It’s basically a dream scenario:
You pick up the phone, ringing up your newest qualified lead. You pitch your product or service, answer a couple of their questions, then begin to immediately seal the deal.
Needless to say, this dream scenario is just that: a fantasy.
Any experienced salesperson will tell you: the sales process rarely - if ever - goes this smoothly. Even high-quality leads that you’re nearly certain will end up becoming paying customers are likely to make at least a few objections along their path to conversion.
Of course, these objections aren’t concrete roadblocks - that is, if you know how to navigate them. In fact, by working around your target’s objections in a way that puts their needs at the center of the equation, you actually have even more of an opportunity to showcase the value of your product or service.
In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the most common sales objections used by hesitant customers, and provide some tips and tricks on how to handle each of them in order to seal the deal in a way that works best for both your company and your client.
Five Common Types of Sales Objections - and How to Overcome Them
While there are, of course, an endless amount of objections a potential client may use at any given time that ultimately delays your ability to make a sale, we’ve separated the most common objections into one of five overarching categories:
- Monetary Objections
- Contentedness or Complacency
- Lack of Authority
- Time-Related Objections
For each category, we’ll provide a few examples of how they may “appear” in the real world, and discuss some of the most effective ways to approach potential clients who raise such objections.
(A quick note before we dive in: It’s important that you learn and understand which objections your customers typically raise, so that you can focus on the areas of your sales pitch and/or your value proposition that tend to fall short of your customer’s expectations. That is, the following tactics aren’t going to magically work if you legitimately can’t deliver on the promises you made during your sales pitch.)
With that in mind, let’s get started.
1. Monetary Objections
You probably don’t need us to tell you how common monetary objections are.
I mean, you’ve probably heard one of the following statements at least once in the past month or so:
- “It’s too expensive”
- “We can’t afford that”
- “I can get this cheaper somewhere else”
Worse yet, monetary objections are such a common fallback for both B2C and B2B customers that you - the salesperson - really have no idea if they’re even telling the truth or not.
Sure, they might really not be able to afford your prices - but they also might simply be trying to get you to offer them a deal. I guess you can’t fault people for wanting to save money, right?
Of course, it really doesn’t bode well for you or your company if you open yourself up to haggling with every person you do business with.
While bargaining with a potential client once in a while may be better than losing the client altogether, you should use this tactic as a last resort.
Instead, you want to turn your target’s statement on their heads.
If they claim your product or service is too expensive, break down your pricing into understandable “chunks,” so they truly understand the value of what they’d be receiving.
(Note that this doesn’t mean explaining how much it costs your company to develop your offering; your customers don’t care about this. Again, focus on the monetary value your offering provides them.)
Similarly, if they say they can’t afford your offering, turn this statement around by explaining that they can’t afford not to use it.
Again, point out what they stand to gain from using your product or service - as well as what they stand to lose by leaving it behind.
Not only will this allow you to further showcase the value of your offering, but it will also instil in your prospect the idea that there’s...well...a reason why your competitors’ prices are lower.
2. Contentedness or Complacency
As in other areas of life, a prospect being “content” with a product or service they currently utilize isn’t necessarily ecstatic with it.
You might often hear such prospects raise objections like:
- “I’m happy with (X product/service)”
- “We already use (X product/service)”
- “I’m okay with my current setup”
If this happens, your first order of business should be to probe deeper into what they like about the product or service they currently utilize - as well as what they don’t like about it.
This, in turn, will allow you to reinforce your unique selling points, and to circle back to the ways in which your offering can truly provide better overall value to this specific prospect.
When explaining these points, though, you need to be able to back up your claims.
Perhaps the best way to do so is to provide testimonials (in the form of case studies, customer reviews, etc.) from your current customers who have switched to your brand from the company your target prospect currently uses.
In such instances, the case may very well be that your target prospect doesn’t actually know what they’re missing - which would explain why they’re “happy” with a less-valuable product or service.
By showcasing the value that similar customers have gotten from switching over to your brand, you can open your prospects eyes as to what’s in store for them should they do the same.
3. Lack of Authority
Another common sales objection you’re likely to encounter - whether in the B2B or B2C realm - is one in which an individual claims to not have the authority to make a purchasing decision.
