Overcoming The Top Five Sales Objections In 2020

Posted on October 21, 2020

In the ideal world, your potential customers are willing, ready and able, thanks to the effective lead qualification process. Sadly, none of us live in the ideal world, so obviously we should expect objections.

While these are unavoidable, you can always learn how to overcome them more smartly, and creatively turn a ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ to a straight ‘yes’. Here’s how to achieve this.

"No means not now."

If you're in sales, this is one of the top rules.

How To Overcome Objections

We’ll take a minute to cover specific objections though there is a more defined process for overcoming objections. Put it into practice in order to learn more about overcoming objections—regardless of what it takes.

Generally, this process involves four basic steps:

1. Listen and Identify

Even when your prospects spell out their objections, be sure to listen. Rather than jumping in to give an answer or justify your product or service—or worse still interrupting your prospect before they finish sharing all their concerns, give your prospect enough time to speak. This helps them feel like you’re genuinely concerned and interested in helping; this boosts your chances of closing the deal once you address the objection.

2. Understand and Empathise

People can be complicated sometimes. We don’t always say what we mean and even if we tried to, our words are often misinterpreted.

It’s therefore crucial to digest and be able to rephrase your prospect’s concerns and demonstrate that you truly understand their objection (or that you really don’t understand, hence giving them a chance to correct you).

For instance, you may say “Just to be sure that we are on the same page here, your concern is that our onboarding costs are very high, so it’ll likely take longer and cost too much—for you to get value of our product. Is that right?”

There could be other underlying objections your prospect hasn’t shared, or may just have alluded to. This might require you to ask open-ended questions just to unearth all the objections before you respond more effectively.

3. Isolate

It's one thing to get an objection however as a professional sales consultant, you're responsible for controlling the conversation. Isolating an objection is often skipped on the basis of hope that you can overcome this objection quickly to close the deal.

You should always isolate the objection directly after or as part of your empathetic response.

"I can certainly understand what you are saying. Now so that it's clear in my mind, is this the only thing that's stopping you today?"

This simple phrase will lock the objection in, and in most instances prevent the buyer from responding with another objection. Throwing in 'today' subtlety puts emphasis on closing the deal now.

4. Respond

Whether or not your prospects’ concerns sound serious to you, be sure to acknowledge that their concerns are valid. If they seem to think that you’re not taking their objections with the weight they deserve or just trying to lure them into an agreement, your chances of closing the deal are very slim.

If you feel you have the authority to handle the objection at hand, don’t shy away from doing it.  Otherwise, just explain that you may need to push it up the flagpole and schedule an appropriate time to revert to them.

5. Confirm and Overcome

Recap the objection and confirm with the prospect that if you would overcome the objection they would be willing to go ahead with the deal.

This next part is very crucial as there’s no need of taking your time to overcome an objection if it won’t get you closer to securing business. Keep in mind that some prospects will simply never buy no matter what you to—in which case it should never be considered as an objection but rather a brush off. If they have insufficient budget, aren’t a fully qualified prospect, have no authority to make the decision and have no signs of escalating your pitch to anyone higher in the chain of command, then you are probably wasting your time.

In summing up, these four steps could be narrowed down to the following:   

Prospect: “I honestly can’t take this any further because I fear caterpillars, and there’s one right there on your logo.”

  • Listen and Identify and I – Employ active listening skills.
  • Understand and Empathise – “So you mean you have a caterpillar phobia, and even mere pictures of caterpillars make you uncomfortable?”
  • Isolate – “Is this the only thing that's stopping you from signing today?"
  • Respond – “I totally understand. Phobias can really have a serious effect on everyday life. I bet we could probably remove the logo from your instance of the tool. Would that help?”
  • Confirm and Overcome – “Great, so if we can go ahead with this, I’ll speak with the tech team to see about removing that logo.”

Overcoming Specific Objections

After reviewing the basic process, here are the 5 most common sales objections you’re likely to face, and how you should handle them.

1. “Now isn’t a Good Time.”

Timing objection is so common for a couple of reasons. As a matter of fact, there are two underlying objections here: 1) Personally I have no time to handle this and 2) This is just not the right time to buy it.

Either way, you need to do further investigation to know how to handle this objection.

How to Handle It

If your prospect feels it’s not a good time to purchase, consider the following before going any further:

  1. Ensure the prospect is qualified (avoid wasting your precious  time)
  2. Don’t oversell just because you feel desperate

Check this article for more inspiration on how to respond to this objection. Try a few until you find those that best suit your style. The main goal is to cause the lead to come to own conclusion that now is the best time to proceed.

