Objection handling is an art in itself. In fact, there are hundreds of articles, online courses, and coaching programs aimed at helping you master this art. So the question is, why read this blog post, right?
Well, the answer is simple. We have structured the information in the form of a straightforward and digestible objection handling guide that you can turn to at any point in your sales career. Additionally, we will provide you with real-life examples from sales professionals who successfully turn "no's" and "maybe's" into "YESes."
Responding to a constructive argument correctly requires a lot of practical knowledge, savvy, and, most importantly, patience. But nothing ventured, nothing gained! So you need to dive into these waters to learn how to swim.
What is a Sales Objection?
First, let's define the notion itself. An objection is any concern raised by a prospect in reference to an obstacle preventing them from buying from you – an indication that you need to address more aspects of selling than you originally thought.
Typically, a prospect would point to a lack of resources or a particular capacity. You can identify an objection by the presence of a factor preventing prospects from wanting, needing, or being interested in your service or product.
Even though objections are sometimes hard to take (both personally and professionally), by no means do they signify a dead end for you. With the right approach, you can easily eliminate any reason for a constructive objection and leave your prospects no choice other than to accept your offer.
Objection handling is a very broad topic as endless scenarios might occur during a sales call.
However, as common sales objections include concerns around product fit, price, or competitors, objection handling techniques focus on eliminating the source of concern and establishing trustworthy relationships with prospects.
A successful sales rep needs to tell the difference between a genuine objection and a typical brush-off. The latter usually translates into "I want you off my back, that's why I'll come up with literally any excuse to end this conversation," whereas a real objection sounds like: "I like your product, but I have reasons to doubt it."
As a rule, legitimate objections are far more complex and require a thought-out approach.
Types of Sales Objections
There are multiple types of objections out there. As mentioned before, reasonable objections come from a specific "lack" of something, preventing a prospect from acquiring your product or service.
Let's have a look at the most common reasons for objections in sales:
1. Lack of budget
2. Lack of urgency
3. Lack of need
4. Lack of trust
A successful sale usually happens when potential customers have no budgeting issues, the product has a suitable use case for them, you’ve established trustworthy relationships, and the timing was right.
When one of these elements doesn't work out the way it should, it's time to use a trump card. Read on to learn more about the objection handling process in action.
Tried-and-True Objection Handling Techniques
As it often happens, at some point in a conversation, an unprepared and desperate sales rep starts arguing with a prospect and pressuring them into submission. Obviously, this approach is a big no-no as it only convinces your "opponent" that they were right when deciding not to cooperate with you.
In addition to being calm, polite, well-prepared, and confident, there are some foolproof approaches that will help you earn the trust and respect of potential clients:
- Show gratitude and recognition. Make sure to thank your prospect for sharing their concerns with you and being upfront. At the same time, reassure them by mentioning that you already work with clients who had a similar issue and explain how you managed to overcome it.
- Express empathy. Show that you can relate to their struggles and that you or one of your colleagues came across something similar in the past.
- Be an active listener and confirm your findings. When presented with an issue, listen carefully and verify whether you understood everything correctly. This shows that you are trying to find the underlying concern to subsequently eliminate it.
- Use humor. Showing your personal virtues such as friendliness, light-heartedness, and sense of humor will most definitely play out to your advantage and lighten the mood of the conversation.
- Ask open-ended questions. For instance, make sure to fit the right solution to the problem by asking for additional reasoning: "Could you tell me a bit more about what you're looking for in a service provider?"
- Show value. Present your clients with a valuable and practical solution that eliminates the source of their doubt right away. Don't be afraid to seem a bit cocky or overconfident. A good example would be a similar question: "Would you be interested in seeing how our solution can cut your sales onboarding time in half?"
- Make use of additional data, case studies, and testimonials. Offer a potential client to see the benefits of your solution working well for others. Share testimonials and case studies that showcase your product from the most beneficial point of view to effectively convince a prospect.
- And last but not least: do not answer immediately. Let the information sink in and your brain handle the rest before you respond. If you don’t think you can give a structured answer, ask a follow-up question.
