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Sales objections are something every salesperson has run into, likely quite often. For some, they can be scary and often depressing or anxiety-inducing. Sometimes, you may be tempted to just give up and accept the objection without further conversation. But don’t send that email until you’ve read this article. 

The idea of being rejected is disheartening in the best of cases. When it comes to receiving an objection to a sales pitch that you’ve worked so hard on, putting your heart and soul into, it can be crushing. But it doesn’t need to be. Sales objections are a part of life when you’re a salesperson. They are as unavoidable as taxes. That’s why it’s important that you set yourself up for success in the face of rejection, not failure. 

There are many ways that you can circumvent a sales objection and even swing the conversation back in your favor. So before you give up and send out that breakup email, keep reading for tips on how to write the perfect script for the next time a prospect objects to your pitch.

Why is Objection Handling So Important?

If you rolled over every time a prospect said, “There’s just no money for it,” you’d never get any sales at all. This is why handling sales objections are incredibly important to your success rate. You need to grab your prospect’s attention and turn it back towards you. Take their mind off the cost, and explain why they need your product or service. When you turn the conversation away from expense and towards company need, they’ll stop seeing themselves as just a dollar sign to you. You’re not in it for the money. You’re in it to solve a problem for them. 

The proper handling of sales objections allows you to build relationships with your potential clients by establishing yourself as someone knowledgeable enough to solve their problems. Because in the end, that’s what they need. They want a relationship with their partners, and they want to believe that it’s about more than just the money.

When you start to see objections as an opportunity rather than a bane, you give yourself the ability to craft responses that will build your prospect’s confidence and trust. These are two traits that prospects want in a partner. They want to know that they can trust you to solve their issues. They want to have confidence in you and your product or service. Thus, eliminating your potential client’s concerns with the proper sales objection script is paramount.

sales objection so important image
Managing Sales objections effectively

How to Overcome Sales Objections

So how can you overcome sales objections? There are several ways, but let’s take a look at some of the best and easiest methods. When you change your approach, you change your result.

  • Clients and prospective clients want to be heard and actually heard, not just listened to. Active listening is one of the greatest qualities you can have as a salesperson. Listening to understand, rather than listening just to get through the next line in your script is key to overcoming sales objections. Be empathetic to their worries. 

“Melissa, I absolutely understand your concerns regarding X. X can be a daunting undertaking, but let me just explain to you why I believe that [product] can help alleviate all of those worries.”

How to deal with sales objections

Keep in mind, however, that it’s more than just empathy, although that is a good start. Showing your prospects how appreciative you are of them and their time can also go a long way to establishing a friendly rapport, and then, potentially, a business relationship. Always begin your sales calls by telling prospective clients that you appreciate them taking time out of their busy days to speak with you. And reiterate that once again at the end of your call.

  • Another great way to not only show your prospect that you’ve been listening, but also to ensure you’ve understood what they’ve said is to pull the drive-thru trick. The same way the person on the mic at the drive-thru repeats your order, you can repeat, in your own words, things that your prospect has said. This helps to establish a connection. It lets them know that you’re actively listening to them. It also gives you the chance to clarify anything you may have misunderstood, or ask a follow-up question. 

  • Follow-up questions can help to keep the conversation flowing prior to even getting to the sales objection stage. They can also help you suss out any deeper reasons for a prospect’s objections to your product. What this means is that a prospect may use the excuse of cost for objecting to your sales pitch, but that could just be an excuse. Maybe they like your competitor’s salesperson better. The more information you can gather through follow-up questions, the better chance you have at landing your sale. But steer clear of questions that can only garner yes or no answers. These will bring your conversation to a standstill, which is the last thing you want.

You can further win over your prospect with anecdotal evidence and social leverage. Share a story of another customer of yours who had a similar objection to theirs. Explain how they not only overcame that issue but how their company has since thrived because of your product.

Overcoming Popular Sales Objections

If you head over to Hubspot, Leslie Ye gives a list of 40 Common Sales Objections. There are even more than that, but we’re going to focus on the four most popular ones right now.


Lack of Budget:

Sales objections about cost are some of the most common ones you’re likely to encounter throughout your career. Whether a prospect says, “It’s too expensive,” “I need to get more quotes,” or “Product X is cheaper,” there are ways to handle these objections and get them back on your side.

