Effective marketing involves a lot of communication with prospects and business clients. The better you present your products and services, the higher the chances of successful and profitable sales will be. However, sometimes your prospects remain quite reluctant and postpone the purchase. Thus, dealing with those sales objections takes great power of conviction.
Once you dive into the world of sales calls and email marketing, it is essential to realize that no objection is already a stone-written rejection. If you master effective objection handling strategies 💪, you will be able to turn every potential objection into a variety of profitable sales possibilities. That is precisely what we will discuss in today's professional guide. Perfect your marketing skills to the point of becoming the best in the industry!
A brief definition of sales objections
What are objections in the sales field? While the general connotation of the phrase is not that difficult to grasp, you need to be aware of what objection means. Whatever service or product you sell, you need to present it in the best light so that a potential customer is eager to buy it. If you think highlighting its peculiar and unique features topped with an attractive price should be enough – it is not entirely true.
A sales objection is nothing other than the prospect's concern about whether the offer fully suffices the needs and preferences. Such an objection usually arises when a buyer is not completely sure about all the aspects required to finalize the purchase. In the majority of cases, a prospect starts to reflect on whether they need the product, can afford it, or have the authority to buy it.
🖇 There is a direct link between increased ROI that your company gets and proper objection handling.
While sales objections are indeed tricky to deal with, you can manage to seal the deal anyway. All it takes is to address the issue seriously and with proper skills and strategies at hand.
What is objection handling?
The objection handling process bears the same meaning as the phrase in general, with minor field-dedicated alterations. Let's discuss the notion in detail. Imagine the situation when a sales team representative communicates with a prospect who shares their concern, which may stand between the rep and the closed deal.
What an inexperienced salesperson usually does is drop the lead assuming the deal is lost. At the same time, sales reps familiar with the main pillars of objection handling will provide the person in doubt with accurate information that helps alleviate current concerns.
To put it simply, when you refer to the art of objection handling, you do your best to persuade a potential buyer to commit to the purchase. Yet, there is a thin line between dealing with the objection properly and scaring the customer away. When you start to push too hard, the prospect will only assume that their initial concern is valid, and the deal will be lost.
📍 Another vital point to memorize would be that you should be able to distinguish between a sales objection and a brush-off. In the latter case, the chances of persuading the client to buy from you are close to zero. An objection indicates interest in the product or service you provide, yet some unclear aspects keep the client from buying from you. At the same time, a brush-off would be a waste of time when you decide to pursue the lead. Brush-offs are more like rude and short rejections you will spot at once.
Why does the proper handling of sales objections matter?
Should you decide to polish your sales cycle to perfection, you need to be fully aware of why proper handling of any objection is critical. No matter the effective strategy put to use, an unattended objection can disrupt the whole process. The fact is that the longer the prospect holds a concern without a practical solution or explanation, the higher the chances are that they will assume it is true. Should such an assumption occur, you may lose the customer even at the final stages of your buying process.
In case you need some palpable points to evaluate to realize the importance of professional handling of arising objections, you should start with the following factors:
- Business and product reputation – proper objection handling will decrease the number of negative user reviews, which in their turn cut future sales opportunities short.
- Closed deals number – skilled and experienced sales reps can address the prospect's concerns most effectively, leading to more closed deals and positive revenue growth as a sequence.
Folderly experts recommend addressing the following aspects while teaching the salespeople how to overcome objections in sales:
- How can the offered service help the prospect's business grow?
- Are those the right prospects that you are reaching out to?
- Does a prospect in question need your products at the given moment?
- Can your business benefit from such a client?
- What makes you stand out from the competition?
Primary types of objections to distinguish between, read common sales objections
It would have been easier to deal with the most common sales objections if they were all the same. However, you should be prepared to deal with numerous variations of objections. And the better you master the art, the simpler it will be to overcome them successfully.
✅ Industry experts define the most common sales objection groups you should be prepared for. Usually, they are concerned about the lack of something. To be more precise, the lack of:
- decision-making authority;
Now, let's discuss all possible alterations of these objections in detail.
It is only natural to start with the most widely spread types of sales objections. All of them are based on the lack of finances to be invested in your services.