Objection Handling Templates
All common sales objections are quite easy to overcome when you have an effective strategy in mind. To build one, take advantage of practical tips and objection handling templates from Unique sales leaders with years of experience in the field.
Lack of Budget
Pricing objections are one of the most common types of issues popping up in client conversations. You hear them all the time as potential clients try to score the most profitable deal or come up with an excuse to brush you off politely.
Either way, price objections are less menacing than you think.
When dealing with budget objections, try mentioning the following:
1. "Do you mean you are not seeing the value for the price, or your budget doesn't account for such spending?"
2. “Yes, I totally get it. Not having a budget could certainly be an issue. But you are not making any big decisions at this stage. I’m simply trying to determine if we’re a good fit or not. A lot of our loyal customers with budget issues invested in us, and when they saw the ROI we could provide, they knew they had made the right decision."
3.“You mentioned that [X] is a problem for you. I would suggest scheduling some time to find out whether we could solve this issue first. And then, once we’ve established that we can help with that, we will discuss budgets. Sounds fair?”
Lack of Urgency
A prospect may genuinely think that your product is good, but the timing is off for them. A good objection handling technique would involve explaining to a prospect that your product may bring fast results and increase ROI dramatically. But first, make sure to understand the issue behind this objection.
Try asking the following:
"You're saying that it's not a good time for you to acquire new products/services. I get it. But could you explain the issue behind that?"
"Could you tell me what your current priorities are?"
Example of an objection: “Call me back in 6 months.”
Example of an answer: "No problem, I will call you back in 6 months, but so that I don't sound like an idiot when I reach out again, can you please share with me what will change in 6 months?"
Lack of Need
There's a big chance that your prospects already use your competitor's products, tools, or services. When you hear this reasoning, your first thought is to give up. But don't be discouraged too quickly. There are plenty of ways to work around this problem. Let us show you how:
Example of an objection: "We use your competitor."
Examples of an answer:
1. "What are the pain points you were planning to fix with [company name] provider?"
2. "When does your contract end?"
3. "Are you happy with the quality of services?"
4. "I know that in your role, you always keep an eye on the market updates, and based on the intel, rethink your decisions. And there's no better way to tell whether you use an optimal product/service other than comparing it with others. So let's have a look at what we offer?"
5. "What if I tell you that our product/service can be used to complement the existing plan you use?"
One thing that will help you overcome these types of objections is studying your competition and pinpointing the differences between your products/services you can leverage.
Example of an objection: “Just email me additional information.”
This typical brush-off can signify a lack of interest or immediate need. However, there's plenty of wiggle room for you to "fend off."
Here are some things that you can mention in response:
1. “The truth is, I could send you a truckload of content, but you don’t want that in your inbox: nobody does. Why don’t we set up a call: we will continue the conversation in more detail, and I will share some ideas that might not be on your radar."
2. "How about we set up a quick call for me to present the most relevant features for your use case instead?"
Lack of Trust
For young companies, startups, and scale-ups, the first couple of clients are the hardest to get, and trust issues are among common obstacles. The problem is that before you gain authority, you need to do a lot of convincing. So buckle up, and get your "big guns" ready.
Example of an objection: "You seem young and inexperienced. Why should I trust you?"
The solution is to talk about your company's track record. Tell potential customers about other clients, why they chose you, and what problems your product/service managed to solve for them.
Bonus Template (Cold Calls Only):
Example of an objection: "I'm not interested."
This one appears so often in sales conversations that it's hard for sales teams to track all the occurrences.
Try saying the following:
"I know it's not your job to help a salesperson. Before we hang up, could you tell me if you are really happy with everything you have or if you just hate cold calls as much as I do?"
Successful Objection Handling Can Score You More Deals
When faced with an objection, even the most convincing one, don’t panic or give up. Take a short pause and think logically. The best technique is to be attentive and try to get to the root of the objection.
With some time and practice, you’ll see that you can find a way out even in the most desperate situations.