Guide to Overcoming Objections in Sales [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 challenging. Below, we discuss four research-backed principles for overcoming objections with real-world cold email and cold call examples. We also tackle the best ways to answer five of the most common sales objections.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What Is a Sales Objection?
- Why Overcoming Objections Is Important in Sales
- Proven Tactics for Overcoming Objections
- Types of Sales Objections
- Most Common Sales Objections & How to Overcome Them
What Is a Sales Objection?
A sales objection is a concern raised by the buyer in a sales conversation. This concern typically stands in the way of the prospect buying your product/service.
Sales objections act as barriers in the sales process and need to be addressed as soon as they arise to continue moving the deal forward.
The most common sales objections have to do with price, competitors, and product uncertainty.
Why Overcoming Objections Is Important in Sales
Overcoming objections in sales is crucial. Why? Objections stand in the way of the purchase. Buyers won’t feel comfortable moving forward if their concerns aren’t alleviated.
Salespeople can’t do their jobs without facing objections, but the fate of the deal depends on how well the salesperson responds to the objection.
Let’s look at the best ways to do so. Below are our favorite proven tactics for overcoming objections.Objections to opportunitiesSend personal, multi-channel sales touches including call, InMail, and email
4 Proven Tactics for Overcoming 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 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
Another fantastic way of overcoming objections is using the objection chunking tactic.
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 Open-Ended 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 sales questions. Get your prospects talking by asking questions that involve a thorough response.
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.
Tip: Grab some more tactics for overcoming objections and closing deals with our data-backed guide below.Sales Engagement Data Trends for Sales Managers to Know Going Into 2022Looking at hundreds of millions of tracked email activity over the past year, this ebook is filled with our top studies & findings to help your sales team accelerate results in 2022.
Types of Sales Objections
Before we use the tactics above to respond to objections, let’s look at the common types of objections you’ll see.
- Budget: Objections that focus on the price of the product/service.
- Trust: Objections that demonstrate a lack of trust in your company.
- Need: Objections that question whether your product/service is right for the prospect.
- Urgency: Objections that demonstrate timing is an issue.
- Authority: Objections that state the prospect doesn’t have authority to make the decision.
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.
If you make the value of your product/service known first, you will significantly minimize the likelihood of this objection arising.
But sometimes it’s inevitable. When presented with this objection – emphasize any free trials your business offers and state that they don’t need to make any decision off price just yet, bringing the conversation back to your product/service. 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 product is too expensive. The prospect then has to break down their reasoning which gives you another insight into their perspective.
How to respond to this sales objection:
“We don’t expect you to buy anything from us right now. We are just looking to show you [Product/Service] 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 [Product/Service] is too expensive?”
2. “I need to talk to my team”
Sometimes, this is the case. Most of the time, they’re procrastinating in 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 give you more control over the sale and help you 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.
Here’s how you can respond to help overcome this objection:
“I understand. If it makes it easier for you, I can hop on a call or come in for a meeting to explain [Product/Service] 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 overcoming objections like this one is to ask questions about how their experience has been so far with the competitor. 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.
How to respond to this sales objection:
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“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 [outcome] 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 product/service helps with productivity and makes their lives easier – this is a great time to emphasize that.
How to overcome this objection:
“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 sales objection is an 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 the prospect what they’re looking for in this information – which gets them talking about their needs. Listen attentively here and identify 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 product.
How to respond to this objection:
“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 [Product/Service] hands-on, would you be interested in a quick demo?”
Turn Sales Objections Into Opportunities
In B2B sales, changing your mindset to view sales objections as opportunities will undoubtedly improve 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.
Overcoming 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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