"The product is too expensive. Thus, we can't afford it."
A critical point to understand when you are faced with a similar answer is the fact that, very often, the prospect is genuinely considering your offer. That is why you should not start with the cost as the major advantage as it deserves budget allocation. The field professionals advise going a little back and focusing on the primary product features instead and their exceptional value.
"Our budget is tight, and we have no money to spend on your offer."
There are cases when you may be reaching out to a small business or a startup. It is quite evident that the company in question can't afford the premium offer you have. That is why it is essential to be willing to make a formal pitch that will help the prospect's business flourish and grow based on their current level.
"We have already spent the yearly budget."
If you hear such a typical sales objection, don't rush to assume that the reach-out act is nothing but wasted time. In the majority of cases, such a reply indicates specific issues with the cash flow. However, that does not mean that the prospect doesn't like or need your product or service. It takes a couple of clarifying questions to determine when they expect some additional funding to surface and schedule a follow-up call when the time is right. 📞
"Our budget is to be invested in something else."
You may never know when an offer you can't resist comes up. That is why some prospects try to save up their finances when that happens. Your task here lies in the ability to make your services sound like a most needed priority. You can present case studies of other vendors you have provided with the same product or service and which resulted in their businesses booming.
"We don't want an annual contract."
Some companies refuse to sign a yearly contract since they have doubts about the incoming finances. Even if you have started with an annual offer, you can try to present other options available – monthly or quarterly payments. Yet, you should consult your management about such deals beforehand.
Another type of sales objection is closely connected with the industry competitors that you have to get ahead of. Sometimes, these objections are referred to as trust objections.
"We work with a competitor."
Very often, when sales reps hear that the prospect is involved in a business relationship with another company, they decide to bid their farewells and proceed with another potential client. That is one of the most underrated objections there are. The truth is that such a prospect already knows they need what you offer. Thus, your primary task is to present your product or service in such a light that it overshines the competitors. You can ask various follow-up questions to spot the weak points and win the client over. 🏆
"We have a contract signed with a competitor."
Treat such a reply as your primary success already. A prospect bringing up another contract may signal that they are not entirely happy with the ongoing deal. Thus, you may want to come up with an offer with a discount that can cover the financial risk of breaking the existing contract.
"A competitor presents a cheaper deal."
Let's be honest, every part of the potential deal wants to reap as many benefits as possible. Sometimes, prospects mention lower prices offered by the competitor just to drag a discount from you. Yet, there are cases when clients don't see the difference between your product or service and a cheaper variation. There are two routes to take in such a case.
Should you think that it is all about the discount, you can present the best bonus that you are ready to give. If a prospect insists on going lower, you may want to abandon the pursuit since it is clear they won't be buying. In case the potential client is poorly aware of your product's advantages, it is high time to emphasize all the strong points you have at hand.
"We're happy with the ongoing deal."
In some cases, the prospect is truly satisfied with their current service. Yet, instead of crossing the option off your list, you need to inquire about the primary functions that make the client happy. Once you gather all the vital points, you can start indicating the weak spots in the ongoing offer and advise the prospect to improve their rates with your product.
"We've heard bad reviews about your company."
At times, the prospect raises a question about your services' reliability and your business's legitimacy. It is not a secret that some competitors may be spreading false statements about you to cut you off. The critical point here lies in the correct approach to the matter. You shouldn't start arguing with the client in no case. A simple and firm rejection is all you need to provide the person with. Should they have some remaining doubts, you can explain how the reality differs from the spread rumors.
Let's face it – the chances that you get in touch with the leading decision-maker in the company are slim. You may later be transferred to the primary authorized person, but before, you must learn how to get to the point to secure your sales process.
"I have no authority to approve the purchase."
That is one of the simplest sales objections you can come across. All it takes is to ask for the contacts of the person responsible for the approval process and move on with your case.
"We've got too much on our plates at the moment."
This surely sounds like a common brush-off. So, the only thing you can and should do is inquire about particular reasons they can't engage with your business directly. Should you receive some definite answers, you can address the points in a follow-up meeting and have existing solutions provided.
"I'm a buying group representative."