You’re on the phone with your potential customer, you’re pitching your product perfectly, and they hit you with, “It’s too expensive.” How do you respond? Do you end the conversation there and give up? Of course not, no matter how tempting it may be. Your edge here is to swing the conversation away from price and back to value. If your product is valuable enough to a prospect, price won’t matter. And at the same time, taking the focus away from the cost also takes away the idea that this is nothing more than a transaction.

So you respond with something like, “I see what you’re saying, Melissa, but I’d love for you to allow me the opportunity to explain [product’s] features, and how they can solve [prospect’s concern] that you voiced to me earlier in our conversation.”

But what if Melissa hits you with, “I’m sorry, but [Product X] is cheaper”? This isn’t quite as simple as the previous scenario because here, you don’t know if Melissa is saying that because it’s the truth, or maybe she’s trying to get a discount. She could also be attempting to play you and your competitors against one another to see who will give her the cheapest price. So where do you go from here? 

First, you’ll need to try and figure out which of the above scenarios is actually happening. If you think your prospect is simply looking for a discount, offer her one! Dig down to the lowest possible price you can go and give it to them. If they try and urge you to go lower, that’s when it’s time to walk away. If it’s a matter of your competition being less expensive, go back to the first tip and try to circle back around to value, rather than price. Know your competitors and how you stack up against them. Use that to your advantage by explaining why your product is a more valuable asset to their company than your competitor’s.

“I need to get a few more quotes.” This can be a tough one to navigate. It’s understandable that some companies want to gauge which product or service would be best for them on all sides. If a prospect uses this sales objection, empathize with them and then remind them that the cost of your product is flexible. Maybe they only need certain parts of it. If so, offer them a price for just those parts. Maybe you offer a month-to-month contract, or quarter-to-quarter, rather than yearly, so your prospect doesn’t feel locked into a contract with a product they might end up unhappy with. If you show flexibility, you’re far more likely to land sales than if you appear to be harsh and rigid.


Lack of Trust:

Oftentimes, a prospect will display a lack of trust for your product and/or company. This is a common sales objection if you are a newer company or are on the smaller side. Those things don’t have to define you, though. You can overcome a lack of trust by building confidence for your product and in yourself, as well as creating a relationship with your prospect. 

“I don’t want to get stuck in a long-term contract.” We covered this briefly in the last section, but to reiterate, if you find yourself up against this sales objection, simply fish around for what kind of contract they’re comfortable with. The reason for their concern here typically has to do with budget or cash flow, so it’s your job to find out if offering something other than a yearly contract would work for them. Long-term commitment to new products can be intimidating. You want to assure your prospect that you understand their concerns and are here to do whatever you can to relieve them.

“We really like your product/service, but…” Take a pause here while they’re explaining the reasons for their objections. According to sales executive, Jeff Hoffman, author of Your SalesMBA, taking a pause is something experienced reps have mastered. Pausing for a moment after a prospect’s questions or concerns shows confidence. Launching right into your spiel and steamrolling the conversation will get old, quick. It will make your prospect want to end the conversation as quickly as possible because they’re not being heard. So take a pause, absorb what they’re saying and their explanation for their objection. You can then calmly, cooly, explain to them any number of reasons why your product is the best choice for them.

But what do you do when you’re faced with the dreaded, “Who are you again? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of your company before.” That’s an easy one. Take the opportunity to explain who you are and what you do. Try to avoid an elevator sales pitch, but do give a summary of yourself, your company, and the product. Don’t be afraid of this question. Embrace it and use it to your advantage.

Lack of Need:

Sales objections concerning a lack of need can be more dismaying than those surrounding budget or trust. How can you convince someone that they need your product if they’re telling you already that they don’t? But you can use this as an opportunity to learn more about their company and potential pain points. Maybe your product can be a solution to something that they didn’t even know was an issue at first.

So if a prospect comes at you with something like, “That problem isn’t important to us, currently,” remember the advice from earlier, and perfect your pause. Answering with a simple, “Oh?” and a pause will often be enough for a potential customer to start talking. While they’re talking, listen closely to what they’re saying, but also try to read between the lines, so to speak. Maybe they’re using a smokescreen of “it’s not important,” to cover up their inaction. Maybe they do have a problem, but they either don’t see it or are pretending not to. Once you’ve got them talking, try to subtly steer the conversation into an area of potential pain points, or even ask about their current priorities instead. Perhaps your product or service can serve another purpose for their company.

