Does overcoming objections in sales feel like walking a dangerous tightrope?
If so, you’re not alone. Once you’ve been in sales long enough, you’ve heard almost every kind of objection imaginable.
We’ve researched the most common objections in sales and boiled them all down to 7 basic objections every salesperson needs to know how to overcome.
What may surprise you is exactly how you should be overcoming objections.
Here’s the secret: The key to overcoming objections is not to overcome them, but rather to avoid them from happening in the first place.
In this video, I’m going to show you 7 proven tips to overcoming objections in sales that you hear constantly — and how to avoid them from happening at all. Check it out:
Overcoming Objections Video Summary:
Overcoming Objections Tip #1: Your price is too high.
Salespeople tell me all the time, “I’m fighting price.” The challenge is that once you hear “Your price is too high,” you’re already in deep trouble.
When it comes to overcoming objections in sales, objections about price are the most dire. That’s because they mean you haven’t shown enough value throughout the sales process to justify the price of your product or service.
Now, there are a few ways to approach this common problem. But let’s take a step back and think about how to create value in the conversation prior to this objection — so you can avoid overcoming objections on price to begin with.
Are you solving a challenge that is important enough to your prospects to justify the price tag of your service or offering? Are you showing real value? Are you asking questions to really understand what solving their problems means to them? Are you uncovering the upside value?
If you can confidently answer these questions in the positive, then you’re heading in the right direction. If not, you have a big problem.
Avoid ever hearing “Your price is too high” by focusing on value up front. If for some reason you still get this objection from a prospect, my suggestion to you is not to respond with some kind of justification of your pricing, but rather to really dig deep to understand why they’re saying that in the first place.
If they say, “Your price is too high,” your response should be, “I really appreciate your saying that. Help me understand why you say that.”
Overcoming Objections Tip #2: This isn’t a good time.
Depending on when you hear this objection in the sales process, your response will be different.
If you hear “This isn’t a good time” later on in the sales process, it means you either haven’t done a good job asking questions to understand the importance of the decision to the prospect, or you’ve failed to understand their decision-making process.
You want to dig in early on in the sales process to understand how important it is to the prospect to solve their challenges. If the challenges are important enough for them to solve right away, then the prospect won’t ever tell you, “This isn’t a good time.”
But if you misread a situation because you didn’t do a good job of ascertaining the importance of those challenges to the prospect, you’ll end up on the receiving end of this dreaded objection in sales.
Saying “This isn’t a good time” is one of the easiest and most common ways for prospects to blow off a salesperson. Most salespeople will accept it and just walk away.
Don’t be one of those salespeople.
If you do hear “This isn’t a good time,” the approach is to reply with a question. Say, “I appreciate your saying that. Can you help me understand why you’re telling me this isn’t a good time?” Or, “You mentioned that challenges A, B, and C were really important to solve, and now you’re telling me it’s not a good time. Help me understand.”
Overcoming Objections Tip #3: You should discuss this with my subordinate.
We’ve all heard some version of this. We’ve all called high up at an organization and had a conversation with a high-level prospect, only to hear, “You know what, this actually isn’t a good conversation for me. You should really talk to my employee or my director of ______.”
The key to overcoming objections like this is to avoid them in the first place.
Let’s say you’re talking to a CEO, having a conversation that’s deep in the weeds about the quality of service they get from a current provider, or something low-level like that. The CEO will immediately hear an alarm bell in their head, saying, “This is not my domain. This is too low-level for me.”
When you’re speaking with high-level prospects, make sure you’re talking about concepts they care about. Talk about things that are important to them. Stay high-level, focusing on concepts like profitability and revenues and other big-picture issues. Don’t get too deep in the weeds.
If you still hear, “You should discuss this with my subordinate,” then respond with some questions and get some feedback. Say, “I appreciate your saying that. Help me understand why you say that I should be discussing this with the person below you.”
Sometimes digging into that can lead you to a place to continue that conversation. If not, just use the feedback you get to understand where you missed the mark so you can do better in the future.
Overcoming Objections Tip #4: Can you call me back next month?
When it comes to overcoming objections, this is one of the most common blow-offs that salespeople get from prospects. If you’ve gotten this objection, it means that leading up to that point, the prospect has not seen enough value to have a conversation with you right now.
