There’s nothing more frustrating than being far along into a sale, thinking that it’s going well…and then suddenly the prospect starts pegging you with sales objections.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do at the beginning and the end of the selling process to avoid these dreaded sales objections—and ultimately overcome them.
In this video, I’m going to show you the 7 most common sales objections and how to overcome them. Check it out:
Sales Objections Video Summary:
Before we dig into the most common sales objections and how to overcome them, I want to give a little context to how I plan to address them. First, I’m going to talk about what the sales objection is. Second, I’m going to talk about how you can avoid that sales objection in the first place—which is actually the most important piece to this process. And then, finally, I’ll talk about what to actually say and do to deal with sales objections, if you try to avoid them and just can’t.
Now, let’s get started.
Common Sales Objections #1: Your price is too high.
If you’ve been in sales for any length of time, and you’re not selling for a Walmart of organizations, you’ve probably heard this sales objection before: “Your price is too high.”
Price is all about perceived value. The best way to avoid this sales objection in the first place is to focus on the real value that your service actually provides to the prospect. When you do this correctly, price becomes an inconsequential obstacle to enabling the prospect to solve their problems.
By focusing on the value throughout the sale, you’re going to hear this sales objection far less frequently.
But if you focus on the value your service brings, and you still hear a prospect say, “You know what? Your price is too high,” don’t have a knee-jerk reaction and start justifying your price.
Many salespeople respond to this common sales objection by getting into a verbal arm-wrestling match with the prospect, explaining all the great reasons why their service is worth the cost.
Don’t fall into this trap. Instead, simply hear the prospect out, acknowledge their concerns, and then dig into them with probing questions. Try saying, “I really appreciate your saying that. Can you tell me a little bit about why you think the price is too high?” If they start talking about some of their challenges in response, dig deeper to learn more about what they care about most.
Anytime you’re dealing with a sales objection, it’s not about getting into an arm-wrestling match, but rather taking the prospect’s energy and using it to divert the conversation in the direction you want.
Common Sales Objections #2: I need to think about it.
It’s easy to avoid this sales objection in the first place by simply making sure that you establish enough value—and also that you understand the prospect’s decision-making process.
When you create enough value in the sale, you help the prospect determine the true value of solving their challenges. Once they’ve talked about their challenges, and you’re getting commitment along the way, the next step is to really understand their decision-making process.
A question like, “So tell me, how do you expect to make a decision like this?” can illuminate a lot and prevent the dreaded “I need to think about it” sales objection later on.
But let’s imagine that you do hear this sales objection. How should you respond? Say something like, “You know what? I really appreciate what you’re saying. Can you help me understand what you have to think about? What are the most important considerations you’re going to be thinking about?”
Now, the prospect should start to share what they’re thinking about, including any concerns that they have. Get everything out on the table. Think of yourself as an armchair psychologist. You want to get all of that information out of them—and once you do, you can overcome this common sales objection.
Common Sales Objections #3: I need to run this by so-and-so.
I need to run this by my partner. I need to run this by my wife. I need to run this by my team. I need to run this by my boss. Anytime you hear “I need to run this by…” and you weren’t expecting it, you’ve done something wrong in the sales process.
Because you should have already learned this when you asked about their decision-making process during the discovery phase.
By the way, it’s perfectly fine if prospects need to engage their team in the conversation, or run the decision by another person. But you want to know exactly who’s involved in the process before you present your solution.
That’s why, when you ask about the decision-making process, you want to ask questions like, “Help me understand how you usually make a decision like this,” or, “What’s your typical decision-making process for a project like this?” Get them to tell you the whole process: the who, what, when, where, and why.
Now imagine you’re in the middle of a sale, and the prospect says, “I need to run this by my husband.” You didn’t expect them to say that. So, say something like, “Makes total sense. Help me understand what you’re going to be considering as you talk this over with your husband?” Then maybe say something like, “Well, would it make sense for the three of us to put our heads together? Then we can really discuss it, and I can share with him exactly what it is we’re talking about to give him as much insight as possible.” Now you’re controlling that sale.
Whether it’s a husband, a wife, a partner, a boss, or a team, you want to get involved in that conversation to move onto the next step.
Common Sales Objections #4: I can’t afford it.
We’ve all heard this sales objection before. But if you hear a prospect say “I can’t afford it,” and that information is surprising to you, then it means you didn’t do a good enough job up front to create value in the sale. (Do you see a pattern emerging here?)
Chances are, you didn’t establish a budget. If you get to the budget conversation during the discovery phase, before you present, and you determine that the prospect’s budget is super low—then tell them it’s too low. It should never get to the point where the prospect is telling you “I can’t afford it” at the end of a sale.
