Does hearing sales objections make you break into a cold sweat? Pushback and hesitations are par for the course, but master closers view them as opportunities to showcase value. Learn how to pivot objections into progress with strategies to acknowledge, counter, and overcome any reservation or concern.
Common Sales Objections and How to Overcome Them
Closing a sale often requires overcoming prospects’ objections. Master salespeople view objections as opportunities to better understand customer needs and demonstrate how their solution is the best fit. Here are five frequent sales objections and proven techniques to overcome them:
Price is one of the most common sales objections. Prospects may state competitors charge less, your prices are above their budget, or they can’t afford the total cost.
To overcome price pushback:
- Emphasize value over cost – Don’t get into a price war. Redirect the conversation to the value and ROI your solution delivers. Provide metrics illustrating how customers achieve a 3x, 5x, or 10x return on investment.
- Offer financing options – If budget is the concern, offer monthly payment plans, leases, or flexible financing to ease affordability objections. Reduce large upfront costs.
- Suggest a limited-time discount – Deals create urgency. Offer a special discount or limited-time coupon code to incentivize and overcome a tight budget.
- Bundle services – Throw in implementation, onboarding services, or premium support for the same price. The perceived extra value helps justify the price.
Customers may state they don’t need your product or service right now. They might say it’s not a priority or they’re getting by OK without it.
Tactics to overcome need objections:
- Ask probing questions – Dig deeper to understand what factors would increase their need and how you can provide additional value.
- Share success stories – Provide real-world examples and case studies that made customers realize they needed your product more than they thought.
- Emphasize product benefits – Outline how your specific features will make the prospect’s job easier, save money, or otherwise have a positive impact on their goals.
- Set up a free trial – Let prospects test out your product themselves. The hands-on experience demonstrates the value.
Prospects cite bad timing as a reason not to buy – their budget was already allocated, initiatives are frozen at end of quarter, plans up in the air due to internal changes, etc.
To work through timing objections:
- Offer to follow up at a better time – If they can’t act now, ask when you should check in again. Get a specific date commitment.
- Get on their calendar – Even if not purchasing yet, schedule a demo, discovery call, or consultation. Keep engaging.
- Offer to fast-track an order – For urgent needs, provide expedited onboarding and implementation. Offer first dibs on inventory for hot products.
- Leverage the calendar – For end of quarter deals, note Q1 budgets renew soon. Reach out early in buying cycles.
You may hear “we’re leaning toward Vendor X instead” or “Alternative Y seems like a better fit for us.” Prospects naturally want to compare providers.
Win over prospects considering competitors with:
- SWOT analysis – Determine competitors’ weaknesses and your strengths. Demonstrate how you’re superior.
- Risk reversal – Provide a satisfaction guarantee, price match promise, or free trial period with no obligations.
- Unique capabilities – Outline proprietary or patent-protected features only you offer. Stress how these translate to added value.
- Case studies – Provide customer testimonials and case studies focused on switching from competitors.
- FUD strategies – Sow “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” around competitors’ limitations, costs, customer service, etc.
Prospects may say they need sign off from other stakeholders – a spouse, partner, CFO, board, etc. – before purchasing.
Strategies for overcoming decision-maker objections:
- Suggest including other decision-makers – Offer to meet with the group to provide information and answer all questions.
- Send information for sharing – Provide assets like demos and trial access the prospect can forward to decision-makers.
- Offer a free trial – Let stakeholders test out the product and share feedback. Experience drives consensus.
- Offer references – Decision-makers often want to speak to current users. Offer relevant customer references.
- Follow up persistently – Keep lines of communication open with both the prospect and other decision-makers.
Mastering objections takes practice. Catalog common objections for your industry in a spreadsheet. Roleplay exchanges with a colleague. Study objection handling frameworks like the Challenger sale method. The more prepared you are, the better you’ll handle customer pushback and turn objections into opportunities.
Examples of Handling Objections in Different Sales Situations
Objections arise frequently across all industries and verticals. However, the specific nature of pushback often differs based on the unique needs, concerns, and priorities in any given field. Here are examples of overcoming common objections in key sales sectors:
B2B Software Sales
In enterprise software sales, budget constraints are a huge obstacle. Procurement teams are wary of overcommitting budgets even for solutions that offer robust ROI.
Ways software sales reps can tackle budget objections:
- Start with a limited pilot – Offer to rollout your platform to a small department or user count first. Deliver stellar results, then expand usage.
- Provide monthly pricing – Quote costs as a monthly fee versus large lump sum to ease sticker shock. Offer month-to-month terms.
