There isn’t a salesperson in the world that won’t have to handle objections at some point in their career. Most will conduct some objection handling daily. On the face of it, objection handling might seem like a disappointing part of the role. After all, you’re dealing with people who aren’t immediately keen on your product or service. It is, however, a part of the sales process that should be embraced.
In this article, we’ll share the basics of how you and your team should be handling objections in sales emails and calls. We’ll share some common objections, as well as how you might want to consider handling them. Plus, there’s a series of steps to follow in the cases where you don’t receive a response at all.
- An Introduction To Objection Handling
- Handling Objections With Ease
- Common Objections And Handling Responses
- How To Deal With Zero Response Situations
An Introduction To Objection Handling
Imagine that you’re selling a refrigerator. Most people already have one in their homes, and many won’t consider a purchase until it’s absolutely necessary. You, however, come across someone who is considering their options.
That person lingers near an expensive model, and when asked if they’re interested they let you know it’s great, but it’s more than they were looking to spend.
At this point, you’ve got options:
- Say, “Nevermind,” and move on. That means no sale.
- Ask if they could up their budget, putting the onus on them.
- Showcase the incredible value for money that the refrigerator offers when you consider the wealth of features that it offers.
The last option in this list is the most positive response you can give, and it’s a way of turning an objection into an opportunity to sell the product. Overcoming objections should be seen as a challenge!
Why Handling Objections Is Important
When you’re handling objections, you’re in a position where you can rapidly assess the gaps in your product or service. These can be shared with the rest of the team, pain points can be addressed, and a more appealing product can be created.
Objections don’t equal the end of the sales process. They should be seen as a hurdle rather than an insurmountable object. It might involve some probing, compromise, or change in approach, but many objections can be handled, resolved, and dismissed.
Remember that customers are spending their money. That means there’ll be a degree of trepidation before a purchase is made. Expect to be questioned and expect objections to be raised. If you’re expecting both, you’ll be in a prepared position to formulate a response.
The sooner that salespeople frame objections as opportunities, the sooner they’ll be able to better convert prospects.
As a business owner, you can learn a great deal from objections. You can see if they follow a regular theme and then understand if that is rectifiable. They also encourage you to evaluate your sales process, your sales team, and your product itself.
The Objection Handling Golden Rule
The golden rule of objection handling is to always bring everything back to your sales process and your sales funnel stages. Each business’s sales process is different, but we could break it down into first contact, discussion, evaluation, and purchase.
The vast majority of objections happen during the first contact. Typically this is in response to a cold email or phone call. That’s if you get a response at all. Naturally, most salespeople will attempt to resolve this issue by pressing the benefits of the product in an attempt to get a sale.
That’s the wrong approach. Two steps of the process have been missed.
Instead, always refer back to the sales process and work through it methodically. When faced with an objection during first contact, simply try and engage in a discussion with the prospect. Adhering to this golden rule will lead to a far better response and engagement rate.
Handling Objections With Ease
The following tips exist to help anyone handling objections feel more confident and secure in the process. They can be applied to objections at all stages of the sales process and objections of any nature.
Knowledge Is Power
The more information that you have at your disposal the more successful you’ll be in handling objections. That means having a solid knowledge and understanding of your product, your company, and your prospect.
If you have a complete understanding of your product then you can confidently address any objections that the prospect has with it. Including any specific features or limitations. Chances are that the product can already overcome this objection, you just need to share a specific feature.
The more knowledge you have about your prospect the more likely it is that you’ll already understand their pain points. This helps you to deliver specific solutions related to your product. Arming yourself with this knowledge will also help you to predict what their objections will be. Meaning you can prepare your answers in advance.
People Like To Be Agreed With
It’s natural for salespeople to try and counter objections with solutions, but sometimes people just want to feel heard and agreed with. That means listening to an objection and, with the right choice of words, agreeing that their objection is valid.
An example would be a prospect that feels the price is too high. You could agree that the price is certainly in the higher range. That is simply down to the quality of the product and the value for money that represents.
Practice Active Listening
Active listening is a method of showing that you are genuinely listening to the prospect's words. It’s also that you are responding accordingly at the right time. The same can be said within an email chain. Just because you’re not talking in person doesn’t mean you can ignore parts of the prospect's concerns, objections, or questions.
Absorb their objections and consider them. Then wait for them to complete their part of the conversation. You can then respond in a concise and relevant way.
