What is Objection Handling? 7 Tips to Do it Right

If you’ve closed or attempted to close a deal before, you’re probably familiar with objection handling. Often rooted in concerns or hesitations, objections have the potential to derail even the most promising deals.

The ability to handle objections is an essential skill that can empower sales teams to steer prospects toward successful conversions. In this article, you’ll learn the fundamentals of objection handling — including the different types of sales objections as well as best practices and techniques — and find 10 examples of common objections and how to overcome them.

What is objection handling?

Sales objections refer to concerns, resistance or hesitations expressed by prospects during the sales process. Objections can take various forms, including price concerns, doubts about product suitability, skepticism regarding value or a reluctance to make a commitment. 

Objection handling is a crucial component of the sales process for several reasons:

  • It provides meaningful insights into the concerns and needs of prospects. By addressing objections efficiently, you can build trust, show your expertise and establish credibility with your potential customer.
  • It increases the chance of a successful conversion by giving sales teams the opportunity to overcome resistance and alleviate doubts. Objection handling allows you to provide relevant information, clarify misunderstandings and present compelling solutions tailored to the prospects’ specific needs.
  • You can showcase your ability to adapt, listen and empathize during the objection handling process — all of which are essential skills for establishing long-term relationships with clients.

The 3 main types of sales objections

During the sales prospecting and outreach process, you may encounter a few different types of objections from potential customers. Understanding how to anticipate and respond to each type is essential to help move the sale forward and close the deal successfully. Here are three of the most common sales objections and how to respond to them:

Price Objections

When prospects raise concerns about the cost of your product, it usually reflects their desire to ensure they’re making a smart investment. These objections may arise due to budget constraints, a perceived value mismatch or a need for clarification on the return on investment.

How to respond: Emphasize the value of your product rather than its price tag, provide payment options or discounts if possible and be willing to negotiate when appropriate. You should also recognize that not all potential customers will actually find your offering too expensive – some may just be looking for a bargain.

Product Objections

Objections related to product features, capabilities or quality can be harder to address because the customer may already have an opinion about your offering that you cannot easily change. 

How to respond: It’s important to remember that the prospect may not fully understand the benefits of your product, and it is up to you to educate them on why they should purchase it. Highlight the features and benefits of your product, and address their specific concerns with additional information, demonstrations or customer testimonials. If that doesn’t work, you could also consider recommending a different product that might better address their pain points.

Timing Objections

Another common objection relates to timing: prospects may feel they don’t need to purchase the product or service right away or they might think they can wait to get a better deal. 

How to respond: Offer a trial period so they can try your product before committing to a purchase. You can also try emphasizing the urgency of the purchase and the potential consequences of not purchasing now — you can do this by providing a timeline of when the product will be available or when a promotion will end. 

7 objection handling techniques

By using the following techniques, you’ll be able to better navigate the challenges that arise when prospects raise objections and close deals more effectively:

  1. Active listening: When an objection arises, it’s important to take time to listen to what your potential customer is saying. Allow them to fully communicate their concerns without interruption or judgment and show empathy toward their perspective.
  2. Address the root cause: When addressing an objection, focus on the root cause of the problem rather than just the objection itself. By understanding the underlying issue, you can better assess how to address the prospect’s needs and provide a solution that works for both parties.
  3. Provide relevant information: Offering information or data that puts your product in context with customer pain points can help showcase its benefits. This will also help build credibility and trust by showing the customer that you understand their problem and are invested in helping them resolve it.
  4. Use social proof: Customer testimonials and case studies are great examples of social proof and can be used to demonstrate the value of your product. This is another good way to establish trust and illustrate that you’re not just telling the prospect what they want to hear.
  5. Include your team: If the objections are complex or require multiple viewpoints, including other people on the call may be beneficial. In fact, team selling makes you 258% more likely to close a deal than if you were flying solo. However, having too many participants can be counterproductive and overwhelming, so it’s recommended to have more than one participant, but fewer than four.
  6. Save price for last: The best sales reps don’t bring up pricing until later in the conversation — during a one-hour call, successful reps introduce pricing within the 38-46 minute window. By waiting to discuss the price until the end, you allow prospects to get to know your product and build trust with them before discussing the cost. If they’re impressed with the product, they’ll likely have fewer pricing objections.
  7. Follow up: If you cannot overcome an objection on the first attempt, don’t be afraid to follow up later. This shows that you are committed to helping the prospect find a solution and it may help increase your chances of making a future sale.

Objection handling takes practice, but by following these tips, you’ll be able to better address customer concerns and move them closer to a buying decision. Remember: not all sales objections can be overcome, but having strong objection-handling skills will go a long way.

10 common sales objections

#1 – “It costs too much”

Response: “Let’s take a closer look at the value our product provides, such as [specific benefits], which can help you [address specific pain points or save money]. When you weigh the long-term advantages against the upfront investment, many of our clients find that the return on investment justifies the price.”

#2 – “It’s too risky”

Response: “Let me assure you that we have a comprehensive onboarding process, a dedicated support team and a proven track record of successful implementations with clients similar to you. We’re committed to minimizing any potential risks and ensuring a smooth transition, so you can feel confident in your decision to partner with us.”

#3 – “I don’t see what your product could do for me”

Response: “Allow me to share some specific use cases and success stories from clients in similar industries/situations. By showcasing the tangible results they’ve seen, I believe you’ll gain a better understanding of the value our product can bring to your organization.”

#4 – “I’m not interested”

Response: “I appreciate your honesty and I respect your decision. Would it be alright if I were to send over some information about our product? I’d be happy to schedule a follow-up call if anything piques your interest.”

#5 – “We already have a provider”

Response: “I understand that you currently have a provider in place. However, I’d love the opportunity to demonstrate how our product offers unique features and benefits that can further enhance your business. Would you be open to a brief discussion to explore any additional value we can bring to your organization?”

#6 – “We don’t have the budget”

Response: “We have flexible pricing options and can work with you to find a solution that fits your budget. Also, our product has helped many customers save money and increase their efficiency, which could offset your investment in the long run.”

#7 – “The timing isn’t right”

Response: “I understand that timing is important, and it’s crucial to make decisions that align with your business needs. Would it be possible to schedule a follow-up call or meeting to reassess the timing in a few weeks/months and see if there are any upcoming initiatives where our product could be of value?”

#8 – “I need to think about it”

Response: “That’s completely understandable. To help with your decision-making process, may I ask what information you would like to consider further? This way, I can provide you with any additional resources or address any concerns that may help you make an informed decision.”

#9 – “I need to speak with my boss/partner”

Response: “I understand the importance of involving your boss/partner in the decision-making process. Would it be helpful if I provided additional materials or scheduled a call to speak directly with them? This way, we can address any questions or concerns they may have and ensure that all stakeholders have the necessary information to make an informed decision.”

#10 – “We don’t have the resources”

Response: “Our product is designed to help optimize resources and streamline operations. By implementing our solution, many customers have experienced increased efficiency and cost savings. Let’s explore further how our offering aligns with your resource needs and discuss potential options for implementation that can mitigate any resource limitations.”

Pro Tip: Crunchbase can help you find and connect with qualified prospects — learn more here or talk to sales if you’re looking for a custom prospecting solution for your team.

  • Originally published May 26, 2023, updated May 31, 2023