Imagine an ideal sales world: Researchers find a perfect lead, and SDRs make contact and set an appointment, right?
Sounds great, but that’s not how it always works. There are lots of things that can go wrong. Your lead (aka: human being) could be mad, busy, tired, and therefore won’t accept your sales pitch. It is called a sales objection.
Sales objections are reasons provided by a potential customer to a sales representative to avoid a purchase, meeting, or future communication. However, a sales objection isn’t necessarily a hard “no.” It can be an obstacle you need to overcome.
If your sales reps gave up whenever someone was unsure about your service, your pipeline would be empty. That’s why you need an objection handling strategy.
SDRs at CIENCE go through hundreds of phone and email contacts with leads every week. Here we’ve gathered and categorized the most common sales objections and reply-handling examples so that you can turn barriers into open doors.
3 Steps for Handling Sales Objections
Whether an SDR is overcoming objections in phone sales or via emails, these three steps are crucial to reply handling:
Being attentive is essential to make a lead feel heard and gives you an understanding of the person on the other side of a conversation. While you listen, you may get a chance to catch an objection before it even presents itself.
If it’s a phone call, wait until the person stops talking. Afterward, use the active listening techniques that include repeating some sentences after the lead and phrases like “I hear you.” Repeating them will ensure that you understood the objection and the mood of a speaker correctly.
While you do that, you have time to prepare your answer.
Pro tip: Make sure you accept the answer first. So start with saying: “Thank you for your answer/feedback.”
While you listen and exchange the first few phrases, you should categorize the objection.
First, ask yourself: “Is this an objection or a rejection?” Listen to the tone of the voice or the wording of the response. If it’s a rejection, there’s a chance that your lead was wrongly qualified.
A brush-off usually doesn’t have a back-up story, and with an excellent reply-handling strategy, it can be overturned from a sales objection into a sales conversation.
The actual response should be respectful and informative. Remember, you are here to help with the pain points of your potential customer.
State that their concerns and problems are valid, and if you can, offer a solution.
Pro tip: Always stay calm, even if a lead is a bit edgy or aggressive. If you had a stressful conversation, take a minute break and a deep breath. It happens, but it doesn’t define the job.
Types of Common Sales Objections
Every SDR you hire should be trained to handle sales objections, and while some of those require creativity, you may want to create scripts and canned responses. Whether it’s an email or a call, a document with common sales objections and answers will make the work easier.
Four types of the most common objections are based on the lack of money, time, need, or credibility.
Spoiler alert: The value of your services is always an essential selling point—use it.
Lack of money
Objection 1 – “The price is too high.”
It is the most common sales objection you’ll hear because sales purchases usually come with some financial risks. To overcome this, you have to shift the conversation toward the value of your services.
Show that the price tag can be justified by your service’s benefits and all the challenges it can solve.
It can look like this:
Objection 2 – “We are in the middle of budgeting.”
Here is another money-related sales objection: ”We don’t have any budget left this year.”
As with the previous one, your handling strategy must be focused on value. Try explaining the benefits they get, with ROI references included.
If they stand on their ground, suggest a follow-up after the budgeting is over or when the funding returns.
This sales objection rebuttal can look like this:
Lack of time
Objection 3 – “This isn’t the right time.”
There may be a few reasons behind this sales objection:
- A lead didn’t understand your value proposition.
- A lead didn’t want to understand your value proposition.
- It really is a bad time.
The goal here is to understand the person behind this objection and how business processes work at their company.
For options 1 and 2, take out your “value” card and flash it one more time. Although, be careful not to oversell. You want to investigate, yet not push too hard.
If it’s option 3, suggest circling back in a month or so. Use a specific date.
Here is an example of what this sales objection handling may look like:
Objection 4 – “Call me in a month.”
Your leads are busy people. They have loads on their plates, and an urge to postpone is natural. They may also hope that, after this answer, you will fade away. You can handle this sales objection by addressing your service’s benefits once more, adding personalization, and making it a priority for them.
Make sure you mention that they don’t have to purchase anything at the moment; it’s an opportunity to scale their business processes.
Your response to this sales objection may look something like this:
Lack of need
Objection 5 – “We have an internal team for it.”
This sales objection is not that hard to handle. It’s actually great that they have an internal team. It means that the topic you talk about is familiar to them.
The first thing is to assure the lead that you won’t displace their internal team.
Start by noting that your service would boost their internal efforts (a real example or case study would be of great use here). If you’ve helped one or two of their competitors, a “name drop” can be acceptable.
The best sales rebuttal may look similar to this:
Objection 6 – “We work with another vendor.”
This sales objection allows your SDRs to shine through with the knowledge of your service. When a lead opens your email or picks up a phone, he sees the category of your service and thinks: “Well, I already have that.”
No wonder you get an objection as a response. A lead has that service in place, so your goal is to change their mindset around it. Give reasons that will back up the statement that you are better or even the best.
To get that info, ask them questions on things they like or don’t like about their chosen vendor. Ask whether they are getting the ROI they expected.
Here is one of the ways to handle this sales objection:
Lack of credibility
Objection 7 – “We’ve had a bad experience with another vendor. What makes you different?”
This response is an ample opportunity. Make a lead feel heard, ask what went wrong, and show that you care.
The key to handling this sales objection is to prove that the experience will differ from the previous vendor.
Try this approach:
Objection 8 – “We need X feature, which is not included.”
This objection can be handled two ways: 1) by offering the feature your lead needs or 2) by disqualifying a lead if you don’t have the requested option.
In the first option, you get a pain point around on which you can personalize the offer and hit the right sales note. In option two, you get to disqualify a lead early on and put your efforts somewhere else.
For the first scenario, use this sales objection handling example:
Sales objections are a natural part of a sales lead generation process, so now that you have the basics down, you can face them standing up. And if you have any troubles, you know where to find CIENCE.