Handling Sales Objections: A Comprehensive Guide

Sales objections can feel daunting. But with the right skills, mindset and preparation, you can turn common concerns into opportunities to create value, nurture relationships, and drive deals forward. This comprehensive guide equips you to master objection handling across every stage of the sales process. You’ll learn how to uncover the root causes of objections, lead with empathy, provide persuasive rebuttals, continuously improve your skills, and reframe pushback into progress. Follow these proven objection handling strategies to boost confidence, strengthen trust with prospects, and become a high-performing sales professional

Understanding Sales Objections

Sales objections are a natural part of the sales process. At some point in your sales conversations, prospects will express concerns or reservations about moving forward with a purchase. Handling objections is an essential sales skill, but first you need to understand where objections come from and the most common types.

What is a Sales Objection?

A sales objection is any concern raised by a prospect that creates a barrier to closing the deal. It is an indication that you need to address additional aspects of the buying process. Objections typically stem from the buyer’s “lack” of ability in certain areas:

  • Lack of need – The prospect doesn’t believe they have a need for your product or service.
  • Lack of urgency – The prospect doesn’t see your product as a priority.
  • Lack of value – The prospect doesn’t understand how your product can benefit them.
  • Lack of trust – The prospect lacks confidence in your company or product.
  • Lack of proof – The prospect needs more evidence your product works.
  • Lack of budget – The prospect doesn’t have budget allocated for this purchase.

At their core, objections signify that the buyer is not yet convinced of the value and relevance of your offering to their situation.

Why Do Prospects Raise Objections?

Prospects raise sales objections for several understandable reasons:

  • They have genuine concerns – It’s reasonable for prospects to have questions before making a major purchase. Voicing objections allows them to clarify details.
  • They want more information – Objections give prospects a chance to gather additional information from you.
  • They are comparison shopping – Prospects may raise objections to gauge if you’ll come back with a better offer.
  • They don’t want to seem easy – Some prospects raise minor objections on principle, even if they plan to buy.
  • They need justification – Objections let prospects rationalize the purchase internally or when speaking to managers.
  • They don’t know how to say “no” – An objection can be a polite way to say they aren’t interested without directly rejecting you.

The key is not to take objections personally. They are simply part of the natural sales cycle.

Common Types of Sales Objections

While objections can take many forms, most fall into a few major categories:

Budget and Pricing Concerns

  • “It’s too expensive.”
  • “We don’t have any budget left this quarter.”

These are very common, but prospects may also have deeper concerns beneath the stated budget objection.

Pointing to Competitors

  • “We’re already using [Competitor X].”
  • “I can get this cheaper from someone else.”

This allows you to position yourself positively against competitors.

Lack of Need or Urgency

  • “I’m not interested right now.”
  • “We’re doing fine without this.”

figure out if timing is the real issue or if they are brushing you off.

Implementation Concerns

  • “We don’t have resources to implement this.”
  • “It seems too complex for our needs.”

Assess whether prospects truly can’t adopt your product or if fears are addressable.

Lack of Authority

Politely ask to speak with the actual economic buyer.

With practice, you will get better at categorizing objections and identifying the true underlying concerns. This allows you to craft responses that directly address prospects’ issues.

The key is not to argue against the objection, but to uncover the root cause and lead prospects to reconsider their position. With empathy, logic, and evidence, you can often turn objections into opportunities to create value and nurture deals to close.

Key Strategies for Handling Objections

Sales objections are inevitable, but how you respond to them can make or break a deal. Handling objections is both an art and a science. Follow these proven strategies to address concerns effectively at every stage of the sales process.

Anticipate and Prepare for Objections

The best way to handle objections is to expect them and prepare in advance. Take time to research your prospect’s company, industry, and role. Familiarize yourself with common pain points and challenges for similar organizations.

You can also draw from past deals experience. What concerns have prospects in this field raised before? Compile a list of frequent objections and practice responses.

Having answers ready will help you respond smoothly when concerns arise. But you still need to customize objections based on the prospect’s specific situation.