- Leverage real ROI examples – Reference cases where clients achieved over 100% ROI in under 6 months after investing in your solution.
- Offer customized pricing – For early adopters, provide discounted rates in return for case studies and referrals.
- Emphasize scalability – Note minimal fees to scale usage across the organization after initial pilot success.
Medical Device Sales
Doctors and hospital administrators consider patient outcomes and care disruption above all. Pushback includes concerns about workflows, training, and long-term clinical benefits versus risks.
Healthcare sales teams can overcome these objections by:
- Providing extensive training – Allocate resources to thoroughly train care teams on usage, integration, workflows, and maintenance.
- Touting improved patient outcomes – Reference quantified metrics from trials and studies evidencing better diagnosis, lower mortality rates, faster recovery times, etc.
- Highlighting long-term cost savings – Note how higher upfront costs are offset by reduced expenses for complications, hospital stays, medications long term.
- Offering staff incentives – Provide bonus packages to department heads and staff for hitting adoption milestones.
- Arranging peer discussions – Connect prospects with current customers at similar health systems to share best practices.
Auto salespeople deal with deeply ingrained brand affinity and perceptions. Overcoming preference for competitors requires:
- Letting them test drive – Few tactics are more powerful than putting customers in the driver’s seat. Enable them to experience performance and features firsthand.
- Focusing on deals, not brands – Provide objective metrics around MPG, maintenance costs, safety ratings, and resale value versus segment averages.
- Offering incentives – Incentivize competing model trade-ins. Offer free upgrades like leather seats, sunroofs, or extended warranties to clinch deals.
- Highlighting unique strengths – Drill into proprietary tech features, niche capabilities, or segment-leading specs competitors lack.
- Providing owner testimonials – Nothing sways like hearing validation directly from other customers via referrals and case studies.
Insurance sales objections center around intangible products and data privacy fears. Alleviate these concerns by:
- Explaining policy safeguards – Provide specifics around fraud monitoring, access limitations, encryption, breach precautions, and cybersecurity.
- Highlighting regulations – Cite legal requirements around data handling and retention policies you strictly adhere to.
- Offering limited personal data collection – Segment sensitive identifiers like SSNs from other data needed for quoting and underwriting.
- Using third-party validators – Spotlight security and privacy certifications from standards bodies like ISO, NIST, and HITRUST.
- Sharing satisfaction statistics – Provide impressive company net promoter or satisfaction scores that exemplify customer trust.
Real Estate Sales
“Location, location, location” takes center stage for realtors. Pushback includes factors like commute times, school districts, neighborhood reputation, and crime rates.
Real estate agents can overcome location objections through:
- Providing neighborhood comps – Pull together detailed analysis on relative pricing, square footage, days on market, and sold prices for the immediate submarket.
- Driving tours of the area – Take buyers on extensive drives around key destinations like work and schools during less busy times to experience traffic.
- Connecting with references – Introduce prospects to current residents who can describe day-to-day life and share insider perspectives.
- Highlighting hidden values – Uncover unique selling points like upcoming community renovations and commercial developments, expansion plans, and hard-to-find amenities.
- Offering decor and renovation allowances – Provide discounts, rebates, or gift cards that buyers can invest to make properties their own.
The specific objections that arise will always depend on industry dynamics. But mastering core objection handling tenets – like asking clarifying questions, emphasizing value, providing social proof, and offering incentives – will help salespeople in any field overcome prospect hesitations.
Best Practices for Handling Sales Objections
Mastering objection handling is an art that takes practice. Follow these proven best practices to address prospect pushback effectively:
Acknowledge the Objection
Instead of rushing to counter objections, validate the customer’s concerns. Phrases like “I understand where you’re coming from” and “That’s a fair concern” show you empathize.
- You’re an active listener focused on their needs.
- The objection is reasonable and you’ve heard it before.
- You appreciate they raised the concern to have an open dialogue.
Validating first builds trust and rapport. The customer feels heard before you respond with a solution.
Ask Clarifying Questions
Before countering, probe deeper by asking:
- “What makes you feel that way specifically?”
- “What’s the main factor driving this concern?”
- “Help me understand more about your reservation.”
Clarifying questions expose the true motivation behind objections. Customers may state price is an issue when the root cause is really timeline, lack of perceived value, or preference for a competitor. Dig into specifics so you can craft targeted rebuttals.
Once you’ve validated and further clarified the objection, provide counterpoints addressing the customer’s specific concern.
