We’ve all been there, right? You’re in the middle of your perfectly rehearsed sales pitch, and then WHAM! Out of nowhere, an objection pops up.
Feels like a punch in the gut, doesn’t it?
But here’s the thing: objections in sales are as natural as rain in April. As much as we’d like to avoid them, they’re bound to happen because buying involves change and decisions, and who doesn’t hesitate a bit when faced with those?
What is a sales objection?
In other words, to object is not the same as to reject.
In sales, objection and rejection are daily occurrences. It’s important to remember that no matter how great your offering is, you’ll still face objections.
Knowing that sales objections are only offered by engaged prospects means that there is also hope. So the need to develop probing techniques to uncover the source of the objection should be at the top of a salesperson’s mind.
“A sales objection is not a rejection; it is simply a request for more information.”
Why do prospects object?
According to Dave Buster, “the first objection is rarely the real issue”. You have to probe around and dig deeper to discover what lies beneath.
If you reframe your thinking, you will see that the objection is a sign that you haven’t sold enough value to your client (or at least, that you are not speaking with the right person).
Clients might also object based on the fact that they don’t feel that it is the right match for them. It’s only by asking questions that you can help to provide insight into how you can improve what you offer.
And then by relaying it back to them, you make sure that they agree that you understand their issue.
7 reasons for sales objections
Depending on your industry and the type of people you are dealing with, the content of the objections may vary. But some constant underlying factors pop up.
But objecting to the price can be a mask for many different reasons.
“The sales objections you receive are not always indicative of what you think they are.”
- Perceived lack of value: If a prospect doesn’t see the value your product or service can provide to them, they’re likely to object. It’s crucial to communicate the unique benefits and value proposition clearly and concisely.
- Budget constraints: Quite often, prospects might object to the price. This could be due to budget limitations, or because they don’t perceive your offering to be worth the asking price.
- Wrong timing: Sometimes, the objection is simply a matter of timing. The prospect might be interested but not ready to commit at this moment. In this case, they don’t see the need or urgency to solve this business problem. Their current solution may ‘work fine’ or they may just be resistant to acknowledging the need for change.
- Skepticism about product effectiveness: Prospects might question whether your product or service can deliver the promised results. This is particularly common with new and unproven solutions.
- Lack of trust or relationship with the salesperson: If the prospect doesn’t trust the salesperson or doesn’t feel a connection with them, they’re likely to object regardless of the product or service’s merits. Your solution might seem right but the client may not know you or your company and may not trust that you can fulfill your obligations. Your company may be too new for them to take a chance or be associated with bad comments/reports.
- Wrong decision maker: You are not speaking with the correct person who can allocate funds. Larger companies may rely on purchasing managers to make purchasing decisions. As a result, the person you are selling to may not know how to buy or how to bring a request to buy to their CFO.
- Lack of awareness: The client does not see the scale of the problem facing their business. That’s why there’s so much talk in marketing and sales about the importance of educating your prospects and clients.
Objections aren’t the end of the road. Often, they’re an invitation to address concerns, fill in gaps in understanding, and reinforce the value your offering brings to the table.
How to handle sales objections?
Effective objection handling is a critical skill for sales professionals, as it can turn potential roadblocks into opportunities for demonstrating the value and relevance of the product or service being offered.
At its most basic, a sales objection is a call for more information or clarification. Every salesperson will have their own approach to handling them. More often than not, the approach used across will have elements that can be attributed to the following frameworks: ACT, ACAC, and LAER model.
10 proven techniques to address sales objections
Here are the top 10 strategies to master the art of handling sales objections.
1. Listen to understand, not to respond
We often get so caught up preparing the perfect reply that we forget to listen to what the prospect is saying. So, instead of interrupting with a quick response, let the prospect voice their concern fully. This not only builds trust but also helps you understand the real issues at hand.
Use active listening to show the client that you are engaged with what they are saying. Active listening involves smiling, making eye contact, sitting upright, nodding your head, engaging, and summarizing what is being said to you.