“I’m happy with this other product/company.” So what do you do if they’re already employing a competitor to help with their issues? Again, that’s not as scary as it sounds, and it doesn’t mean the end of the road for you. Ask them what it is they like about your competitor’s product or service. Ask what it is that your competitor’s product is doing for them. And while you’re actively listening, identify the weak spots where you know your product/service could serve them better. The thing is, if a prospect is already working with a competitor, that means they’ve already identified that they do, in fact, have a problem. That’s a plus for you. That ultimately means less work having to convince them that there is a problem in the first place.

Another sales objection you might hear in the lack of need category is, “We’re not in the market for X right now.” This is another chance to get your prospect to talk more about their company. Always remember that the more you get them talking, the greater chance you have of identifying potential pain points that your product or service can solve. “That’s very understandable, Melissa, but I’d still love to hear a quick overview of your company.” It could be that Melissa doesn’t yet know that she has a problem your product can fix. 

Lack of Urgency:

Like lack of need, sales objections concerning a lack of urgency are easily swung back to your side. According to SalesShaker, if a prospect is displaying a lack of urgency, it’s because “you haven’t displayed how valuable your offer is.” So this is your opportunity to show your prospect just how valuable your product could be to their company. This is another occasion where you try out your pain-based sales approach. Sniffing out pain points and explaining how your product can help will often work with lack of urgency objections. But first, you need to get them or keep them on the phone. 

“I don’t have the time to talk to you right now.” Sometimes, keeping a prospect on the phone is the biggest challenge. They’re very busy, as are most people these days, and their time is valuable. It’s important that you acknowledge this. Remember, empathy will gain you trust and relationship points with prospective clients. “I certainly don’t want to take up too much of your extremely valuable time, Melissa. I understand how busy you are. I just wanted to have a quick chat about [potential pain point] and how [your product/service] can help. May I have just five minutes of your time?” 

“Just send me the details, I’ll get back to you.” Don’t give up if you hear this sales objection! Use this to ask some follow-up questions and get deeper answers from your prospect. “Absolutely, Melissa. I’d be more than happy to send you some details on [your product]. But just to be sure I’m sending information that’s relevant to you, what would you be interested in learning more about?” This lets your prospect know that you’re not just trying to sell her something random that she might not need. You’re looking to cater to the things her company may be interested in or may need. Value over price. Make yourself invaluable to them by learning as much as you can about their company so that you know exactly how your product can fit with them and their needs.

Last but not least on our list of common sales objections is the harrowing, “I’ll think about it.” Harrowing because if a prospect is saying they have to think about it, it usually means that you, as a salesperson, haven’t done a good enough job convincing them that they need your product. And the longer they have to sit and think about it, the greater the chance that their answer is going to be a resounding no. Handle this objection by taking a page out of Steli Efti’s book in their article on Close. Steli says that when a prospect tells you they have to think about it, you respond with, “Mr. Prospect, when someone tells me that they have to think about it, they’re telling me that for one of these two reasons: They’re not interested in us or they are interested, but not sure. Which is it?”

Develop an Objection Management Document

So now that you know how to handle some of the most common sales objections you may run into, it’s time to develop a plan for dealing with them. One way you can do that is by creating an objection management document.

Start your document by writing down the top 25 sales objections you’ve faced in your market. These can be from any of the categories listed here or, better yet, compile your list as you’re working the market.

Once you’ve got your document of the 25 most common sales objections you’ve heard, it’s time to write down the best answers for each of them. Three solutions for each objection with a limit of two to three sentences per answer will work best. You don’t want to ramble while pitching your product amid objections. You want to give enough information to keep your prospect talking and interested, without overwhelming or boring them.

After you’ve got your document compiled, it’s time to let your colleagues have a look at it. They also face these same sales objections, and so sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes can help you see things you’ve missed. Try and get a group of at least 10 colleagues to review your answers and give you feedback. 

 

Lastly, train your team and yourself to learn these answers by heart. Roleplaying is a great way to do this. Pair off into teams of two where one colleague is the prospect and one is the salesperson. Run through the sales objections and answers often, so that eventually, they become like second nature. You don’t want to have to read from a script while on a call if you can help it. So memorizing your answers to specific objections is key.

Sales Objection plan document

Final Thoughts

Now that you know some of the most common sales objections, it’s time to start changing your approach to them. Be polite, courteous, friendly, and empathetic. Pitch value over cost. Actively listen to your prospects. Seek out weak spots and pain points where your product can help them. And most of all, don’t give up right away. A sales objection is an opportunity, not a dead end. So go out there and make those sales.

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