Objection Handling for Dummies [Guide]
It’s no secret that B2B sales is a tough profession. Hearing “no” from a prospect is an inevitable part of every sales job, but with the right strategy, you can turn a “no” into a “yes”. Handling objections in sales can be an important tool in your sales toolbox. Here are 7 of the most common sales objections and how to handle them with confidence.
We’ve all been there: while on a sales call, your prospect cuts your demo short and poses an objection. This is a critical moment. If handled poorly, your prospect’s interest will likely be diminished. If handled well, the deal can continue to progress. Across all of the common objections listed below, it’s important to note that proper objection handling calls for quick and strategic thinking. More importantly, handling objections calls for a keen listener, emphatic language, and asking follow-up questions when clarity is needed.
“At the end of the day, we’re all consumers, and we all have our own reasons for buying or not buying things. With that in mind, I listen carefully to whatever the objection is and address the root or underlying reason for the objection. It’s almost never what it seems on the surface, and it’s almost always something a lot less daunting than we (or the customer fear)” -Mike Masiello, Sales Leader @Aviso
Common Objection #1: They have Budget Concerns
How to handle: Put your prices in context; this could mean comparing to competitors or relating price with quality. Even if you aren’t the cheapest option out there, explain the reasoning behind it and why your pricing makes sense for your standard of quality. Be clear about the ROI of your pricing and try to do so by illustrating with data. When you feel a bargain hunter is in your midst, try to alert them to pricing deals like offering package deals for more users.
Common Objection #2: They’re Running Low on Time
How to handle: Have an elevator pitch version of your demo ready for this scenario. In this pitch, practice being concise yet impactful and focus on your key points. Know what information you need from them to be able to have the basics to input them as a prospect, and then send over additional materials and inquiries in a follow-up email. Get other players on the prospect end who may have more time to spend reviewing your offerings.
Common Objection #3: The Timing isn’t Right
How to handle: First, offer to reschedule to a time that works. Regardless of it they go for a reschedule or not make sure you have enough information to contact them at a later time. Send them materials like ROIs, graphs, FAQs, etc. in a follow-up. Concisely explain the ROI, including any limited-time deals or offers.
“When faced with objections, I try and put myself in the customer’s shoes, and understand where they’re coming from. We both want the same thing; for them to be successful. That’s when we all win. There’s always a way to get there” -Mike Masiello, Sales Leader @Aviso
Common Objection #4: They Need Help Selling Internally
How to handle: Offer to prepare a custom deck to present to key decision-makers/their colleagues. You can offer for them to present the slides in front of you first, and then fill in any information gaps they might have. Giving them a list of FAQs and a contact, if not your own, to use if further questions might arise from colleagues that they don’t know how to answer.
Common Objection #5: They’re not the Decision Maker
How to handle: Simply get their help to find the real decision-maker. This could even be getting the information of the next up in the chain of command, who can connect you with the actual decision-maker. Someone in their network, if not them themselves, will have the right contact. If they are unwilling to help connect you with the decision-maker, still get their contact. Getting an “in” with anyone in the company is better than letting go of a connection, you never know if they could become useful to you in the future.
Common Objection #6: They’re Looking for Feature X
How to handle: Do you offer that? If so, clarify that. If not, understand why they want feature X. Maybe your tool can still address those needs in a different or even better way. Get to the heart of their needs and pain points. It’s possible they are actually looking for your feature, just under a different name or package, and don’t even know it.
“Listening, probing, peel back the onion until you are as clear as you can be on the objection and then respond” -David Watson, Sales Leader @ Aviso
Common Objection #7: They’re Shopping Around
How to handle: Let them know of any limited-time deals or offer an estimation or demo. This lets them get a feel of their options and better execute comparisons while attempting to push the sale. Setting it up this way lets the potential customer continue to assume the power of decision-making and not feel like they are being pressured into a sale.
“Something drove them [the prospects] to explore solutions in the first place, and that will only go away by making a change. The only decision worse than a bad decision is indecision” -Mike Masiello, Sales Leader @Aviso
If you made it this far, congratulations! You now know, if you didn’t already, how to counter 7 of the most common objections you’ll run across while trying to make a sale. Often you won’t get just one objection at a time and might even get a combination of them. Senior sales leaders and colleagues in your field are likely to have run across these objections many times before themselves and will be able to give specific tips and tricks utilizing the principles above. Don’t be afraid to ask sales aficionados in your network to be guinea pigs for your presentations. Ask them to object as much as they can, so you can practice proper handling practices. Happy handling!