't mention outsourcing anything.

    and #2: Learn to position yourself as another business owner and not a freelancer.

    The reason this objection come up in the first place is he looked at you as a freelancer - someone who does the actual work itself, versus a business owner - someone who has a team available that will do the work.

    He even mentioned it when you tried to rebuttal about him not cooking everything. He said he is a business person and you are a freelancer.

    So next time position yourself as a fellow business person and this objection won't come up again.
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  • Profile picture of the author stone2010
    In my opinion you should get educated with every service you sell. A lot of people make the mistake of selling something that they don't know anything about and because they outsource it they think they are good... Even if you don't know how to do the actual work you should know how the process works etc so that way in the OP case when the client asks you anything about it you can answer and as everyone else said you dont need to say the word outsourcer.. you can just tell him my team handles it or specific person in your team deals with those tasks etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by stone2010 View Post

      In my opinion you should get educated with every service you sell. A lot of people make the mistake of selling something that they don't know anything about and because they outsource it they think they are good... Even if you don't know how to do the actual work you should know how the process works etc so that way in the OP case when the client asks you anything about it you can answer and as everyone else said you dont need to say the word outsourcer.. you can just tell him my team handles it or specific person in your team deals with those tasks etc.
      That's a point that wasn't brought up earlier, that I think needs repeating.

      Maybe you don't need to know every step in the outsourced work, but you need to have a working knowledge of the benefits, and be able to answer any questions that come up.

      And....

      the reason the word "Outsource" is so bad is that it conjures up images of sending jobs overseas...

      And it also raises the question, "Then what do I need you for?"

      It fairly screams "I'm going to have someone else do this for pennies, charge you much more than I paid, and do nothing".
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      • Profile picture of the author plainwords
        I have never told clients that I outsource work, and I've never been asked.

        But I must share an embarrassing experience I had early on in my business. I posted a job on a freelancer website and included a link to my client's site (silly me). Google picked up the post and a couple of months later the client phoned me, frothing at the mouth.

        The client had read my entire post seeking a freelancer to help with her project. (She had been Googling her site to see where it ranked, and the top result was my post on the Freelance board!)

        Needless to say it took me a while to live that down.
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