"Your solution sounds great, but it's just not the right time."
"I'm sorry, but we're already happy with our current solution."
"Call me back next quarter."
Sales teams are all too familiar with these sentences. Sales objections like these are a regular occurrence in any sales conversation. You can't get rid of them, but you sure can master how to handle them.
This article tackles handling objections in sales, why it's important, types of sales objections, and steps to overcome them.
What is Objection Handling?
Objection handling is the process of addressing the concerns, questions or reservations regarding the product or service raised by the prospect throughout the sales process. The goal is to respond in a manner that eases those concerns and enables the sales process to continue. These objections often revolve around pricing, product suitability, or competition.
Sales reps need to handle objections by calming the prospect’s worries by making sure the prospect has all the information they need to move the deal forward.
Why Is Objection Handling Important in Sales?
Objection handling is an integral part of the sales process. It fosters healthy bonding between reps and prospects. Reps prove themselves as knowledgeable and trusted individuals by addressing prospects' concerns.
Especially with the drastic shift in the B2B buying process, prospects do all their research before contacting sales teams. This means they have preconceived opinions about your solution.
If reps aren’t equipped to handle objections throughout the sales process, you risk your prospect fostering the same opinion of you.
Handling objections in sales is essential for moving deals further down the pipeline.
What Are The Top Objections In Sales (+ Tips On Handling Them)
You might think that different salespeople face different kinds of objections. But that's far from the truth. While the types of sales objections may vary slightly based on the product or service you offer, most salespeople get bombarded with the same objections for the most part.
As Zig Ziglar famously said:
"Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust."
This section focuses on the most common objections and suggests the most effective way to handle them.
1. "It's Too Expensive"
Pricing objection is one of the most common objections faced by sales reps. Patrick Dang, a Sales Coach, says, “The main reason there’s some friction in buying is that, in the client’s mind, the perceived value of your product or service doesn’t match the actual cost you’re asking for.” Maybe they're not convinced about your product yet, or they think it's not good enough to justify the cost.
How To Handle This
Patrick explains that while your prospects may think you’re overcharging, you know the value your product or service provides and the reasoning behind the price. All you have to do is align your prospect’s perceived value with yours. “This strategy is all about shifting their perceived value and getting them to understand what you understand,” he emphasizes.
If your prospect needs a bit of reassurance, explain the pricing in the context of how much ROI your product can deliver. Once your prospect sees the value of your product, the price won't matter so much. Ask more open-ended questions and pause wherever necessary; prospects will volunteer more information.
Breaking down your product's pricing into smaller chunks helps take away from the shock factor. When you include only the features your prospect wants and budget for them, the price won't overwhelm your prospect.
2. "Now's Not A Good Time"
Timing is crucial when it comes to sales. But sometimes you can run into a "right prospect, wrong time" situation. You might be dealing with two layers here: your prospect may not have the time to talk. And two, it might not be the right time for them to buy. But prospects often use this phrase to stall or push you away.
How To Handle This
In this situation, it’s best to coax the prospect into rescheduling the call instead of pushing to talk immediately.
Ashley Dees from Metadata suggests to keep it simple. She says, “I don't want you to be late. When can I call you back? Will tomorrow at the same time be okay?” aiming to reschedule the call. (Source)
3. "I'm Already In Another Contract."
A contractual objection is something to be concerned about. When a contract binds your prospect, it's difficult to convince them out of it. However, there's a simple way to handle this objection.
How to Handle This
Simply ask your prospect when their contract is scheduled to be over. From there, you can decide on the next steps.
If your prospect seems genuinely interested in your product, offering a discount or an extended trial period may help you overcome this objection. But it all depends on their satisfaction with their current solution. If they're happy, offer a demo and show how your product differs from the competitor.
Additionally, set a reminder to follow up with them just before the end of their contract. They're more likely to consider your solution when contemplating renewing their contracts.
4. "I Don't See the Value"
Sometimes, your prospects may not grasp the true potential of your product, while other times, this is a brush-off tactic. Nonetheless, you can work around this.
How To Handle This
This is the perfect opportunity to shine some light on your product. Explain how your product benefits your prospects. Pull real-life examples of how your product helped your current customers resolve their challenges.
Offering additional benefits or discounts may work in your favor during this time.
5. "Product [X] Is Cheaper"
Prospects will inevitably compare you against your competitors. However, you can turn this in your favor by highlighting all the different ways you're better than them. Also, your prospect knows what they're looking for already, so it helps you deliver the value of your product sooner.
How To Handle This
Jeremy Miner suggests you shift your prospect’s perspective from cost-based to results-based thinking.
Demonstrate how your product or service differs from your competitor and why it's priced. Show your prospects some of your advanced features and how they will help save time and streamline processes for your prospects.
Conversely, use this to learn more about your prospect's relationship with your competitor. Ask more follow-up questions on what they like about said competitor. Use this information to juxtapose your product against them.
6. "Just Email Me The Info.."
If your prospect says this to you during the first half of your call, they're probably trying to brush you off. But if you get this after considerable conversation, you've piqued your prospect's interest. And that's who you should be spending your time and effort on.
How To Handle This
Noel from Klenty says, "It's easy to gauge a prospect's interest when we're one or two minutes into the call. When they ask to share more information over an email, we usually just push them to get on a call with us. It's much easier that way. And we've found it quite trouble-free to convince prospects to book a meeting, as well. Once they meet with us, our solution does all the talking."
