Objections in sales

January 28, 2022

How to Overcome Objections in Sales

Written by Karli Stone

A big sales misconception is that client objections are a negative thing; that they are a signal of disinterest and a bad fit prospect.

But it’s actually quite the opposite…

Business author and psychologist, Dr. Bo Bennett said, “An objection is not a rejection. It is simply a request for more information”.

Serious buyers pay attention. They dig in, get critical, and ask tough questions throughout the sales process. A study by Gong.io actually found that negative buyer sentiment increases as prospects move towards making a purchase. 

Moral of the story: sales objections are a good sign. Your sales team just needs to know how to properly address concerns, provide answers, and keep clients moving towards a sale.

This article will teach you all about how to overcome objections in sales and more!

But before we dig into strategies and common sales objections, let’s briefly cover what we mean by the term “sales objections”…


What is a Sales Objection?

A sales objection is when a prospective buyer or decision maker expresses doubts about whether they’ll purchase a product or service. It is an explicit expression that a barrier exists between the current situation and what needs to be satisfied before buying from you.

Sales objections are clear signals that you have more work to do in the selling process.

Objection handling is how you respond to this signal in the effort to continue to move the sale forward. Effective objection handling requires not only strategy, but also heightened awareness and empathy.

Learning to respond to sales objections and overcome them brings you closer to closing deals. It’s important to use interpersonal skills and honest answers in dealing with objections. It helps you build profitable relationships with clients that last years.

4-Step Approach to Overcoming Sales Objections

Regardless of what a buyer’s objections are, there are some must-have skills when it comes to objection handling. Here is a framework for initially addressing their concerns:

1. Listen

As your prospect lays out their objections, don’t jump right in with your rebuttal. It not only makes the prospect feel overlooked, but you risk making assumptions about their objection before you fully understand it.

Take the time to actively listen to their concerns.

It’s basic customer service.

Make a conscious effort to listen to the words they are saying, as well as non-verbal cues like body language and tone of voice. This will communicate a complete picture of the buyer’s disposition and concerns.

It’s also important to train yourself not to act defensively. Ignore any negative emotions you might feel and stay focused on the obstacle you are trying to remove for them.

2. Understand

After listening to the objection, you need to understand it.

Many buyers can’t or won’t articulate the underlying issue behind their objection (especially when it comes to price objections), and it’s up to you to figure it out.

Start by asking permission to ask questions and explore the issue. Restate the concern as you understand it to eliminate any chance of a misinterpretation. Then, continue to ask probing questions. Here are a few helpful ones:

  • “Tell me more. Is your concern X, or is your concern more because of Y?”
  • “Could you please elaborate more on X?”
  • “What I am understanding is XYZ. Is that correct?”
  • “What else might be impacting your ability to agree to this deal today?”

By asking thoughtful questions, you can often uncover the underlying issue behind client objections and find more success in moving the deal forward.

3. Respond

Now that you have arrived at the heart of the issue, respond to the most important objection first (oftentimes once their greatest concern is resolved, other concerns don’t feel as important to the buyer).

This is where your preparation and practice pay dividends. Do your best to resolve their issue right away, but if you need to investigate and uncover more information, let them know.

Lucky for you, we are going to lay out some of the most common sales objections and a few important sales tips for responding to them. But first, the fourth and final step…

4. Confirm

Once you’ve responded to the buyer’s objections, check if you’ve satisfied their concerns. Ask if they are happy with your solution and explain your solution further if necessary.

Sometimes this step takes some savvy negotiation skills, which may lead to a compromise. But if it’s clear the buyer isn’t ready, don’t accept a lukewarm “yes”. They may accept the solution in the moment, but once your meeting is concluded the objection may still remain.

So, the next time you are forced to overcome tough objections, just remember: listen, understand, respond, and confirm.

It’s sure to help you handle their concerns properly and move the sale along.

Overcoming Common Objections

If you’re a sales professional, you’ve probably heard variations of the same objections hundreds of times. These are the objections that you should prepare for.

Let’s go over a few of the most common objections and some sales strategies for overcoming them:

Objection #1: “Your price is too high”

Price is never the issue.

The issue behind pricing objections is either that the prospect does not see the value in paying your price to fix their problems or they cannot find the money to pay for it. And if the prospect cannot find the funds, they may not be an ideal prospect to begin with.

You need to start by finding out which scenario you’re facing. Ask them for more information regarding their pricing concerns.

Once you determine the why behind their pricing objection, start to build your case. Focus on your product’s value over its price. Here are some example responses you could utilize:

  • “I understand that, but I think I can help. My product is multifunctional, so you’re able to get a better value from using this product in more than one way. Are you paying for a service that offers some of these perks?”
  • “Have you considered the price savings you would receive from using our product?”
  • “We have options to break up payments for our products so you can start saving money sooner.”
  • “It costs a little more to make a product that offers as much X as ours does, so in order to make it the best product for you, it has to be priced a little higher.”

Objection #2: “We’re already working with X competitor”

This is an easy objection for prospects to throw out there so they don’t have to deal with you or put the time and effort into changing their provider.

But they only think that they are currently satisfied.

They don’t see the need for change, because they have yet to see the value in your product or service. After all, they don’t know what they don’t know.

If you’re a salesperson handling this customer objection, you need to find their current pain points and establish yourself as unique from your competitors. Find out what they don’t like about their current service and assert the differences between your competitor and what you can offer.

Here are some examples of possible responses:

  • “That’s great, but we’re offering some solutions that I know your current provider is lacking.”
  • “When was the last time you switched providers? What made you switch?”
  • “I know there is a need they aren’t filling. What is it? Because I’m sure we can give it to you.”

Objection #3: “This isn’t a priority right now”

When a potential customer has this specific objection, it means you have yet to create a sense of urgency in your sales pitch.

They don’t see your product as a “must-have”, they see it as a “nice-to-have”. The problems your product solves simply aren’t big enough for them to allocate funds to.

At this point, a tactful sales person will focus all of their attention on establishing a stronger need. You should sell the prospect on the time savings and financial savings your product would give them, making them realize that every moment they don’t utilize your product they are wasting resources.

You could say:

  • “Would a boost in X make you more money right now?”
  • “How much time would you save if we could speed up your X process?”
  • “We’re helping a number of your competitors right now by doing X. Does it make sense for me to share how we’re helping your competitors grow in the market?”

This last statement will pique their competitive interest and make them reconsider whether or not your product is a priority. I mean, who doesn’t want to learn their competitors’ secrets?!

Objection #4: “Just email me more information”

This common objection is a classic brush-off.

It’s often a way for an uninterested potential buyer to appease a sales rep and quickly end a sales conversation. But savvy sales professionals will see right through this…

Your first step is to lower resistance by saying that you’d be happy to send them more information and add them to your email list. But you shouldn’t stop there. Ask to set up a future point of contact. Try to set up a follow-up call or sales meeting, in case they aren’t responsive over email.

Example rebuttals include:

  • “Of course! What do you want sent over? We can send you an email, then call you at this time tomorrow after you’ve had time to read it.”
  • “We can definitely do that. Is there a good time to call you back once you’ve had time to read it?”

Whatever the concern may be, the key to handling objections is understanding that the objection the potential client is bringing to you is never the full story. When you practice anticipating objections and using the proper sales strategies to overcome them, you’ll be able to seamlessly keep your sales moving forward.

Remember: sales objections are positives. They are opportunities to teach and educate your prospects about your products and services and create relationships that will carry into the future.

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Karli Stone headshot Karli Stone