Sales objections are issues that prospects communicate to sales professionals as reasons why they can’t buy a product or service from them. Objections aren’t always hard “no”s, and they can sometimes represent opportunities for sales reps to clarify any misconceptions about the product or service to try to qualify the prospect and close the sale. Done right, excellent objection handling can turn average sellers into real sales hunters!
Here are the most common objections prospectors might face, along with some very simple approaches to responding to them
”Just send me some information”
We call this objection style “the brush-off.” This objection varies in intent depending on when it comes up in your call with a prospect. If it comes up before you have had the chance to deliver your value proposition and explain who you are and what you do, it’s very clearly a brush-off. If it comes afterward, but before you’ve had the chance to ask qualification questions, there may be interest, but the prospect isn’t yet willing to talk about it further. If it comes at the end of your call, after you’ve gone through both your value prop and qualification, the prospect may have decided this isn’t valuable somewhere along the way. No matter where it comes up in the call, it’s the SDR’s duty to uncover what is really going on: Do they not yet understand the value, or are they not ready for a buying conversation? Why not?
There are a few potential responses to this one, depending on what stage the call is in. Before you’ve delivered the value proposition: “Can we take 30 seconds now for me to explain what we do, and you can then decide if it’s worth a follow-up?”
Before qualification: “Can I ask you a couple of questions now to better understand how we might help?”
After qualification: “Typically, people find it more valuable to see how this works in a demo.”
“We already work with [Competitor].”
This is where it’s important to know why you are unique and be able to explain that value clearly. Your prospect just heard, “Hi, we do X” and thought, “Oh, we have a vendor for that, we’re good.” Your prospects are busy — they don’t want to fix things that aren’t broken. It is your duty to change their mindset, and explain why they need the specific value you provide.
“At this point, we aren’t asking you to rip anything out. A lot of our customers used to or still use Competitor X. We’d just like the opportunity to show you how we are different and how we have provided additional value to our customers. We can present some use cases of other companies like yours who work with us and with Competitor X.
When is a good time to schedule a follow-up call?”
“Call me back next quarter.”
Prospects are busy. They will push anything off to tomorrow because today is swamped. Don’t let them! You have a solution they needed yesterday. Reassure them that this is not a buying conversation. You just want to show them what you do, and see if there’s value for them.
“Of course. If it really is bad timing, I’m happy to do that. However, I would still like to set up a five-minute call to show you what we are doing and how we might help.
That way, if it’s not interesting, we don’t have to worry about me chasing you next quarter, but if it is, we’ll have more to talk about then. When is a good day/time for us to chat?”
“We don’t have the budget.”
If the budget is an important part of your qualified lead definition (e.g. traditional BANT) this may be a stopping point. Even with BANT, however, it is important to dig a bit further to understand what not having budget means.
Can they not afford it?
Has your buyer burned through her personal budget for the year?
Could your buyer find the money elsewhere if you show enough value?
In most cases, the prospect doesn’t need to have a budget at this stage of the process,
and SDRs should leverage this fact to overcome this objection.
“That’s okay. We don’t expect you to buy anything right now. We’d just like the opportunity to share what we are doing and see if it’s valuable to your company.
Can we schedule a follow-up call over the next couple of days?”
“Does your product do X, Y, and Z?”
This isn’t so much an objection as an obstacle to closing a call with a prospect and getting them to the next appointment, (e.g., a demo, or a discovery call with the sales rep). However, it is one of the most common obstacles that prevent an SDR from converting the lead to an SQL. Not only does getting in the weeds waste time, but you also run the potential of devolving into a features/benefits conversation.
The good news is this generally means the prospect is interested. Use this fact to end the conversation and set up the next appointment.
“I am glad you asked that. I think it will be helpful to set up a time where we can answer this question and others with a specialist. When is a good day/time for us to talk?”
“Sorry, I have to cancel. I’ll get back to you at a better time.”
People don’t like to say “No” — and that includes your prospects. This manifests in ghosting, procrastination (as mentioned above), and asking for more time. You want to call out your prospect’s lack of interest and get them to admit the answer is ‘No’ without going too negative. Essentially, you’re getting them to realise they’re ‘palming you off’
“Typically, when someone cancels and says they’ll get back to me, it means they’re just not interested in what I have to offer right now. Is it fair for me to assume that’s the case?”
Does your prospect avoid your phone calls like the plague?
Do they take a while to get back to you and always need approval?
Do they give vague answers when you ask about budget and priorities for the year?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you might be talking with an individual contributor. They’re usually not as comfortable talking on the phone as managers or decision-makers, they need a lot of internal approval, and they aren’t privy to important budgetary
information or company-wide priorities.
It’s important to gain the gatekeeper’s trust and learn as much as you can from them — but then you need to move on and build relationships with the people in the company who can actually
choose your product/service.
“Have you ever purchased this type of product/service before?” “Who will be in charge of this buying process?”
“Would you be able to connect me with that person?”
When an Objection Means No
Prospects often don’t give you a chance to explain the value you think you can provide. They are too busy and have too little faith in the hordes of SDRs and sales reps that reach out to them on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, they have learned through experience that these knee-jerk objections are the best defense against people wasting their time. This forces salespeople to be more assertive and persistent.
That said, at a certain point no means no. The responses to the common objections above give you a way to pierce through the reactionary objections prospects give without thinking.
However, if you have said your piece and the prospect still objects, let it go. Nobody is going to buy against their will. Get as clear as you can on the objection and try to determine what your prospect is really concerned about, but don’t push past the prospect’s point of comfort. Rule of thumb: if the prospect says an objection twice, it’s real. No means noBACK