7. "You Don't Offer Feature [X]"
Your prospects do all the research before talking to you. So, they're likely aware of what features your competitors offer. When prospects ask for a particular feature, there are two possible outcomes: 1) You don't have the feature, and 2) You do, but it's named differently.
How to Handle This
Try to give a personalized demo to your prospects. If it's case 2, enlighten them on the feature and showcase its benefit to their business. Or, if you integrate with other solutions that offer the feature, show your prospects a demo. And offer special proof to back your claims.
But sometimes, it doesn't work out, and your prospect may be a bad fit for your sales process. It's best to leave them behind and move on.
8. "I'm Not Ready To Commit."
Sometimes, your prospects may be interested in your solution but not ready to commit. It's difficult to pinpoint the exact reason, but you should get a better picture after a little probing.
How To Handle This
Victor Antonio of Sellinger Group says taking a step back and qualifying your prospect is important. There are two ways this could go: either your prospect doesn’t understand your product, or they’re not comfortable with the level of information they currently have. Here’s how he suggests you handle this objection in sales.
9. "I Lack The Authorization To Approve This."
This lack of authority objection is pretty straightforward: your prospect needs approval from the decision-maker, but it might be easier to take matters into your own hands.
How To Handle This
Ask your prospect to redirect you to the person authorized to decide on the purchase.
6 Steps To Overcome Objections In Sales
Now that you know some of the most common sales objections prospects pose, let's understand how to overcome them in your next sales call.
The first and foremost thing a sales rep must do before going into a sales conversation is to research their prospect. Know their pains, use cases, previous communication history, and why they're looking for solutions.
Keep a list of sales objections and responses on hand in case a need arises to refer to them.
2. Listen Actively
Active listening skills are vital to handle an objection effectively. An active listener takes the information and tactfully uses it to convince their prospect.
On the call, pay close attention to what your prospect is saying. Give them the space and time needed to voice their opinions without interruption. It's also important to note that body language and facial expressions play a vital role here. Nod wherever necessary. Ensure you present yourself in a way that conveys that you're taking your prospect's concerns seriously.
3. Acknowledge And Empathize
While handling objections in sales, showing empathy and understanding toward your prospect's concerns is crucial. Ask open-ended questions if you're unclear about something until you fully grasp their pains. One vital skill to practice here is mirroring. Repeat what your prospect has said back to them. This fosters understanding and builds rapport.
Occasionally, when you probe your prospect just enough, you may uncover their real concerns.
4. Confirm and Validate
After thoroughly understanding the objection, it's now time to validate it. Restate it in your own words to confirm that you've accurately grasped your prospect's point of view. Remember not to minimize or reject their objections. Your goal must be to convey that you get where your prospects are coming from and that their concerns are important and valid.
5. Provide Information
This is when you'll talk about how your product or service helps resolve your prospect's pains. Provide relevant information and social proof that directly addresses the objections.
An easy way to introduce your product would be first to address your prospect's biggest objections and work backward from there.
You need to be transparent here. If you don't know the answer to an objection, tell your prospect upfront that you need to discuss it with your team and get back to them. Make sure to set up follow-up meetings for the same.
While handling price objections in sales, consider presenting payment plans, discounts, or value-added services to make the price more attractive.
6. Plan Follow-ups
Once all the objections are handled, and you're on the same page as your prospect, set up the necessary follow-up call or meeting to move the deal further.
In A Nutshell
Handling objections in sales is nothing short of a superhero’s job description. It helps build trust, makes potential buyers less unsure, and gets them talking about what they need. It shows why your product is the perfect fit for them and better than the competition, making it easier to close deals. When done right, it boosts your chances of turning interested prospects into happy customers.
"You need to check three boxes while handling any objection. You need to convince your prospect about you as a salesperson, the brand you represent, and the product or service you offer."
Plus, it makes sales professionals better at selling and keeps customers coming back for more. It's also like a treasure hunt; objections often hide valuable hints to improve your product. So, consider objection handling your secret weapon to turn 'no' into 'yes,' open meaningful conversations, win more sales, and create lasting customer relationships.
Q1. What Are The Four P's of Objections In Sales?
The four P's of handling objections in sales are Personalization, Perceived Value, Performance Value, and Proof. Personalization is the key to handling an objection. You need to cater your answers to your prospect's pain points. Perceived value is how your prospect perceives your product or service from the outside. Your brand should ignite a flare of curiosity in your prospect. Performance value satisfies that curiosity by delivering the value promised to your prospects. And lastly, proof is how you seal the deal with real-life success stories of how others have benefited from your product or service.
Q2. What Is The 3 F's Method Of Objection Handling?
The 3 F's method of objection handling stands for "to feel, felt, and found." This technique involves showing your prospect that you care about their concerns and that their pain is valid, sharing a story on how someone else felt the same way (a customer story, perhaps), and enlightening them on how your solution can benefit them and alleviate their pains.
Q3. What Is The Golden Rule To Handle Objections?
When prospects raise real concerns during a sales call, you must make them feel heard. It's important to address their queries with empathy and show them they are not alone. And that people have faced similar issues before and have found a solution that has benefitted them.