How to handle any sales objection: 17 most common objections revealed
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 conversions.
Simply put, objection handling is the practice of breaking down the barriers that your prospects put up during your sales call. Preparing yourself to address any objections and ease any concerns gives you an edge to convince more people and multiply your sales.
Keep reading to learn more about handling sales objections and get a cheat sheet to tackle the 17 most common ones.
How to handle sales objections like a pro?
You can use sales objections to your advantage if you know how to respond well. However, as per a recent CSO Insights Study, 42% of sales reps feel they don’t have enough information before a sales call, let alone the tactics to handle objections best, which lead to lost sales.
You can avoid this by understanding what it takes to handle sales objections the right way from the get-go. Here are some best practices to level up your objection handling game:
- 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 their 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 you ask relevant follow-up questions to learn more about your prospects 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 to see the best response.
- Prepare an objection handling guide: Documenting all the objections you face can be very resourceful. Create a potential response or a set of follow-up questions for each type of objection and keep it handy during your sales calls. You can also turn it into an information bank using Weflow Notepad to help your team navigate such situations and add on to it for future uses.
Now that we’ve looked at some general best practices to nail objection handling, let’s look at how you can handle 17 of the most common and challenging sales objections of all time.
17 most challenging sales objections to tackle
Here are the most common sales objections you can face during sales, along with some proven solutions to handle them with ease. Stay with us till the end, and you’ll also find a downloadable checklist with a simple response formula for these objections:
Sales objections based on resources
- “We don’t have the capacity to implement the product.”
Take your time first 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/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, PickYourSkills
- “We’re doing fine with the status quo.”
This objection primarily reflects your prospect’s lack of interest to introduce a new resource in 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 towards a purchase.
- “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/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 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
- “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 product/service 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 product/service solves.
"Sell the prospect on money left on the table or time. 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, Mailmodo
- “Your product sounds great, but I'm too swamped right now.”
The time and effort required to adopt a new product/service 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 workflows and pin down problematic areas. Combat their concerns by showing how to improve their current setup and eliminate these specific roadblocks using your product/service. Even better, highlight similar use cases and case studies to convince them further.
- “I’m not ready for a buying conversation.”
It’s scientifically proven that 95% of buying decisions occur in the subconscious mind. So, 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 product/service. It’s all about delivering an emotionally-driven pitch at the right time by ticking the right pain point to trigger them.
- “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 to counter all the negatives of your competitors and offer a discount to cover up their losses after ending the contract.
Sales objections based on product value
- “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 patiently 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 things you offer and promise them a great experience backed by similar case studies and testimonials.
- “You don’t understand my challenges. I need help with Y, not X.”
It’s all right 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 you have just the solution for these pain points.
- “I don’t see the potential for ROI.”
If a prospect questions your product/service’s ROI, the salesperson in you can take the centerstage. First, explain your product’s core functionality and then highlight all its benefits. Remember: you’re selling your prospects the promise of a better future rather than just a product/service—sell through that.
- “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 mile to enter into a contract with prospects after considering their suggestions and promising that you will bridge their missing requirement soon with a new or improved feature.
Sales objections based on price
- "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, it’s a recipe for failure. When a prospect objects to your price, show them your product/service’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—indirectly saving them a lot of money.
- “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 product/service has eliminated most issues, thus helping them increase their revenue.
- “I can get a cheaper version somewhere else.”
Some prospects are looking for discounts while others are actually paying less for a lower-quality substitute. To prove your point, offer a clear, comprehensive comparison of the two products/services. 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
- “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, ChartMogul
- “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 product/service’s value and gradually build their confidence.
- “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 product/service to close the deal.
Pro tip: 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 objections into opportunities. With this list of 17 most common sales objections and the best ways to solve them, you’re all set to handle any objection like a pro.
Remember to have a meaningful conversation, be genuine in your pitch, and focus on converting your prospect’s pains into benefits.