Actively Listen to Understand Root Causes

When a prospect voices an objection, resist the urge to rebut it immediately. Instead, use active listening skills to fully understand their concern.

Give your prospect space to explain without interruption. Ask follow-up questions to draw out more details if needed. Reflect what you heard using your own words. This shows the prospect you have been listening and allows them to clarify any misunderstandings.

Active listening builds rapport and trust. It also gives you valuable information to uncover the true root causes behind objections.

Validate Concerns with Empathy

Rather than arguing against an objection, first validate the prospect’s perspective. Let them know you understand where they are coming from.

Even if an objection seems illogical to you, it is likely reasonable from the prospect’s point of view. When you make prospects feel heard, they will be more receptive to hearing your responses later.

Sincerely empathizing with concerns also builds critical trust and shows you have the customer’s best interests in mind.

Ask Thoughtful Follow-Up Questions

Follow-up questions keep dialog moving forward naturally. Open-ended questions that allow prospects to elaborate are best.

After a pricing objection for example, ask “What factors into your decision-making process around budget?” or “How do you currently allocate resources for tools like this?”

The goal is to gather details to shape your responses, not just accept a canned objection at face value.

Provide Evidence to Overcome Concerns

To effectively reposition your product or service, you need to present compelling evidence tailored to the prospect’s concern.

For a value objection, share specific ways your product can impact their goals or KPIs backed by metrics. Customer testimonials from similar businesses can be very persuasive.

For complex products, offer free trials or demos. Anything that lets you demonstrate the value directly can help prospects look past objections.

Leverage Testimonials and Case Studies

Social proof is powerful in sales. When prospects hear directly from other customers about how they overcame the same concerns, it lends credibility to your message.

Compile targeted testimonials and case studies as part of your objection handling preparation. With permission, pull the most relevant examples for each major objection type.

Being able to reference a detailed, data-driven case study can help prospects envision success, driving home your value and ability to address their concerns.

Set Next Steps and Follow Up

It is rare to completely overcome an objection with one response. After addressing concerns, focus on moving forward positively.

Ask what next steps would help convince the prospect or suggest a follow-up call to explore their needs in more depth. Set meetings with technical experts or end users at the prospect’s company if needed.

Following up shows persistence without being pushy. Share useful resources in the meantime to stay top of mind. If objections remain, accept it gracefully rather than arguing.

With the right balance of empathy, logic, preparation, and persistence, you can often shift initial objections into opportunities. The most effective salespeople view objections as progress indicators on the path to mutual understanding and trust.

Responding to Specific Sales Objections

While objections may arise at any stage, certain types commonly occur during initial sales conversations. Let’s look at effective responses to some of the most frequent specific objections.

Pricing and Budget Concerns

Objections related to cost and budget are among the most prevalent. Prospects may say:

  • “It’s too expensive.”
  • “We don’t have room in our budget this quarter.”

Rather than immediately lowering your price, first seek to understand their perspective. Ask follow-up questions:

  • “How do you currently allocate budget for solutions like ours?”
  • “How do you measure ROI for purchases in this range?”

This gives context to determine if it is truly an affordability issue or if the prospect needs more value education.

If budget is a core concern, highlight payment plans, financing options, or lower tiers of your product line that may suit their constraints today. For prospects with rigid budgeting processes, offer to work with them to build a case for reallocating future budget.

The goal is to show you can provide ROI and impact within the framework of their financial processes and limitations.

Competitor-Related Objections

You may hear objections like:

  • “We already use [Competitor X].”
  • “Your competitor offered this for less.”

Rather than dismissing the competitor, use it as an opportunity to differentiate your offering. Ask what they like and don’t like about their current solution. Then explain how your product excels in areas that competitor falls short.

If the objection is pricing related, quantify the upside of your product over competitors in terms of ROI. Outline how your superior product and level of service justify the pricing.

The more you can tie benefits back directly to their unique needs, the better.