A good budget conversation should sound something like this: “Typically, a project like this could range anywhere from $100,000 to about $300,000 in order to really solve the challenges that we’re talking about today. Where on that range could you imagine fitting?” If the prospect says, “Well, that’s way higher than I expected,” you can dig into that a little bit. But now you know this is probably not a good time for you to start presenting.
Let’s just imagine for a moment that you skipped the budget conversation and went right into presenting your offering. In response, the prospect says, “I can’t afford it.” Here’s how you might respond: “That’s totally reasonable. I might feel the same way if I were in your shoes. Help me understand, though, why you say you can’t afford it? What’s your thought process, in terms of the challenges that we talked about?” Let them get talking.
Again, if you find yourself in this situation late in the sale, it means you did something wrong at the beginning—but you can still always bounce back.
Common Sales Objections #5: We’re already working with someone else.
This is a little different from some of the other sales objections we’ve covered. This objection usually comes pretty early on in the sales conversation: “We’re working with someone else, and they’re doing a good job, so this probably doesn’t make sense.”
If you hear this sales objection early on, respond, “Totally makes sense. I’ve heard great things about what they do. If you could say one thing that they could be doing better, what would you say it is?” Get them to share that one little thing that their current provider could be doing better.
Sometimes the prospect says, “Hey, they’re awesome. I love them,” and that’s fine. But a lot of times they’re going to say something like, “Oh, well, actually, they could be doing this or that better…”
Another approach, which is even less confrontational, is to say something like, “Oh, you know what? I hear that they’re doing great work. If I’m hearing you right, what you’re basically saying is that they’re absolutely amazing, and that you’re not even considering leaving them.”
Let the prospect reply and either say, “Yes” or “Oh, well, no. I mean, I didn’t say that. They’re doing a good job, but I wouldn’t say great…” Now you’ve got something. Say, “Good but not great. Well, help me understand that.” And now you start to peel back that onion.
Common Sales Objections #6: We don’t have the budget.
We’ve already talked about the “I can’t afford it” sales objection. The “We don’t have the budget” sales objection is similar, but obviously more of a B2B-specific objection. Again, this should be an objection you’re dealing with very early on in the sales process. If you’ve already presented your solution before you hear “We don’t have the budget,” you’ve done something wrong.
During the budget phase of discovery, you should be asking questions like, “Tell me, do you have a budget for this kind of project?” And if they say, “No, we don’t have a budget,” then say, “So you’re telling me that even if we absolutely had the solution, you just simply do not have any budget at this moment to solve this issue?” If they say, “That’s exactly right. We don’t have the budget,” then get ready to say something a little bit gutsy. I want you to respond, “If I’m hearing you right, you’re saying that this really is not a priority right now. Because at any organization, there’s always some money, right? You’re telling me that solving these challenges is just not a priority. Is that fair to say?”
It’s a little bit tough, and it’s a little confrontational, but you’ve got to have the guts. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and deal with someone who says they don’t have the budget. If they really don’t have the budget, you’ve got nothing to lose anyway. You might as well get to the heart of it. Many times this approach will yield the following response from the prospect: “Oh, no, no, no. I didn’t mean to say that. This is really important. Right now we’re just putting together the budget for it, so I don’t know what it is yet…” If they really acknowledge that this is an important project, they’re going to find the budget. Every company has the budget somewhere.
Common Sales Objections #7: I’m too busy right now.
This is a really common sales objection. Again, you should be dealing with this early on in the conversation. This should never be happening after the presentation. To avoid this objection, you obviously have to be showing value throughout the sale. You’ve got to be asking questions around the prospect’s challenges, and around the value of solving them.
Because when someone says, “I’m too busy right now,” what they’re really saying is, “This isn’t important to me right now.” So, acknowledge that.
But if someone says, “You know what? I’m just too busy right now, and I can’t deal with this at the moment. Can we connect again in six months?” then say the following: “I really appreciate your telling me that. What I’m hearing is that it’s simply not a priority for you at the moment to solve these challenges. Is that fair to say?”
If they say, “Yeah, you know what? It’s really not a priority,” then now you know—and you can ask questions about that. On the other hand, the prospect might say, “No, no, no, no. I really do want to solve this, but I’m just super busy at the moment.” And you say, “Okay, so you said it’s really important. Help me understand that.” And dig into that. Help them to see the value of actually solving those challenges right now.
You’ll notice that there’s a pattern through all of these sales objections. You never want to fight sales objections or even disagree with them. What you want to do is acknowledge what the prospect has said, and then dig into it.
So, there you have it. Now you know the seven most common sales objections and how to overcome them. Which of these ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share below in the comments.
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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.