A few examples:
- “My boss is in charge of that”
- “I need to check with my wife/husband”
- “I’m not sure my (insert title here) would be interested”
Regardless of which specific objection your prospect uses, you generally want to do the following:
First, ask for further information on the individual they mention. Since you’ll ultimately be speaking with them as you try to close the sale, you want to go into your conversation with them knowing as much as you possibly can about them - and you can almost certainly glean this information from the individual you’re currently speaking to.
Once you feel like you know enough about your new target to have a full-on conversation with them, ask your original target for their contact information, as well as the best way to reach out to them.
Also, ask your original target if they would simply give your new target a heads-up that you’ll be reaching out to them in the near future.
When you do reach out to the new target, request if it would be possible to include your original target in the ensuing sales call/conversation. In this way, you can allow your original target to get the “higher-authority” figure up to speed.
Additionally, your original target can explain the value your product or service can bring to them, as well as to the entire family/organization/company, etc.
At this point, your job will basically be to provide supplemental and clarifying information - and allow your original prospect to do the rest.
4. Time-Related Objections
In similar fashion to money-related objections, time-related sales objections revolve around a lack of resources - whether actual or perceived.
You’ve probably heard at least one of the following at some point in the past:
- “We’re too busy right now”
- “I have too much going on”
- “Call me back in x months”
In response to such objections, your first step will be to inquire as to what’s “going on” in their life or business that’s holding them back. This, of course, isn’t meant to call your prospect’s bluff or accuse them of making something up; rather, it’s to truly understand why they’re hesitant to begin using your product or service at the current moment.
Going back to one of our earlier points, your prospect might mistakenly be overestimating the time investment using your offering will entail. Or, if they do have an accurate understanding of how much time it will take to get full use out of your product or service, they might be skeptical that the value they receive won’t be worth the investment.
In either case, just as we spoke about when discussing monetary sales objections, you want to allay their worries, and explain what they have to lose by not investing their time into your offering.
Finally - and this leads into the next section - if your prospect requests that you reach out at some point in the future, you want to be sure to nail down a specific date range for doing so.
The goal, here, is to keep your prospect “on the hook” for a future conversation, rather than letting them use “later” as a euphemism for “we’re never going to speak again.”
As we just alluded to, there’s always the possibility that a given prospect simply refuses to “play ball,” so to speak.
You’ve heard all the excuses before:
- “I’m not interested”
- “Sure, send me some info and I’ll get back to you”
- “I’m hanging up right now”
Regarding the first example, you have a pretty small window of time in which to get your prospect interested before they end up hanging up on you.
At this point, you want to dig deep, using everything you’ve learned about the prospect in order to explain ways in which they might get value out of your product or service. Hopefully, you’ll mention the one thing that might get them to reconsider giving you more a bit more of their time.
As we alluded to above, “I’ll get back to you” is often a euphemism for “goodbye forever.” However, you can flip the script, here, by probing a bit deeper, asking the prospect what, specifically, they’d like to learn more about.
Not only does this turn a blow-off conversation into an actual conversation, but it also provides you with further information about your customer to use during a potential follow-up conversation.
Additionally, it allows you to showcase specific benefits of your product or service that your prospect will actually value.
Regarding hang-ups...well...sometimes, you just have to move on - especially in the B2C realm.
However, if we’re talking B2B, it’s possible that you may have simply reached out to the wrong person within a given company, and need to check the organization’s directory to see if there’s a more appropriate person to speak to. But, again, if you continue to reach dead air, it may be best to move on to a more receptive prospect.
To reiterate an important point we made at the beginning of this article, there are two ways you can look at sales objections:
- As insurmountable roadblocks between you and a given prospect
- As minor obstacles to overcome by showcasing your brand’s true value to your prospect
The former is, to be blunt, the easy way out. Unfortunately, by making a habit of admitting defeat and simply moving on to your next prospect, you’ll inevitably leave a ton of business on the table that could have been scooped up had you been a bit more assertive.
On the other hand, pushing back on your prospects just a bit can be hugely beneficial to your company. While you can’t expect to win every objecting prospect over, the additional business you generate by implementing the above tactics will absolutely be worth the effort in the long run.