2. Empathize and validate their concerns
“I understand where you’re coming from…” Start your responses like this to make the prospect feel heard and valued. Remember, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Acknowledging helps to build a rapport with the client and shows empathy for their situation. This lets the client know that you will listen to what they say they want and you are willing to work towards a common goal.
3. Ask clarifying questions
Dig deeper to uncover the real issue. Ask open-ended questions, it might lead you to an objection you can actually address.
Every clarification breeds new questions and with these questions, you can dig deeper into understanding the client’s problems. Clarification of the client’s position ensures that you see the world from their point of view. When you clarify, you are making sure that you understand their reason for objecting so you can help to overcome it.
4. Position your solution as the answer
Once you’ve identified the real objection, tie it back to your solution. Show them how your product or service not only solves their problem but also offers added benefits they hadn’t considered.
5. Follow up with proof
Testimonials, case studies, and data can be your best friends in reinforcing your points. Got a customer who saw a 35% increase in efficiency after using your product? Share that story.
Numbers add credibility to your claims.
6. Stay cool and collected
In the face of objections, it can be easy to get defensive. However, keep your cool. Take a deep breath, maintain your composure, and let them know you’re there to help, not to argue.
Remember, everyone loves buying but nobody likes being sold to.
7. Leverage the power of storytelling
People relate to stories. If you have a relatable example of someone who had the same objection but ended up benefiting from your product or service, share it. Stories create connections and can often be more convincing than facts or figures.
8. Acknowledge and pivot
Sometimes, you can’t overcome the objection outright. In these cases, acknowledge the validity of their concern and pivot to a related area where your product or service shines.
For example, if price is the hurdle, focus on the value and return on investment your solution provides.
9. Offer a trial or demonstration
If words aren’t enough to describe what your product can do, show them. A hands-on trial or a detailed demo can provide tangible proof of your product’s value, reducing uncertainty and overcoming objections based on perceived risk.
10. Maintain positivity and persistence
Last but not least, stay positive and be persistent. Rejection is a part of sales. If one approach doesn’t work, be ready to try another. Keep the conversation going, stay cheerful, and remember that perseverance is often the key to success.
Every objection is an opportunity in disguise. Master these techniques and turn those ‘No’s into a resounding ‘Yes’!
28 sales objections and possible responses
The first step towards objection handling is to research, expect, and prepare.
If you’re still trying to understand your clients, asking questions will shed more light on the situation. As you become more experienced, specific objections will begin to show up regularly. So now you can begin to customize your response for them.
“The top 1% of the best salespeople have a clear understanding of the exact response to the top 8 objections your prospects will have.”
Handling specific sales objections
- “It’s too expensive”. This usually means they’re not seeing the value. Instead of lowering the price, amplify the value. Highlight the savings or gains they’ll get in return.
- “We’re already using another solution”. Focus on what makes you unique. What can your product or service do that their current solution can’t? Keep in mind how this uniqueness can benefit the client.
- “I need to talk to my team”. Not only is this okay but you should encourage it. Offer to provide any materials or talking points they might need for the discussion with the team. Be as supportive as possible.
- “I’ll think about it”. Don’t let the client leave without providing specific facts and figures with which they can compare. Agree on a Next Action with them and offer a day and time when you will personally be available to discuss it.
- “I can’t decide”. Eliminate excess information. Focus on the key points for the client and answer their questions on each. If you have multiple offerings, offer your personal preference, if the client asks. Also, try to identify what’s causing the hesitation. Is it a feature they need? Do they require more testimonials? Address the issue.
- “We don’t have any budget left”. Suggest a scaled-down version of your solution or flexible payment term. Show them that you can work with their financial constraints.
- “This sounds like a scam”. Provide ample proof, testimonials, case studies, anything you’ve got to prove your credibility.
- “We’re happy with the way things are and don’t need it”. Be alert to the needs of your client. Don’t try to push more on them than they need. Do they need more space, more time, better methods, or just the basics?
- “We had a bad experience with a similar product”. Assure them that you’re different. Highlight how your product has improved or is superior to the one they had issues with.
