Sales Objection Handling: 17 Common Objections Explained
Winning a sale isn’t always as easy as dialing up a prospect, pitching your product, and closing the deal. You’ll always find picky prospects who ask endless questions, raise complex concerns, or, even worse, say no.
Objection handling is a great way to tackle such difficult sales calls and maximize closed deals.
Simply put, objection handling is the practice of breaking down the barriers that your prospects put up during a sales call.
Preparing yourself for handling objections and easing any concerns gives you an edge to convince more people and multiply your sales.
Keep reading to learn how to tackle the 17 most common sales objections.
How to handle sales objections like a pro
You can use customer objections to your advantage if you know how to respond well. Here are some best practices to improve your objection-handling skills:
Listen carefully and empathize with your prospect
Make your prospects feel valued by listening to them patiently. Bringing empathy in your sales call will allow you to acknowledge the prospect's concerns and give you the confidence to tackle any questions or concerns by keeping the prospect’s needs in mind.
Ask follow-up questions to plan your response
Developing situational awareness helps a sales rep ask relevant follow-up questions to learn more about the prospect before answering. It’s best to keep these questions open-ended to get more out of them.
Create a personalized solution for every objection
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for handling complaints. Each lead will have specific issues that you should aim to resolve with a bespoke and tailored solution for their needs.
Prepare an objection handling guide
Documenting all the objections you face can be very useful. Create a potential response or a set of follow-up questions for each type of objection and keep it handy during your sales calls.
Now that we’ve looked at some general best practices for successful objection handling, let’s look at how you can handle 17 common sales objections.
17 common sales objections (and how to handle them)
The best sales reps anticipate sales objections and come to the sales call prepared to tackle them. Here are some of the most common sales objections you can face during a sales call, along with some objection handling techniques you can use.
Sales objections based on resources
1. “We don’t have the capacity to implement the product.”
Take your time to understand your prospect’s key pain points. Then, explain your product’s functionality in detail and discuss specific features to handle these issues.
After setting the context for your product or service, pitch the benefits it can bring in the long run—like greater efficiency, better finances, and more organized processes.
“Your objective as a sales representative is to reassure your prospect that you’re aware of the challenges at stake, and that’s why you can deploy your solution in a small amount of time, with no pain on their side. That said, you will need to prove that claim.
So, to convert a ‘maybe’ or an objection into a ‘yes’: give them a client referral. Allowing a prospect to talk to a customer will show you stand by what you promise, and you’re not afraid to get external and neutral confirmation of it.”
Arnaud Cammas, Sales Account Executive at PickYourSkills
2. “We’re doing fine with the status quo.”
This objection primarily reflects your prospect’s lack of interest in introducing a new resource to their existing setup.
When facing this objection, don’t just focus on talking the sales talk. Rather, initiate a meaningful conversation that provokes them to think about shaking things up.
Once you’ve convinced them to think about change, it’ll be easier to nudge them toward a purchase.
3. “We don’t have a business plan.”
This objection simply translates to—we don’t have the time to think about this.
The ideal way to handle these prospects is to tell them about the problems your product or service solves. Find common ground and identify a potential obstacle you can solve for your prospects.
Then, create a conversation around this roadblock to make your sales pitch more effective and enticing, with a promise that outlines a clear difference between where they are and where they want to be.
Sales objections based on time
4. “This is not our company’s priority right now.”
Your leads can turn down anything that you have to say by tagging it “unimportant” at the moment. A great rebuttal to this objection is a discussion about their priorities.
When you know their focus areas, interlink them with your offering. Create a need for your solution when the prospect feels otherwise, and turn the conversation in your favor by spotlighting the opportunity cost of not paying attention to the problem your solution addresses.
"Sell the prospect on money (or time) left on the table. Convince them your product or service will save them time. Additionally, you could enquire and understand the company's current priorities better and pitch a more relevant part of your product or service.
Paul Johnson, Sales Lead at Mailmodo
5. “Your product sounds great, but I'm too swamped right now.”
The time and effort required to adopt a new solution in the current workflow are crucial reasons holding your prospects back from making a purchase.
This is where you need to put yourself in their shoes and speak their language. Instead of giving them a generic rundown of your product’s benefits, learn more about their current workflow and pin down problematic areas.
