A quick masterclass in objection handling for anyone looking to overcome the most common sales objections
Every sales rep who spends time making outbound dials knows the pain of facing objection after objection. It can be hard to think on the fly and understand how to very quickly and effectively unpack the prospects’ objections and pivot the conversation to the outcome the seller is seeking. Here we will outline some of the most common objections you’ll hear in sales and some objection handling pro tips for all sorts of objection examples. We’ll even share a contest template to turn rejection into a game and surface the exact calls managers can coach around through gamification.
Sales objection examples and how to handle them
A good practice to improve objection handling is to write down some of the most common examples you encounter in your job and write down / practice ways to overcome them until you feel so confident that you could objection handle in your sleep. To help you get started, here are some examples of very common objections that sellers hear day in and day out, and how to handle them with ease.
👩💻Handling the "Not the decision maker” objection
Prospect: “Hey. Appreciate the pitch, but I don’t want to waste your time. I’m not the decision maker here.”
Seller: “That’s more than fine that you’re not the decision maker. I’m actually not looking for you to make any decisions here. If we can uncover that our solution would be helpful to you and solve some pains you are facing, then I can work to understand what the finance team, bosses, executive buyers care about that they would actually be willing to spend money on.”
Pro tip: Disarm the prospect by telling them that they don’t need to make any decisions. Set up time to learn about the business, how they buy, and see if you can create a champion by selling closer to the pain before you go up the chain working to sell to an executive buyer.
📧Handling the “Send me an email” objection
Prospect: “Hey, just send me an email with this info.”
Seller: “Done. I’ll draft it right now. What’s one thing I can put in that email that will make the open worth it to you. What’s the number one problem, pain, challenge that you are hoping to solve?”
Pro tip: This same tactic works for the “call me next quarter” objection as well. Get them talking immediately about the one thing they want solved and you can pivot the pitch for how you solve that.
⏰Handling the “Not a good time to buy” objection
Prospect: “Sorry. We’re busy with other initiatives. Now isn’t a good time to buy”
Seller: “I totally get that. I definitely wasn’t expecting you to be ready to buy right away. If it WAS a good time, is a solution that would do <insert your value prop> and deliver <insert ROI> be something you would be interested in having a conversation about?”
Pro tip: In addition to the points made above, gathering more intel on “when would be a good time to buy?” and “What are your company’s priorities right now?” are great openers to get more information on how the particular company does buy.
💸Handling the “No budget” objection
Prospect: “I don’t have any budget.”
Seller: “I totally get that. Definitely not surprised you don’t have anything earmarked for a solution that you are just discovering. If you did have budget, would you be interested in a conversation? And then, If you don’t see value once we show you our solution, the cost will be zero. Is the possibility of improving your performance worth investing 13 minutes together?”
Pro tip: Isolating the objection in this way allows you to focus them on the one specific objection they led with and then you could provide a logical counter that only asks the prospect for a small investment. Another commonly used tactic for handling the budget objection is “do you always wait until you do have budget to start learning about new ways to solve the <types of problems you solve for>?” This disarms the prospect to know this can be an informal, educational conversation that you could then work to find budget for together.
🆘Handling the “We have other initiatives taking priority” objection
Prospect: “Thanks, but we just have other initiatives that are taking priority right now.”
Seller: “If you didn’t have other priorities, would you see value here? Based on how you are laying out your strategic priorities, it sounds like you typically plan in advance and not make reactive decisions, is that right? May I make a recommendation to set aside 13 minutes together next week to show you how our solution helps and you can make a decision whether or not you’d like to plan for this in the future?”
👎Handling the “Not interested” objection
Prospect: “Thanks, but I’m not interested.”
Seller: “Three common questions to ask the prospect when they are rushing you off the phone and saying they aren’t interested are:
What is it that you are not interested in?
What led you to that conclusion?
What makes you say that?”
Protip: Genuine curiosity and provoking a response around what specifically the prospect is not interested in will likely lead to a specific response that you can better tailor a reply to overcome.
🤝Handling the “We already have a solution for this” objection
Prospect: “We’re actually all set here. We have a solution for this.”
Seller: “So glad you’re working to address the pains here. What do you like about your current solution or provider? And is there anything you wish your provider or solution were doing that they aren’t doing now or anything you wish it did better?”
Pro tip: This can also work when the prospect says they are going to build the solution themselves in-house. Simply ask what all they hope the build covers.ow will they account for all of the integration points needed, etc. and ask if there are any concerns around dividing the product team’s time to build a full secondary software needed to serve everything they hope the solution will cover.
What to know about the most common objections that will make you better at objection handling
The formula for handling almost any common sales objection exists in the format of: Feel, felt, found.
“I understand how you feel. Other companies like XYZ felt that same way and we found that bringing on our solution did this.”
This formula can be applied to almost any objection in addition to the more specific handling examples outlined above. Using the feel, felt, found method allows for the opportunity to create some social proof of other clients you have served and the ROI points generated for those clients. Name dropping clients you have case studies for creates a good opportunity for tailored follow-up email collateral as well.
Common sales objections and rebuttals
Getting really good at pattern interruption to open cold calls or emails is one of the most important ways to start to break through cold calls and get to the place where you can get into real objections and rebuttals.
Pattern interruption is simply something that sparks curiosity and breaks the prospect’s normal habits, emotional response, etc. Once you have successfully used pattern interruption to get to the pitch, come prepared to handle objections or stalls.
Usually there are three main things holding prospects back when they push back: Price, product, or provided service. Oftentimes, when a prospect stalls and says something similar to “I need to think about it” it is just a way to buy time or put off having to spend any energy actually thinking about what you’re saying. Putting the prospect into a hypothetical situation or bringing them into a more specific objection is most helpful here to pull them into a scenario where a real conversation can occur.
Prospect: “Let me think about it”
Seller. “I totally hear you—this is a lot to take in. (<-- agreeing is always the first recommended thing to do to prevent the objection handling from coming off argumentative. And now, leverage feel, felt, found in the script too!)
You aren’t alone here. When working with other clients, it is typical one of three things that become a sticking point for them; Price, product, or concern that the company isn’t going to provide them with the service they are expecting– which of theses it for you?
Pro tip: Orienting the prospect to choose one of three concerns puts them in a somewhat hypothetical challenge and orients them to articulate a specific concern that you are then set up to handle (around price, product or service).
Gamifying objection handling to make it fun AND easily surface call coaching opportunities
Rejection Bingo is great for SDRs or BDRs who know that they are going to get rejected far more times than not. It rewards reps for putting themselves out there, helps sellers be prepared for the objections so they bet more chances to practice honing the pitches. This game also surfaces new objections you may not have been coaching around and surfaces call coaching opportunities.
Take the bingo board, and every time a rep encounters one of the common objections on the board, they link their recorded call where they practiced handling the objection. The managers have an instant repository to review objection handling calls and the first rep to hit bingo in the week earns a prize.
We can automate contests and coaching like this in Ambition, but to get started manually, download our rejection bingo template here!