Lack of Need or Urgency

Prospects may claim:

  • “This isn’t a priority for us right now.”
  • “We’re doing fine without this.”

First, aim to get specifics on what challenges they’re currently facing. Then reiterate how your product specifically addresses those needs.

Offer data or case studies demonstrating the tangible results enjoyed by companies who once said the same thing, but decided to adopt your solution.

While urgency is ideal, lack of urgency does not necessarily mean lack of need. Follow up persistently to keep engaging.

Lack of Authority to Buy

You may hear objections like:

Don’t take it personally. Verify you are talking to the right contact, then politely ask for an introduction to the actual buyer.

Offer to provide the prospect with resources and information to pass along to the decision maker on your behalf.

If access is strictly limited, explore creative ways to get your message to the authority indirectly through use cases, testimonials, and sector data.

Implementation and Change Concerns

Common objections include:

  • “We don’t have resources to take this on right now.”
  • “Our systems aren’t set up to support a change.”

Empathize with the practical realities they face while explaining how you will minimize disruption.

Offer implementation resources, extensive support, and change management guidance. Where possible, provide a phased rollout plan tailored to their circumstances.

If a free trial is feasible, this can effectively demonstrate how seamless adoption can be. Follow up relentlessly to reaffirm you can ease the transition.

Objection Handling Mistakes to Avoid

When faced with sales objections, it’s natural to get flustered. But giving knee-jerk reactions or failing to probe deeper often backfires. Avoid these common missteps when managing objections.

Getting Defensive or Combative

It’s understandable to feel defensive when prospects criticize your product, company, or industry. However, becoming combative destroys trust and kills deals faster than any objection.

Responding with comments like:

  • “You’re wrong. That’s simply not true.”
  • “That’s ridiculous. No one else has had that problem.”
  • “You just don’t get it. Let me spell it out for you.”

This aggressive energy will make the prospect shut down. They will become closed off to any helpful explanations you try to provide.

No matter how misguided an objection seems, avoid directly contradicting prospects. Keep calm and acknowledge their viewpoint respectfully before responding.

Glossing Over Objections

When a prospect raises an objection, some salespeople divert the conversation to a different topic rather than addressing it.

They may say things like:

  • “Let’s circle back to that later and discuss X instead.”
  • “That’s an interesting point, but more importantly…”
  • “I understand your concern, but did you see this new product we released?”

While redirection can sometimes help reset a tense conversation, blatantly glossing over objections breeds distrust.

Prospects want to feel heard. Take time to dig deeper into concerns rather than dodging them. Even if you revisit the issue later, demonstrate you are taking objections seriously.

Making Assumptions

It’s easy to hear an objection and subconsciously fill in details to fit your expectations. But this often leads to inaccurate assumptions.

For example, after a pricing objection, you may assume:

  • They are low on budget rather than lacking value justification.
  • A competitor offered a lower price when no competitor was mentioned.
  • The concern is temporary rather than a firm rejection.

Resist the urge to make assumptions. Only conclude you understand an objection after asking many follow-up questions to confirm full context.

Offering Discounts Too Quickly

Discounting immediately after a pricing objection reinforces that your solution is overpriced. It also opens the door for prospects to demand deeper discounts down the line.

Instead, respond to pricing concerns by demonstrating value through metrics, testimonials, and ROI data.

Outlining what makes your solution unique compared to alternatives can justify pricing. Discounts should be a last resort option.

With preparation and restraint, you can avoid knee-jerk responses to objections that diminish trust. Handling objections is an acquired skill. Be patient with yourself as you learn to apply objection handling strategies effectively.

Tools and Training for Objection Handling

Successfully overcoming sales objections requires practice and preparation. Invest in tools and training to master objection handling skills.

Objection Handling Scripts and Rebuttals

Scripted rebuttals help sales teams address common objections effectively and consistently. Compile scripts based on frequent objections and top performing responses.

Start by categorizing objections that arise regularly. For example:

  • Pricing
  • Need
  • Competitors
  • Decision-making authority

Gather input from your sales team on which concerns they face most often. Also review call recordings to identify reoccurring themes.