Combat their concerns by showing how to improve their current setup and eliminate these specific roadblocks using your solution. Even better, highlight similar use cases and case studies to convince them further.
6. “I’m not ready for a buying conversation.”
Even if your leads are consciously saying no, you can create a level of urgency, pitch an enticing offer, or tap into their fear of missing out to sell your solution. It’s all about delivering an emotionally-driven pitch at the right time by ticking the right pain point to trigger them.
7. “I’m currently under contract with someone else.”
This objection usually means your prospect has their hands tied. This is an excellent opportunity to empathize with them and position your company as a better alternative to your competitor.
Be direct in asking them about the contract terms while analyzing their relationship with their vendor. Give them a compelling pitch and offer a discount to cover any potential fees they might incur due to ending the contract with their existing vendor prematurely.
Sales objections based on product value
8. “I had a bad experience with similar products/services.”
When a prospect shares a negative experience, you have the chance to sell through empathy. Don’t focus on completing your pitch right away.
Instead, hear them out and show them how well you perceive their concerns. You can slowly proceed to spotlight the selling points that set you apart from your competition, the additional benefits you offer, and promise them a great experience.
9. “You don’t understand my challenges. I need help with Y, not X.”
It’s alright to misunderstand your prospect’s needs, but it’s not okay to argue with them. If your lead disagrees with you, take a step back to get the drift of their exact problems and say it back in their own words.
You need to essentially prove that you know their challenges and that you have just the solution for their pain points.
10. “I don’t see the potential for ROI.”
Explain your product’s core functionality and then highlight all of its benefits. Remember: you’re selling your prospects the promise of a better future rather than just a product or service.
11. “XYZ feature is not included, and that’s a deal-breaker.”
When your offering lacks only one of your prospect’s needs, think on your feet and propose an integration that can fill the gap. You can always emphasize the core features and offer them a workaround for some missing features.
Many products at an early stage even go the extra mile to enter into a contract with prospects after considering their suggestions and promising to bridge their missing requirement soon with a new or improved feature.
Sales objections based on price
12. "Your product looks great, but the price is too high."
Price is an evergreen concern in any sales process. While some salespeople try to pitch the lowest offer to undercut the competition, this can be a recipe for failure.
When a prospect comes up with a pricing objection, show them your solution’s worth and the change it’ll bring to their business. Paint a picture of all the roadblocks they’re currently facing and how your offering can resolve them.
13. “I need to use this budget somewhere else.”
If budgeting comes up as an objection, speak about your prospect’s current issues and how severe they can become in the future. In contrast to being riddled with these complicated problems, show them a hassle-free future when your solution has eliminated most issues, thus helping them increase their revenue.
14. “I can get a cheaper version somewhere else.”
Some prospects are looking for discounts, while others are actually paying less for a lower-quality alternative. To prove your point, offer a clear, comprehensive comparison of the two solutions.
Zero in on the features that make your offering better than its cheaper alternatives and back it up with customer results and testimonials.
Sales objections based on decision-making
15. “We only work with people we know.”
It’s difficult to break long-standing vendor relationships with a simple sales call. But it’s not impossible.
“Before you address an objection, you have to acknowledge and discover the true nature of the concern. So if someone says they only work with people they know, it’s because they're worried about the risk profile personally or professionally.
Maybe they’ll get fired if they make a bad investment, or they’re worried your business will shut down. Understanding the 'why' can help you address the actual objection instead of glossing over the details and making the prospect feel unheard.”
Sara Archer, VP of Sales at ChartMogul
16. “I need to check with my team first.”
A prospect might want a second opinion when they’re not confident enough about what you’re offering. Requesting a call with their team is one way of tackling the situation.
You can also respond to this objection with follow-up questions that allow you to reiterate your solution's value and gradually build up their confidence.
17. “I’m not the one making purchasing decisions.”
When your prospect doesn’t have the authority to sign the deal, find the right person to pitch to. Schedule a call with the decision-maker and pitch your solution to close the deal.
Pro tip: Try to confirm the person’s decision-making ability in the company early on your sales call to avoid putting in double the effort and minimizing the sales process for faster conversion.
A good salesperson knows how to turn a prospect's objections into opportunities. With our list of 17 common sales objections and the best ways to solve them, you’re equipped for overcoming objections that come your way.
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