Share facts, data, assurances, and anecdotes that directly refute objections including:
- ROI metrics and implementation timelines countering cost concerns.
- Trial and money-back guarantees alleviating risk aversion.
- Success stories from customers with the same objection.
- Relevant statistics aligned to their business KPIs.
The more you can customize rebuttals around the prospect’s objection, the more persuasive the counterpoint.
According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations over advertising. Customer testimonials provide third-party validation that helps prospects get past hesitations.
Ways to integrate testimonials in your objection handling script:
- “That’s a common concern, but Customers X, Y, and Z who felt similarly found…”
- “Our research found objection X is a top concern, but 100% of surveyed customers said…”
- “I understand, I used to think that as well until I heard Client A say…”
Build a library of video, written, and verbal testimonials from across your customer base to leverage as social proof tailored to common objections.
Follow Up Post-Sale
The sales process doesn’t end once the deal is signed. Following up post-sale builds loyalty and prevents buyer’s remorse.
Best practices for customer success follow-ups around objections include:
- Revisiting initial concerns after setup and asking, “Now that you’ve used our solution, how does it address Objection X?”
- Conducting regular business reviews to reinforce ROI and value.
- Having customer testimonials reference post-sale experience versus initial hesitations.
- Proactively cross-selling and upselling additional services to extend perceived value.
- Fostering relationships with engaged, high-touch account management.
Keeping lines of communication open long after the sale provides opportunities to reiterate how you’ve alleviated initial objections. The trust established paves the way for repeat business and referrals.
Skills and Mindsets For Overcoming Objections
Handling objections effectively requires salespeople to leverage specific skills and mindsets. Here are 5 key competencies for overcoming customer hesitations:
Active listening demonstrates the salesperson is engaged and cares about the prospect’s viewpoint. When objections arise:
- Maintain eye contact, nod along, and refrain from interrupting.
- Take notes on details around hesitations to address later.
- Ask clarifying questions once prospect has finished speaking.
- Briefly restate the objection to confirm understanding before responding.
Avoid trying to talk over prospects or quickly rebut. Let them fully voice concerns and feel heard.
Emotional intelligence involves recognizing prospect emotions conveyed through body language, tone, and words. Notice signs like:
- Crossed arms indicating discomfort or defensiveness.
- Furrowed brows showing confusion or frustration.
- Leaning away implying desire to disengage.
- Downward glances signaling shame or embarrassment.
Tune into emotional cues so you can modify your own body language and tone to show empathy. This builds connection vital for overcoming objections.
Since objections are often unpredictable, salespeople need quick thinking skills to respond in the moment. Sharpen abilities like:
- Mental flexibility – Adapt smoothly to tangents or new topics.
- Cognitive agility – Process information and pivot talking points on the fly.
- Improvisation – Make up natural sounding responses with minimal hesitation.
- Storytelling – Weave in anecdotes and analogies spur of the moment.
These skills allow confident handling of objections even when caught off guard.
Leverage proven persuasion frameworks to influence mindsets and reduce resistance. Useful techniques include:
- Scarcity – Limiting access conveys exclusivity that overcomes hesitations. Use phrases like “only 5 spots remain.”
- Social proof – Testimonials reinforce you’re a safe choice since “hundreds of customers recommend us.”
- Reciprocity – Free gifts or trials create obligation and goodwill. “I’ll give you X if you’ll do Y.”
- Cognitive dissonance – Use contrast like “You want X, but your doubts cause Y.” Inspire alignment between beliefs and actions.
Apply persuasion judiciously to nudge customers past objections.
Tenacity and Resilience
Experienced salespeople hear “no” frequently and still close on persistence. Cultivate resilience through:
- Detachment from outcomes – View objections as helpful input rather than rejection.
- Tolerance for discomfort – Expect objections and awkward interactions rather than avoiding.
- Adaptability – If one approach fails, brainstorm alternatives. Pivot strategies when needed.
- Optimism – Approach objections energetically as chances to improve. Assume positive intent.
With tenacity and resilience, “no” simply means “not yet” as you creatively work toward “yes.”
Developing these mindsets and skills takes practice through roleplaying, recordings, coaching, and experience facing real objections. But mastering them enables salespeople to handle any customer hesitation smoothly and effectively.
Tools and Resources for Objection Handling
Beyond skills, salespeople need the right tools and resources to master objection handling. Useful assets include:
Catalog common objections from past deals in a spreadsheet under columns like:
- Objection – Quote the verbatim language prospects use.
- Root Cause – Note underlying motivation, fear, or need driving objection.
- Response – Script effective counters grounded in value, social proof, etc.
