Ultimate Guide to Objection Handling: Common Sales Objections & How to Respond

Nothing quash a sales professional heavier than an unexpected objection by the prospect. Most sales professional invest hours in perfecting their pitch without a second thought to what comes afterwards. But bare in mind, even the best pitch can be ruined by poor objection handling. If you are  tired of losing deals to responses, it’s time to get serious about overcoming objections. Instead of hoping your prospects won’t have objections which most likely never going to happen, so better to prepare them in advance.

Objections are inevitable but should never be seen as a door slamming closed in your face. To understand why the customer is objecting your product/services is challenging  but you must take the time to uncover this if you hope to move forward in a mutually beneficial way. While customers may object for many reasons, but every prospect you speak to will have at least one sales objection, or reason they are hesitant to buy your product even before meeting you. These are inevitable because if the buyer did not have any reservations about your solution’s price, value, relevance to their situation, or their purchasing ability, they would have already bought it before meeting you. So, to be successful in handling objection one must learn how to both discover and resolve these objections.

What is objection handling?

Objection handling is when a prospect presents a concern about the product or service you are selling, and then your job is to respond in a way that ease those concerns and allows the deal to move forward. Objections are generally around the price, product fit, competitors, and good old-fashioned brush offs. Smart objection handling means responding to the buyer in a way that changes their mind or alleviate their concerns.

No matter what you do, never argue with your prospects or try to pressure them into backing down! This is just not the right way to objection handling. It is just going to ruin your image and prospects are going to lose the trust and rapport they have built up with you.

Instead of telling your prospect they are wrong, help them come to a different conclusion of their own accord. And if you cannot persuade them, that is  a good sign they are a poor fit to your business or service. It’s also important to distinguish between sales objections and brush-offs. While objections are authentic, brush-offs are just excuses. Objections are far more serious than brush-offs.

             Eg : I see the value in your product, but I’m not sure about buying because… (objection)

                   : I don’t want to talk to you. (brush-off)

Why Is Objection Handling Important?

Nothing is more dangerous to a deal than letting sales objections go unaddressed until the final stages. The longer the buyer holds an opinion, the stronger that opinion usually is -and the harder you’ll have to fight to combat it.

With this in mind, welcome objections rather than avoiding them. You can proactively identify them as well by solving it at the early stage like asking questions such as :

                 “Do you have any concerns?” , “Are there any obstacles that is stopping you from buying?”,

                  “You seem a little worried about …..”, ‘ What are your thoughts?”

Overcoming objection in sales

The best way to overcome objections is the LAER (Listen, Acknowledge, Explore and Respond). Avoid reacting impulsively to prospect objections. Instead, listen to them,  validate their concern, ask qualifying questions and respond in a thoughtful way. 

Give your prospect a chance to talk, then repeat a summary back to them. Next, try to dig into the underlying reasons for the objection. Then finally, offer a neutral recommendation. Because you listened to the buyer and explored their rationale rather than giving a knee-jerk response, they are usually willing to listen to you.

Keeping track of the objections you receive most often is also helpful. Once you know what to expect, you can devote extra time to practicing and refining your responses. It is also recommended that sales professionals use role plays to boost their objection handling abilities. Take turns with another sales professional on your team posing common objections and try answering it  and then giving each other feedback.

Now let’s dive into the 15 most common sales objections:

  1. It’s too expensive. We cannot afford it.
  2. We’re already working with ____ (competitor).
  3. I’m busy right now.
  4. Call me later.
  5. There’s too much going on right now.
  6. I’m not authorized to sign off on this purchase.
  7. I can get a cheaper version of your product somewhere else.
  8. I don’t want to get stuck in a contract.
  9. I don’t see what your product could do for me.
  10. I don’t understand your product.
  11. Your product is too complicated.
  12. We’re happy the way things are.
  13. Your product sounds great, but I’m too swamped right now to handle.
  14. Your product doesn’t have the feature that we need.
  15. I will discuss with my team and get back.