- “We don’t see the need for this”. Show them the stats or case studies. Help them visualize the benefits that they’re currently missing out on.
- “There’s too much going on right now”. Offer to help with the transition. Make it as easy as possible for them to start benefiting from your solution. If this doesn’t help, try to reconnect with them after a while. It’s important to be persistent but you don’t want to overwhelm prospective clients.
- “Your product is too complicated”. Try to find the reasons why they think so and how you can help them understand the product better. Offer training or a demo. Show them how easy it is to use.
- “We don’t have the manpower to implement this”. Show how your solution can save time and resources in the long run.
- “Your solution doesn’t integrate with our current systems”. If you do, show them how. If you don’t, are there workarounds or is this feature on your roadmap?
- “I can get a cheaper version somewhere else”. Reiterate the value and benefits they’d be missing out on with a cheaper solution. To handle this objection, you need to know the market very well and understand how your solution compares to others.
- “Your solution doesn’t have ‘X’ feature”. If it’s a feature you’re planning to implement, let them know. If not, focus on your key features that can compensate or overshadow the missing one.
- “I’ve never heard of your company”. Share your company’s history, notable achievements, and customer testimonials to build credibility.
- “We’ll lose all our data if we switch to your product”. Assure them about your data migration capabilities. Prove to them that their data is safe during the transition.
- “Your product is overpriced”. Showcase the superior features and benefits of your solution which justify the cost.
- “We are under contract with another vendor”. Ask about the contract duration and revisit the prospect when they’re open to exploring new vendors.
- “We’re not ready to make a decision yet”. Be respectful and patient. Keep the lines of communication open and follow up at a later date.
- “We’re not sure about return on investment (ROI)”. Provide concrete data and testimonials to illustrate how your product has improved ROI for similar businesses.
- “You’re just a small company, can you handle our volumes?” Assure them of your capacity by referring to experiences with similar-sized clients.
- “We have an in-house solution”. Ask questions about their in-house solutions and if they have any issues with it. Discuss the potential benefits of your solution over their in-house one.
- “We’ve had a bad experience with your company in the past”. Address the issue, apologize sincerely, and discuss how things have changed since then.
- “We’re not looking for any new solutions right now”. Maintain the relationship and try to understand their needs for potential future opportunities.
- “Your solution isn’t customizable enough”. Showcase how your product can be customized to meet their needs.
- “We’re not sure your product will scale with our growth”. Demonstrate your product’s scalability with examples from current clients. Share case studies of long-term clients who have benefited from your product.
Here’s the kicker—regardless of the number or variety of sales objections, they often boil down to the same core issues. It’s all about understanding your market, recognizing the most common pain points, and having a crystal-clear picture of how your solution stacks up against the competition.
Think of it this way: You’re playing a game of chess, and you’ve got to know your opponent’s potential moves inside and out. By taking this approach, navigating the world of sales objections won’t feel like an uphill battle, but more like a dance—you anticipate the steps, you pivot, you adjust, and before you know it, you’re moving in harmony.
It’s all part of the game, part of the journey. And with time, practice, and a deeper comprehension of your clients and your product, it’ll all become a lot easier.
Turning sales objections into a yes
In the end, it all comes down to this—sales is not just about closing deals; it’s about building relationships. It’s about understanding your prospects’ needs and working to solve their problems, even if that sometimes means referring them to a competitor (if your solution is really not a good fit for them).
As a salesperson, you need to be resilient, and adaptable, and always keep your customer’s best interests at heart. If a deal doesn’t close, that doesn’t reflect on you as a person—it’s just a sign that the solution wasn’t the right fit. What matters is how you respond.
So, take a step back, learn from the experience, and remember: every interaction, every objection, every ‘no’ is an opportunity to learn, to improve, and to ultimately become a better salesperson.
If a conversation with a prospective lead doesn’t result in a sale, then maybe it is time to move on to another prospect. Always remember to end on a positive note, even if they have rejected your offering on this occasion. You never know what the future might bring business-wise for them.