Next, develop 2-3 rebuttal templates for each major objection category. Test them and refine the language based on results.

Distribute objection handling scripts to reps through your CRM or sales enablement system. Encourage them to practice the rebuttals until responses sound natural.

Sales Call Recording and Analysis

Recording sales calls allows in-depth assessment of how objections are being handled. Sales leaders can review recordings and provide constructive feedback.

Identify patterns in how objections are raised and approached. Evaluate body language, tone, pacing, and word choice used by both parties.

Discuss what is working well and where skills could improve. Peers can also review calls and share objection handling techniques.

Software tools like Gong, Chorus.ai, and Outreach make call recording and analysis built for sales teams accessible.

Sales Team Coaching and Roleplaying

One-on-one coaching and group roleplaying build objection handling skills through hands-on practice.

In roleplaying, reps take turns voicing common objections while their peers practice responding. Rotate roles so everyone gets comfortable handling different types of pushback.

Sales leaders can observe roleplaying sessions and provide immediate feedback. Praise tactics that worked and offer alternatives to try for areas needing growth.

Make roleplaying part of your regular sales team meeting cadence. Objection handling improves dramatically with ongoing practice and support.

Online Courses and Video Training

Digital sales training programs allow reps to master objection handling skills at their own pace.

Look for courses that combine educational videos with downloadable resources, Q&A sessions, and roleplaying exercises.

Select programs aligned with your sales methodology. For example, Sandler Training offers objection handling courses consistent with the Sandler method.

Invest in quality video training covering objection strategies tailored to your industry and products. Refresh skills regularly through microlearning.

With tools like objection scripts, call analysis, coaching, and online sales training, you can turn your team into objection masters. Objection handling excellence fuels sales success.

Keys for Continuous Improvement

Mastery of objection handling is an ongoing journey. Use these strategies to keep honing and improving your skills over time.

Track and Categorize Objections

Compile data on objections by logging them in your CRM. Note details like:

  • Type of objection
  • Responses provided
  • Result of conversation

Analyze patterns and trends. Which objections arise most across your team? Where are reps struggling vs excelling?

Track how specific rebuttals perform. Identify statements that consistently overcome or fail to resolve concerns.

Categorizing this data allows you to doubles down on what works and improve where needed.

Regularly Update Responses

Objection handling is not static. As you encounter new concerns, competitors, and market conditions, refresh your repertoire.

Schedule time quarterly to review top objections and whether any sound outdated. Can you strengthen certain responses with new case studies?

Involve your sales team in revising and testing rebuttals. Use their feedback on prospect reactions to refine wording, tone, and tactics.

Updating responses ensures you have objection handling statements that persuasively address prospects’ current reality and concerns.

Seek Feedback from Prospects

Survey prospects who raised objections about how effectively you addressed their concerns, even if you did not win the deal.

Ask questions like:

  • How satisfied were you with how our team handled your objections?
  • Was there any part of the response that could be improved?
  • What additional information could have helped address your concerns?

Prospects will appreciate you seeking their perspective. Their insights can reveal blindspots in how objections responses are landing.

Use feedback to strengthen areas where prospects indicate you fell short. Review responses they found persuasive to apply those tactics more widely.

Share Best Practices with Sales Team

Have reps regularly share objection handling wins and advice in team meetings. Along with your coaching, this facilitates peer-to-peer learning.

When a rep discovers a new approach that works well, have them walk through what they said and did. Discuss the reaction it elicited from the prospect.

Compile examples of excellent objection handling into an internal playbook. This lets you propagate successful techniques rapidly throughout the sales organization.

Make discussions of objections an engrained part of your sales culture. This ensures institutional knowledge around managing concerns keeps growing.

With a commitment to continuous improvement, your team’s objection handling skills will reach new levels. You will build a sales force empowered to turn objections into opportunities.


Handling sales objections is challenging, but also an opportunity to demonstrate value, gain trust, and strengthen relationships. With the right skills and preparation, you can reframe objections into positives.