- Result – Record deal outcome after deploying response.
With objections documented, salespeople can match pushback to proven responses and continuously refine based on results.
Objection Role Playing
Practice exchanges with a colleague or manager in mock objection role playing sessions.
- Take turns raising common objections while the other rebuts them.
- Try varying tone, body language, and intensity to mimic real interactions.
- Ask your coach to provide feedback on how smoothly you handle objections after.
- Repeat practice on areas of weakness until objection handling feels natural.
Role playing builds muscle memory for responding to pushback spontaneously.
Call Recording Software
Tools like Gong or Chorus allow recording real sales calls to review objection handling response quality.
- Analyze recordings and transcripts to identify areas for improvement.
- Note missed opportunities to ask clarifying questions or provide social proof.
- Have a coach score calls and provide feedback tied to key performance indicators.
- Practice implementing improvements on future calls until objections become a non-issue.
Recordings create visible benchmarks for refining objection handling skills.
Sales Enablement Materials
Prepare one-pagers, slide decks, software demos, ROI calculators, and other enablement materials to reference or share with prospects when objections arise.
Sales enablement resources help because:
- Visually showing ROI overcomes price/budget objections.
- Step-by-step demos clarify capabilities and usage.
- Case studies address concerns about other clients and use cases.
- Cheat sheets keep responses consistent across the team.
Having artifacts pre-prepared reduces scramble when objections get raised.Sales Methodology Training
Investing in sales methodology training equips teams with frameworks tailored to objection handling including:
- SPIN – Ask situation, problem, implication, and need-payoff questions.
- Challenger – Debate to align to prospect priorities and transform thinking.
- MEDDIC – Resolve concerns via metrics, economic buyer status, decision criteria, etc.
- Socratic – Ask probing questions guiding prospects to the right conclusions.
Combined with practice, methodology training boosts skills for tackling objections.
With the right tools like spreadsheets, roleplaying, call reviews, sales materials, and methodologies, objection handling transforms from a fear to a strength. Salespeople gain confidence they can turn any pushback into progress towards a deal.
Key Takeaways for Overcoming Sales Objections
- Anticipate the most common objections for your industry like pricing, competitor comparisons, or budget constraints. Prepare customized responses to address each.
- Let prospects fully voice objections rather than interrupting them. Validate concerns first to show empathy before countering.
- Ask probing questions to uncover the true root motivation behind objections. You can then craft targeted rebuttals.
- Provide facts, statistics, testimonials, and case studies that directly counter the objection from the prospect’s perspective.
- Follow best practices like reciprocity, scarcity, and social proof to influence mindsets when responding.
- Develop skills in active listening, emotional intelligence, quick thinking, and tenacity to handle objections smoothly.
- Leverage tools like objection trackers, role playing, call reviews, and sales methodologies to improve objection handling.
- Follow up post-sale to reconfirm you’ve addressed initial hesitations and build lasting trust and loyalty.
Handling sales objections is an art that improves with preparation and practice. Master these tips and objection handling becomes a competitive advantage rather than an obstacle.
Frequently Asked Questions About Handling Sales Objections
What are the most common sales objections?
The most frequent objections are around price/budget, competitor comparisons, timing/urgency, stakeholder concerns, and not seeing a clear need for the product. Know responses tailored to each.
How can I get better at handling objections on the spot?
Practice through roleplaying, record yourself in practice calls, and get feedback from managers and coaches. The more you practice responding spontaneously, the more natural it will feel.
What if I don’t have an answer immediately when an objection gets raised?
It’s perfectly acceptable to say you want to gather some additional info and will follow up with them shortly. This shows you are committed to finding the right solution, not just providing a quick, inadequate response.
How can I tell if an objection is the real reason for pushback versus an excuse?
Ask clarifying questions and really listen to understand the core motivation behind the objection. If multiple reasons get cited, that can indicate a core objection they are hesitant to share.
Is there a formulaic framework I can use when responding to objections?
The SPIN and Challenger frameworks provide methodologies to probe, test assumptions, and guide the prospect. While they are useful, the best approach blends structure with listening intently and responding conversationally.
How do I get prospects to open up about hesitations?
Make it clear objections don’t offend you and that you welcome candid feedback. Ask in a curious, non-judgmental manner. Build enough rapport so they feel comfortable sharing real concerns.
Should I ask for objections during a sales call? Why or why not?
Only ask directly near the end if none arose organically. It shows you care about identifying potential hang-ups. But over-focusing on objections can plant doubt versus emphasizing value.