Before we ever hear “Can you call me back next month?” we want to be digging into what the prospect cares about. We want to be asking about key challenges. We want to be asking about what they’ve done up until now. We want to be trying to understand the cost of their challenges.
We want to get to a place where they say to themselves, “You know what, now is the time when I should be having this conversation.”
Now, if you’ve done a good job with all that, and you’re still hearing “Can you call me back next month?” then respond like so: “I really appreciate your telling me that. Having done this for a long time, very often when people say that to me, I’ve found it’s just a nice way of saying they don’t want to talk to me or they’re hoping that this is gonna kind of fall apart. They’re not really interested in having the conversation at all. Is that what you’d say is happening here?”
Either they’re going to respond, “You know what, yeah. It’s not really a priority for me right now,” and you can dig into that, or they’re going to say, “No, no, actually, this isn’t a good time because I’m actually dealing with a crisis but I do want to talk to you about this.” In that case, you want to keep the conversation going and use the new information to your advantage.
Overcoming Objections Tip #5: We don’t have the budget.
We’ve all been here, right? When a prospect says, “We don’t have the budget,” every salesperson’s heart sinks. If you’re getting to this point, one of two things are happening. Either you’re talking to a prospect who is too low-level to really have access to the budget, or you haven’t shown the prospect enough value up until that point in the conversation.
Companies have budgets. It’s just a question of speaking to the right person who actually has access to it. I want you to really think long and hard about whether each prospect you reach out to is the right person to talk to.
If your prospect doesn’t see the value in solving the challenges that you’ve discussed, then they’re not a good fit for you anyway. You’ve got to have those conversations to dig deep into what they really care about. If you’ve done a solid job up until then and they still say, “We don’t have the budget,” then reply, “I appreciate your telling me that. Can you help me understand why you say that?”
The data shows that when overcoming objections on budget, responding with a question is the best approach. Regardless of what they say, keep that conversation going to better understand what’s going on.
Be tough in these moments. Don’t just back down.
Overcoming Objections Tip #6: I’d like to think this over.
Think-it-overs are really painful. Sometimes, they’re reasonable, such as when the decision is important and the prospect needs to discuss it with their board of directors as part of their typical decision-making process. In that case, you just want to be sure to schedule a clear next step in the form of a phone call or a meeting.
But if this objection is catching you off guard and it doesn’t sound reasonable given your place in the sales process, you have to consider: Is the prospect telling you “no” but disguising it with “I’d like to think this over” to avoid confrontation? If so, you haven’t done a strong enough job up until now for them to see the value of your solution. That’s something you should have solved up front.
If you feel like you’ve led a strong conversation up until now and you’re still caught off guard, then respond, “I appreciate your telling me that. Help me understand why you’re saying that. Help me understand what you’re going to be considering as you think through this decision.”
You can even ask questions like, “Is there something that you feel like I missed? Or something that you feel like we’re just not really solving based on what I’ve presented so far?”
Get it all out on the table.
Overcoming Objections Tip #7: I need to run this by some other people.
If you hear this objection, and you weren’t expecting it, then you really messed up. You should always know the ins and outs of your prospect’s decision-making process before you ever present a solution.
During the discovery process, ask questions like, “What’s your decision-making process typically like for this kind of decision?” Make sure you understand who is involved and how many people need to be included in the decision. That way, before you give your presentation, you can makes sure everyone who needs to be included can be present. This can help you avoid someone saying, “That presentation was great! But I still have to run it by my boss and three of my co-workers.”
If you already established the decision-making process early on, but you still hear “I need to run this by some other people,” then you should say, “Help me understand. Who exactly do you intend to be talking about this with? Help me understand what the decision-making process looks like from this point forward.”
I rarely hear this issue from salespeople who have done a good job up front because it’s so easily avoidable. But sometimes people get squirrely for one reason or another, and you need to course-correct with some clear next steps. Say something like, “It sounds like you need to talk to some other folks. Would it make sense for us to schedule another meeting where we can all put our heads together and I can share some of my ideas?”
You want to be in control of the schedule. The question I always ask is, “Do you have your calendar in front of you? Let’s get something on the calendar.”
There you have it. Now you know 7 proven tips to overcoming objections in sales that you hear constantly. I want to hear from you. Which of these ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share below in the comments section to get involved in the conversation.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.