Now that we have listed down the most common objections, here are some of the top tactics for handling them:

1.Learn From Your Losses- Review your lost opportunities over the past and look for themes. This will give you an overview of what was the biggest hurdles to closing the sale and which areas need developments and which ones are the deal breaker word. Use these insights to create a “cheat sheet” of common objections and craft 2-3 potential responses for each. Test them out and revisit them often.

2.Have a Pause– Keep calm and carry on is the right way to go in dealing objection. Take a quick pause immediately after a customer’s objection. Interestingly, according to Matrix data, successful sales professionals take an immediate five seconds pause after an objection as if the objections triggered them into slow motion. By contrast, their less successful peers hardly pause at all, and in many cases, interrupt the customer upon receiving an objection. Do not pounce on objections. These will get all riled up and get you tensed and does not help at all. So, the takeaway is chill, listen and then reply.

3.Take Action– Think about the objections you receive in your line of business. Write down an example for each of the above types of objections. The techniques in this article will assist you with these and many more that you’re likely to face. You may not overcome them every time, but at least you didn’t give up before even trying.

4.Show Them The Value in Product- To keep your customer around for long term, they must see value in your product or service. The purpose of the whole meeting is to understand what’s important to them, why it matters, and what their business would be like without your product or service. When you uncover a pain, your next step should be to quantify what that pain is costing the business. If the customer continues to object or restate the same objection then you’re not asking the right questions to align your value to their pain. Pain can cost a company in a different ways like close revenue, wasted time, customer satisfaction, employee turnover and more. By taking the pain point and expanding on it, the you can then encourage the prospect to quantify the problem in business and personal terms thereby convincing them that purchasing a product/service to resolve the issue is worth the investment.

5.Keep the conversation moving further- Now that you’ve got the questions flowing, it’s important to keep the conversation moving. So, ask and probe questions. As the customer responds to your open-ended questions, you should probe further by asking more questions about what they’ve just said. If at any time you don’t understand something, ask them to clarify.  A great example of this tactic is when the customer mentions an acronym or other words specific to their company or business process. Experts say that it takes at least 4-5 layers of questions to really uncover the pain or nature of the objection. Take your time and keep asking questions until you truly understand the reason for the objection basically until they have satisfied your curiosity.  Finally, restate what you heard in your own words and ask them to confirm that you’ve understood them correctly.

6.Back It Up With Proof & Customer References– Back up your statements with industry research, customer references or customer success stories to prove the value of your product/service. By mentioning what others say about our products can build trust on your product and improve your company image and reputation. Plus, customer references are another great tool because those stories often represent a pain or objection that was overcome with success.

7.Remember to Show Gratitude-  Always thank your customer when they put an objection in front of you because this is an opportunity to address it and move on with your deal.  In fact, ask them about all of their concerns and objections right up front and you will receive even more opportunities to turn the table to your advantage. Don’t forget, an objection is better than a “no” because it gives you some place to begin the conversation. A simple thank you has helped to diffuse a situation with an angry or upset customer and can get you on the right  track to solving their problem or getting them back on the happy train.

To sum up, managing objections requires practice. Take these 7 tactics and apply them to objection that you hear all the time. To learn more about objection handling, do attend our Build Trust Fast: Neuroscience Masterclass. Neuroscience is the study of human brain and this masterclass incorporates the anatomy of human brain to business which carries the ultimate goal to help sales professionals to handle challenges in sales and boost productivity and revenue. Is that possible? Yes. Statistically proven, neuroscience has reduced objection rate by 30%.

Our speaker Ian Rheeder draws on 30-years of practical sales experience and an obsession with studying neuroscience. Over the past decade, Ian has successfully trained thousands of sales professional and every single delegate strongly agreed that CUSP® is a simple yet powerful persuasion system. His previous corporate position was marketing & sales director of the global zipper giant, YKK. He is also a Chartered Marketer and holds an MSc in Persuasion Science (cum laude). Ian’s high-trust CUSP® Sales & Negotiating System is heavily supported up by the latest neuroscientific discoveries. He has consulted in most industries and is currently completing his PhD in The Neuroscience of Persuasion.

So, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and get your tickets now.


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