Guide to Handling Sales Objections [Examples and Framework]
One of the best skills to have in B2B sales is the ability to turn sales objections into opportunities.
Nobody likes rejection, but sales objections allow you to narrow your focus on your buyer’s fears and then tailor your message accordingly.
Objections essentially give you further insight into your prospect’s view. But knowing how to respond to rejection can be tough.
Below, we discuss 4 research-backed principles to overcome objections with real-world cold email and cold call examples. We also tackle the best ways to answer 5 of the most common sales objections.
4 Proven Tactics To Overcome Sales Objections
1. Reframe – Turn Sales Objections Into Opportunities
One way to change someone’s mind is to show them a perspective they may not have previously considered.
The key is to build your response around information your prospect has already acknowledged is true. This makes it harder to argue with you without being contradictory.
It’s kind of like scrolling through Instagram filters. The underlying content of the photo stays the same, but changing the filter alters the feeling you get from the image.
Real-world use case: “We already work with a competitor.” Reframe their response to position your offering as either 1.) complementary to the existing solution or 2.) uniquely different.
Check out this email exchange example. In less than 40 words, the rep acknowledges the incumbent competitor and then reframes the conversation (earning major sales objection kudos in the process).
In all of the following examples – names, private information, and company names are changed.
2. The Best Friend Formula
One of the best ways to bury an objection is to use the Best Friend Formula, coined by our very own Head of Sales, Ian Adams.
This three-part formula helps overcome sales objections by establishing harmony – it reassures people that you’re on their side, like a best friend. And it works on any of these sales objections:
- We already work with a competitor
- This isn’t a priority right now
- Email me your information
- Not interested
Real-world use case: “Email me your information” (when you’re on a cold call). Don’t fall for the brush-off. Instead, treat the person on the other end of the line like they’re your friend you can relate to, and that you genuinely want to help.
Here’s how Ian Adams perfected this technique with the “just email me” objection. Ian used the Best Friend Formula to successfully turn a cold shoulder into a booked meeting:
Notice how he didn’t fight the objection head-on? Ian worked with his prospect to get to the end goal together — well done.
3. Objection Chunking – Take a Step Back and Look at the Big Picture
Asking someone to take a wider perspective has a twofold effect:
- It reframes the situation to create a new understanding.
- It distracts from what might be a difficult issue to resolve.
Real-world use case: “This isn’t a priority right now.” Keep the door open for further conversation and deflect attention away from the present issue by taking a higher, more general viewpoint.
Here’s how one sales rep employed this technique to land a meeting with a Yesware team member. Notice how he calls out the small-time commitment at the end? Hard to argue with that.
4. Curiosity – Gain Their Interest By Asking Questions
About 40% of everyday conversation is devoted to telling others what we think. In fact, a study by Harvard University neuroscientists found that when people talk about themselves, it gives their brains as much pleasure as money or food.
That’s why questions can be so powerful. When you ask someone a question about themselves, there is a strong neurological incentive for them to answer.
Real-world use case: “Not interested.” The more you understand why they’re shutting you down, the better equipped you are to disarm their objection. Keep the conversation going by expressing genuine curiosity about their situation and where their interests lie.
The key here is to ask open-ended questions.
Get your prospects talking by asking questions that involve a thorough response.
Tip: Make your prospect feel understood and validated. Recognize and address their concerns before asking questions. By ensuring their concerns are valid, they will feel more comfortable and willing to discuss their feelings.
5 Most Common Sales Objections & How to Overcome Them
1. “It’s too expensive”
Price objections are the most common sales objection there is. Why? Because money is on top of every buyer’s mind. But the price is all about perceived value.
Make the value of your solution known first, and you will significantly minimize the likelihood of this objection arising.
But sometimes it’s inescapable. When presented with this objection – emphasize any free trials your business offers and state that they do not need to make any decision off price just yet, bringing the conversation back to your solution. The more you can talk about your solution and its benefits, the more they will instinctively justify the price, without even realizing it.