The primary task of a buying group is to help independent companies team up so they can proceed with joint purchases. Such an approach usually ensures that the price policy is more acceptable when compared to independent investments. The chances are that if your business isn't listed as one of the vendors, a buying group should refer to, they won't consider your offer. However, you can tempt the group with a discount value proposition for a bulk purchase if you have one at hand.
📊 According to most recent social proof stats, countless sales objections refer to the absence of a pressing need for the offered service. You can turn these objections into revenue-programmed advantages to reap, too.
"We haven't heard about your services."
Whether you are new to the market or not, some companies may have never heard about you, and you have to simply accept the fact. Yet, this is one of these times when you can treat the objection as a direct request for information. Don't try to provide as many details as possible since you may seem too desperate to seal the deal. Instead, you can give a productive summary of your services and schedule a follow-up meeting.
"We don't have issues that you can help solve."
Another popular objection, or rather a brush-off, would be to hear that the company in question does not face the pain points that your service addresses. However, in the majority of cases, they simply don't know yet that they are indeed facing a peculiar business pain. If you have done your background research well and spotted the issue first, you can address it straight away and present potential ways of effectively dealing with it.
"The given issue isn't a pressing one."
There are cases when the prospect knows about an existing problem but objections hide underlying issues, assuming it does not interfere with their business. Thus, it is your task to emphasize the urgency factor well.
"There is nothing that you can offer us."
This is one of the information-programmed sales objections you can come across. If a prospect tells you that your product has no value to them, they may be missing critical data on the benefits of your services. 📝 Enlist all the goals you can help them achieve and observe the positive changes in your communication.
"I don't understand how your services or products work?"
You should be ready to face an objection indicating that other people don't understand how your products work, and you should be willing to dwell on the technical details to bring the matter close to your prospects. Try to figure out as many points they don't understand as possible.
"Our business is too complicated."
Sometimes the prospect you communicate with assumes that you are a mere salesperson with zero experience in the particular business field. That is why you should indicate that you know a thing or two about the area that the company belongs to. You can enlist several similar cases you have solved already.
"You don't offer the feature we need."
In case your offer does not cover the feature that your prospect seeks, you can try and come up with supplementary options that can be integrated with your services to assist in dealing with the predefined problem. Yet, if you have no additional means at hand, you may have come across a prospect that is not a good fit for you. Thus, moving on would be the wisest thing to do.
General brush-offs masked as objections
As already stated, not all the sales objections are actually objections, and you should be ready to tell a hoax from the real deal. Depending on the type of brush-off you hear, you can decide whether to pursue the prospect or let it be.
If a prospect hangs up on you, it helps to remember that things like that happen to everybody. There is a little fault of yours, and the best thing to do is to try another company representative instead. However, you may take it a bit personally and wait a few minutes before you call them back and try to clarify what has gone wrong.
The chances that any dedicated expert in the industry is not busy during working hours are slim. You have to understand it well. That is why when you hear that the prospect is busy at the moment, you need to clarify that you are here to hold a short conversation which may or may not lead to a full-length discussion later.
Very often, the prospect you reach out to may want to know where you have acquired their contact details from. It would be a poor decision to claim that you have purchased it. Thus, the best chance is to confirm that they either shared their information on your website form or you have come across their data online when looking for potential clients whose business needs your product or service. 🖥
Overcoming sales objections
Now, you are familiar with the most popular sales objections. So, you may need to know how to overcome overcome sales objections successfully. While relying on your professional skills and industry experience is great, they may not be enough to arrive at the outcome that you count on. There are a few points to discover so that you can polish your objection handling skills, and they are the following:
It is nearly impossible to take all potential objections into account and memorize suitable answers to those. Whether it is a price objection, trust objection, or even a mere brush-off, it takes great knowledge and dedication to your industry and company to deal with them effectively.
Thus, the best strategy to adopt would be to discover your place in the selling process. You should research and set the proper nature of the deal you are working on. Diving a little deeper into the pool of your prospect's needs and interests would come of use too.