If the prospect seems too busy, consider #5 below.

2. “Too Expensive.”

This objection can be ambiguous and while your prospects could be truly lacking cash, it could also be a brush off or they may not really think your product or service is of much value equivalent to the cost.

How to Handle It

Again, you have to work smart to get the real reasons for the objection. Pause for a few seconds after the prospect objects the price, as this will prompt them to voluntarily provide more information. Give them time to talk after which you can ask a few questions to really get to the root of their objection.

Find out why the prospect thinks your product or service is expensive (probably in comparison with alternatives). In most cases you’ll realise their reason is a mere vague feeling and nothing concrete. Here, employing a few hard facts can help put their minds at ease.

If you think the prospect just requires a little reassurance, explain the pricing in relation to the ROI and how much it would cost the prospect if they failed to act. It’s more about demonstrating its value and less about proving that the product is worth its price.

3. “Competitor is Cheaper.”

This sales objection is commonplace and once in a while you won’t miss to meet a target who will try to shut you down by mentioning your competitors. Take this as a blessing in disguise since a true comparison with a worthy competitor will give you a chance to highlight overlooked opportunities and ride on them to bring out new ideas. It’s possible that the target is well informed and knows exactly what they need (since they have been researching more about your competitors or talking to them), relax, this will sure save you time.  

How to Handle It

Ask questions to find out how well they know the competitor or the offer received from them. While they may not be willing to switch to your product or service immediately, be sure to use it as a learning experience and if they happen to highlight problems that your product or service can solve, you’re in luck as you may just end up making the sale.

4. “It Doesn't Have This Extra Feature.”

In this time and era, consumers are used to and expect personalised products. Sometimes that can happen and other times can’t. If it’s impossible, you can choose to go and make your prospect feel like your solution is actually personalised by giving them more time during your interactions and listening keenly.

How to Handle It

Sure thing, customise where you can and to the extent you’re able to. But also understand that if your prospect asks for something you can’t provide they may just not be a good fit after all.

5. “I Don’t Have Time to Talk to You Right Now.”

Despite sounding like a mere brush-off, this objection can sometimes be true as rarely do people have anything extra nowadays. If your target seems too busy, there’s simply no guaranteed solution, give yourself a pat in the back that at least your alternatives are quite straightforward.

How to Handle It

First, try to find out if truly it’s a lack of time or something else. By following the above general objection process, your interaction may sound like this:

“I’m sorry I really don’t have time to talk to you today.”

  • Listen – Pay careful attention.
  • Understand – “I perfectly understand. I’m swamped too, and this is definitely a crazy time of the year.”
  • Respond – “I honestly don’t want to waste your time. I can tell you about the product in exactly three minutes. If you’re really interested, I’ll send you more information, and if not, we’ll leave it at that.”
  • Confirm – “Awesome, so not more than three minutes of your precious time. How does that sound?”
    • If your prospect says yes – “Excellent, can I go ahead now?”
    • If they say no – “I’m looking at my calendar; how about today afternoon at 3 o’clock?”

If the answer is still a no, you may have to explore more deeply to understand what’s really going on. If you’re struggling to find your way around the objection, assume the target might truly be in need but that need isn’t huge. If this is the case, you may have to reassess the target’s journey to this point as you could have missed something that makes them feel the problem is less important.

Punching It All Together

There you have it—5 most common objections and opportunities to turn them into real sales. Ideally, if you practice and perfect the general objection technique, you’ll remain with a virtual skeleton key that will help you deal with any form of objection that may crop up along the way.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that objections are a natural part of any sales process and not necessarily a reflection of your skills as a salesperson. As a matter of fact, an objection serves as the training ground to perfect your technique. If you never face any, you may be missing out on priceless chances to become an excellent salesperson.

If you wish to horn your objection-overcoming abilities even further, this is how to take it to the next level:

  1. Perfect your sales process from start to finish. Remember that objections don’t pop up in a vacuum, and if you break the other parts of the sales conversation, then the whole process will collapse (objection or not).
  2. Practice makes perfect. Practice on the job, in front of the mirror as well as in your personal life. Your sales numbers will impress you.
  3. Self-awareness is important. Any person can learn the sales and objection scripts, but employing them with flair requires a lot of empathy, patience and understanding. Be sure not to patronise your leads or recite responses like a robot.
  4. Know when to call it quits. Of course, the data compels us to contact a lead multiple times in order to gain greater chances of getting through, but it reaches a point when more follow-up is unwise. So pay careful attention to the signals your prospect is or isn’t sending.