You can also ask the prospect why they think your solution is too expensive. The prospect then has to break down their reasoning which gives you another insight into their perspective.
“We don’t expect you to buy anything from us right now. We are just looking to show you our solution and see if it is of value to you and your business [Lead this into a further question about their needs].”
“Can you tell me a little more about why you think the solution is too expensive?”
2. “I need to talk to my team”
Sometimes, this is the case. Most of the time, they’re procrastinating on making a decision.
If you have correctly qualified your prospect in your discovery call, then you will be fully aware of whether you are speaking to the decision-maker or not.
The best thing you can do is keep the process moving by offering to talk to all parties. Getting all decision-makers in one room will help you have more control over the sale and facilitate the decision – you can present as much insight as possible.
And depending on your situation, if you already have the prospect on board and they just need their team’s agreement, use this to your advantage. Ask them what specific elements are most important to the parties you’re speaking to next. This will give you the leg up you need to take a highly personalized approach.
“I understand. If it makes it easier for you, I can hop on a call or come in for a meeting to explain the solution to your team. When would be the best time to do this?”
3. “We already work with [competitor]”
The competitor objection is actually a best-case scenario objection. Why? Because the business has already recognized a need, and the solution they’ve acquired must be similar to yours. Your job is much easier when the person you’re talking to has already identified a pain point.
The best way to go about this sales objection is to ask them questions about how their experience has been so far with this solution. Pay attention to any complaints they may have and use these to your advantage. You then have the leverage you need to emphasize why your solution is better by understanding more of what’s important to them.
You can also reference a customer who used the same product or service and transitioned to yours, emphasize what they’ve seen as advantages since adopting your solution and any pain points that have been solved. Provide social proof to back up your claim.
“We’d love the opportunity to show you how we are different and how customers have found additional value with our solution in regards to using [competitor].”
“Can I share a case study with you that shows how a company similar to yours was able to reduce/increase ____ by switching from [competitor] to our solution?”
“I understand. May I ask you how your experience has been so far with [competitor]?”
4. “I don’t have time right now”
This sales objection is tough. It’s basically another way of saying “this isn’t important to me right now,” or it’s just a cop-out.
The best way to overcome this sales objection is to politely ask the prospect if you are calling at a bad time or if there is a current business problem they’re dealing with. If the problem has to do with their business, use this as leverage. Take the factors mentioned and zone in on how your solution can help ease their pain.
For example, if your solution helps with productivity and making their lives easier – this is a great time to emphasize that.
“Totally understand. If you don’t mind me asking, what are your company’s other priorities right now?”
“I hear you, it’s a crazy time of year. What other time would work best for you? Just looking for 5 minutes to show you how we can help reduce your stress and give you more time in the day.”
5. “Just send me some information”
This objection is the easy way out. But if you respond right, this objection can give you clear insight into what the prospect is looking for, and essentially how you can sell to them.
A tactic for handling this objection is to ask them what they are looking for in this information – which gets them talking about their needs. Listen attentively here and identify customer pain points. Then you can fine-tune your proposal so it’s personable and catered to the prospect and their business.
Another way of handling this objection is to offer a demo so they can see your solution hands-on. Emphasize that customers have found this to be an easier method for understanding your solution.
“I’d be happy to send you some information, but may I ask you a few questions to make sure I send you the most relevant information for you and your business?”
“People tend to find it more valuable seeing the solution hands-on, would you be interested in a quick demo?”
Turn Sales Objections Into Opportunities
In B2B sales, changing your mindset to look at sales objections as opportunities will hands-down improve your outcomes.
Always follow objections with questions. This will only give you further opportunities to learn more about your prospects.
The common sales objections above are in many cases an instinctive response, always work on uncovering the truth or getting down to the root cause of the hesitation.
Handling objections in sales isn’t easy – but if you listen to their objection, acknowledge that you hear them, and ask questions to better understand their underlying issues – you will find objections don’t always end in a cold shoulder.
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