The given method of overcoming objections is closely connected with the previous one. However, while situation awareness's center is shifted a little towards your business, background information is entirely related to the prospect you are reaching out to. 💡 The more you know on the matter of the prospect company's problems and struggles, the better you will be able to deal with almost any potential important objection their reps cook up.
At times, you can't discover ongoing challenges that the prospect in question deals with at the moment. If that is the case, you should consider the vendors from the related field and their difficulties so that you can have an approximate picture of what you will face this time.
Lack of frustration
When you are new to the industry, you may not be ready to deal with the sales objections the way you are supposed to. It is too easy to get carried away, and you can't afford it since it may cost your company a great deal. 🎨 The art of handling objections in sales is all about you walking in the prospect's shoes.
Whenever a prospect starts to push back, it is a natural reaction to either push back or give up. Yet, neither option will help you land a successful deal. Thus, you need a third option. That is where your patience and understanding come in. The better you understand the company's pain points, the more trust you will gain. However, if you make the process all about the sale as the primary method of increasing your income, you will lose the client.
The best way to figure out those pain points the business faces is to let the representative voice them. That is why asking questions is a must.
However, it matters as to what type of questions you ask. If you provide the prospect with a simple 'yes or no' question, there is little space for the issue to arise and grow. Instead, the industry experts suggest you use open-ended inquiries. In such a way, the client will talk, and you will listen. Through active listening, you can gain all the leverages you need to seal the deal in no time.
Popular strategies for overcoming objections in sales
Aside from the theoretical knowledge on dealing with modern-day sales objections, some proven techniques can be applied to almost any arising situation.
The art of listening
No matter how obvious the advice sounds, salespeople often ignore the rule of active listening. Surely, one of the primary goals to succeed is to close as many deals as possible. Yet, one-sided conversation, no matter how well-planned, won't lead you towards the predefined outcome.
Once you let the prospect share their concerns with you, it takes a fair share of active listening to decode what they are trying to tell you. Even when you are faced with an objection, you need to find a way to understand it from the prospect's point of view rather than blow up with an immediate response that describes you in the best light.
Lastly, you should know better than to interrupt the company's rep.
🔄 Another underrated yet highly effective approach to overcoming sales objections would be repetition. After you have heard the primary objection voiced, you should take time to repeat it back to the person you are talking to. Such an approach will help to understand the mentioned pain points better and show the client that you are actually listening and evaluating everything they have been saying.
Proper objection handling means responding to your client's concerns. Thus, when you have established that you understand the core of objection handling, you should keep on working on the trust you build. That is why field experts suggest you validate the voiced concerns. What does that mean? Does that mean you should go down on your company and the services offered? Not in the least!
Let's say the customer is concerned with the technological advancement of your product. Surely, you will have to agree with it. Otherwise, you wouldn't be the best in the industry. Yet, the fittest approach would be to explain to the client that you have a full-stack development team at hand that will help them integrate your services into their systems with the least time and effort involved.
Hearing objections usually means that your prospect is pushing away, so the main goal to achieve at this point will be to keep the conversation going. The best way to do so is to start asking follow-up questions so that your opponent keeps talking. You must leave room for clients to dwell on their current conditions and potential issues. As you may already know – information is key to success 🔑, and the more you know, the easier it will be to overcome the objection.
It is encoded in the human subconscious to trust something others have already exploited with evident success. That is why, based on your interlocutor's concerns, you can share different stories of how other companies with the same problem have overcome it due to proper exploitation of your products or services.
Another success-programmed approach to the situation would be to mention the prospect's competitors and the same issue they've had. Accidentally, mentioning that they have solved the problem the same way that you suggest may play out to your advantage.
Scheduled follow-up discussion
In some cases, after a positively resolved concern, the prospect still feels like they need some time to weigh all the odds. The reaction is quite natural, and you should be willing to present the interlocutor with a possibility. However, instead of simply saying your goodbyes, you may want to push the client towards the sealed deal one more time. 🕰 The best way to do so is to inquire about the precise time and date you should pick up on your conversation. Scheduling a predefined follow-up meeting will take you a step close to the desired outcome. Yet, you have to ensure that the meeting takes place in the nearest future so that the impression from your first interaction is still fresh in the prospect's memory.