Summary of Key Points

Effective objection handling requires understanding where concerns come from, tactful responses, and continuous improvement of your skills. Key takeaways include:

  • Objections signify prospects need more information to make a buying decision. Don’t take them personally.
  • Anticipate likely concerns ahead of time based on the prospect’s role, company, industry, and your past deals.
  • Use active listening and empathy first before attempting to rebut objections. This builds crucial rapport.
  • Follow up objections with thoughtful questions to better understand root causes and context. Avoid assumptions.
  • Provide targeted evidence through metrics, case studies, demos, and testimonials tailored to each objection.
  • Set next steps to continue nurturing the deal after addressing concerns. Not all objections can be resolved in one conversation.
  • Track and analyze objections for patterns. Regularly update responses and scripts to reflect the current market landscape.
  • Make objection handling an engrained part of your sales training. Roleplay scenarios and share proven tactics across your sales team.

Parting Thoughts on Objection Handling

With preparation and persistence, you can master objection handling. But expectations also need calibration. As the adage goes, even the best salespeople hear “no” five times for every “yes.” Objections are not automatic deal breakers.

Maintain confidence in the value you provide. If objections indicate a genuine misfit despite your best efforts, be willing to walk away rather than pursuing leads that will never convert. Not every deal is worth chasing.

Strive for progress over perfection with objection handling. Expect wins and losses along the way. Learn from prospects who stand firm on concerns. Some obstacles simply cannot be overcome, and that is okay.

Approach objection handling as an opportunity to understand your prospects. With enough empathy, flexibility, and resilience, you can turn many concerns into catalysts for closing deals and forging customer relationships that span years.

Key Takeaways

  • Objections are a natural part of the sales process to uncover and address prospect concerns. Don’t avoid them – embrace objection handling.
  • Research prospects extensively to anticipate likely objections based on their role, company, industry, and past deals.
  • Lead with empathy when responding to objections. Seek first to understand rather than rushing to rebut.
  • Ask thoughtful follow-up questions to get to the root of concerns. Don’t make assumptions.
  • Provide targeted evidence and social proof that speaks directly to the prospect’s objections.
  • Set next steps after addressing concerns to keep dialog moving forward positively. Follow up persistently.
  • Log and analyze objections for patterns. Continuously improve responses and share proven tactics across your team.
  • With the right skills and preparation, you can reframe objections into opportunities to create value and nurture deals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common sales objections?

The most frequent objections relate to pricing, budget, competitor comparisons, lack of need or urgency, implementation concerns, and lack of authority to make purchasing decisions.

How do you respond to “Your price is too high”?

Avoid discounting right away. First understand your prospect’s budget process and constraints. Emphasize the value your product delivers compared to alternatives. Outline ROI and potential cost savings. Offer payment plans if affordability is the main issue. Use discounts sparingly as a last resort.

What if a prospect says they’re happy with a competitor?

Ask what they like and dislike about the competitor solution. Highlight where your product excels in areas where the competitor falls short. Provide evidence your solution is superior for their unique needs.

How should you respond to “We don’t have budget for this”?

Ask when they expect budget to free up. Offer to help build a case for reallocating future budget. If the timing won’t work, explore creatively bridging the gap through financing options or a phased rollout. Guide them through your value messaging to obtain executive buy-in.

What do you do if a prospect says it’s not a priority?

Politely try to understand their current challenges and priorities. Draw connections to how your product addresses their needs and goals. Use case studies to demonstrate the risks of delaying adoption. Follow up persistently to keep engaging.

How should you handle “I’m not the decision maker”?

Don’t take it personally. Verify you are talking to the right contact, then ask for an introduction to the actual economic buyer. Offer to provide the prospect with resources and information to share internally on your behalf.

What if a prospect says “Your product seems too complex”?

Empathize that change can be challenging. Offer extensive onboarding support, training resources, and staggered rollout plans to ease adoption. Connect them with your customer success team to address concerns.