When you know what to expect from the conversation, you enter the field fully prepared. That is why, based on the area you represent, you should consider the most popular types of objections before initiating the interaction. Undoubtedly, it is challenging to anticipate the precise objection, but by sticking to a basic outline, you will always be prepared.
The industry experts advise taking things a little further and compiling a list of neutral recommendations to keep the process going. A free problem solution is always well received by the prospect in doubt.
Those of you who want to remain on the top of their sales list can go as far as to put down all the objections that have come across so far. Such an approach will allow you to present a perfect solution in a matter of seconds as the real objection comes up. You can even practice your responses with the team members to feel securer.
The life of a successful salesperson is always unpredictable and filled with professional challenges. Luckily, there are effective strategies to enhance your sales performance expertly. In some situations, the prospect starts bombarding you with most objections – the price is too high, the warranty is too short, the waiting time is too long and so far. It is incredibly easy to lose control over the situation when things like that occur.
❗️ When you face a multiple-objection conversation, you should do the only thing that will take you out of this pickle – detect the primary objection and push on it. Let's say the prospect mentions the warranty – counteract it by suggesting extending it. When the price is too high for them – offer potential discounts, and so on. After you spot the main objection that keeps the client from sealing the deal, you can focus all your attention on handling it.
It is too easy to get carried away when trying to handle an upcoming customer’s objection. In your pursuit to offer the prospect something they can't refuse, you may suggest something your company hasn't signed up for just yet. That is why you should track the realistic part of your responses. You shouldn't present a way out if you know you can't animate it in real life. On top of that, you have to keep away from lengthy monologues while presenting your solutions. Otherwise, the customer will assume that you are simply trying to sell the product rather than help them deal with a pressing matter.
In some cases, prospects are incredibly polite, and that politeness may throw you off course, as you assume they are ready to buy from you while, in reality – they are not. Thus, after addressing the objection and receiving a positive vibe from the other end, you should always confirm that the presented solution is precisely what they need. They are ready to proceed with the implementation.
Practical skills a successful salesperson should possess
No matter the tomes of objection handling strategies you go through, it takes a little more than mere memorizing to land your company as many deals as possible. 💎 There is a list of traits that most successful salespeople possess. They are the following:
At first glance, there is nothing in common between empathy and the sales field. However, you would be surprised at how intertwined these aspects are. Empathy, as you undoubtedly know, is all about feeling what the other person goes through. That is why, the moment you are faced with a customer’s objection, you should be able to show the prospect's feeling is heard and you are willing to help. Once a customer spots that empathy coming from you, they will open up even more, and you can surely use that to your advantage.
Very often, it is the curiosity that salespeople try to shut down when it comes to the professional sphere. However, such an approach may do you more harm than good, especially when handling sales objections. The more questions you ask, the more the client will feel like they are cared for and genuinely interested. By this time, you already know how well it may play out to your sales' advantage.
Another critical skill to possess when you land yourself in sales is proper rapport building. You don't have to be friends with the interlocutor, but referring to them in a more personalized manner will help you gain trust 🤝. Sometimes, all it takes is to refer to the prospect on a first-name basis to achieve the goal.
When should you step away?
One of the most underrated points in the salespeople community is the fact that your prospects are as tired of presenting objections as you are of hearing them. Going through countless sales calls for days can be a little unnerving. That is why you should be able to spot a lost opportunity before you invest too much time and effort in it.
The best way to detect a firm 'no' would be to hear it twice in a single conversation. What is that supposed to mean? Let's assume that you've been given an objection – you've made your way around it, but the prospect still refuses to carry on with the deal. That is the time you walk away and focus on other clients. If you keep pushing your way through, you may land with unnecessary negative feedback, which is undoubtedly not something your company needs.
Sales would have been a much simpler field to prosper in if there were no objections to deal with. However, they are vital components of the process, and you should be ready to overcome sales objections accordingly. Surely, some common objections are well-grounded and legit, but some turn out to be a reliable way to brush you off. Thus, the better you can tell a fake from the real deal – the more successful deals you will close. 📘 Use this professional guide with common objections to your benefit, and you will make the top of the list in no time!