People like to feel that they’re talking with a real person. If you’re comfortable, open up with some personal information or anecdotes. By humanizing yourself, you represent an actual person rather than a business looking for another sale.
Starting small, including elements of email personalization, is a great first step. That means addressing people by name, including their company details, and personalizing their offer.
You can also bring the personal element to a sales conversation by using case studies and examples of people that overcame a similar objection when considering your product. Conversations like this are at their best when paired with social proof provided on your social channels and reviews.
Your conversation always needs to be relevant to the prospect. Let’s say that you’re selling a website to an electrical engineer. There’s little point in sharing examples you built for a multinational with extensive eCommerce systems. It might sound impressive but has absolutely no relevance to the prospect.
Each time an objection is raised, make a note of it. Over time, you’ll begin to spot patterns of objections in your data that can help across the entire business. The product might evolve to overcome a regular objection. The pricing structure might be altered to match consumer habits. Rather than simply fighting against objections your business is able to understand and adapt toward them as required.
Plan A Follow-Up
Once you’ve responded to an objection, the prospect is going to want some time to consider the implications. Those implications could impact their decision-making. Allow them time to absorb the information you’ve shared but put a follow-up appointment in place. This gives both parties something to aim for and keeps the process from dragging on too long.
Common Objections And Handling Responses
The majority of objections have been seen before and have been handled effectively. Spend time getting to know these common objections and how to respond to them. That way, they’ll be less surprising when they come from a prospect, and you’ll know precisely how to handle them.
This is especially common when cold emailing or cold calling. Often times the recipient is genuinely not interested in your product, and it’s the easiest way to remove themselves from the situation. There are, however, reasons why prospects say that they aren’t interested, and these reasons should be investigated.
- Not Interested As They Already Use Another Cheaper Option: Start by agreeing that their current option is a good choice. Then share the benefits of your product. Bring in comparatives that shed your product in a favorable light. Always ask when their renewal is.
- Not Interested As They Don’t Have The Budget: Ask if you can explore additional options. You might offer a cheaper product or offer a way of making the sale more economical.
- Not Interested As They’re Too Busy: Offer to find a better time to call. Especially as you’re sure that your product is going to improve their current situation.
Just because someone says that it’s too expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. This is a stock answer people use regularly when they need to consider their options. Your mission now is to find out more information. If that price is too expensive, what were they hoping it would be? Find out if they’re fully appraised of all of the features your product offers, and see what product they’re comparing your pricing to.
After you’ve found enough information, move on to the core benefits that your product offers from a financial point of view. Explain how the pricing will be greatly outweighed by their increase in revenue. Share that they’ll recover x amount of time by using your product. Don’t be tempted to oversell at this point, honesty is the best policy.
Hopefully, because you’ve got a solid lead qualification process in place, you won’t hear this objection too often. Salespeople should only be having full conversations with the decision-makers. That’s how you keep them efficient and effective.
There will be situations where you’re simply talking to the wrong person. They don’t have the authority to make decisions. This is the easiest objection to overcome as you simply need to ask for the contact details of the person you should be talking to.
Not A Good Fit
People that feel your product isn’t a good fit haven’t seen the value that you’re offering. Many prospects will look at the immediate impact rather than the long term, so it might be that you need to share that information more clearly. This is a great opportunity to share case studies from clients of yours that were in a similar situation.
Waiting For X, Y, or Z
Another version of this objection is for the prospect to say that it isn’t the right time to be having this conversation. Take note that this isn’t a no. The business might not be done with its forward planning for the next year or quarter. They might be waiting for investment. Perhaps there’s a staff transition that needs to be in place before they can use a new product.
When faced with this objection, begin to gather information. Ask for the details, find out when might be a good time, and when the immediate barrier will be overcome. Don’t try and force your way in, chances are this is a legitimate objection, and pushing too hard could lead to you putting yourself out of the running.
Not A Priority
If you’re hearing this objection, there’s a chance that you’re trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Or at least, the prospects don’t feel that it exists. The best move forward is to educate the consumer (if you’re clear that there is indeed a problem) and show the future benefits. Share how you’re able to save them time or money or make their life easier, and you’ll quickly turn it into a priority.
We Already Work With…
When a prospect is working with a competitor, it doesn’t mean that there’s no way forward together. It’s your task to find out if they’re entirely satisfied and point out areas where your product is a step above. Ask probing questions about what would make their current provider even better. Ask what they’d need to leave them. Ask what would entice them to move over to your offering.
How To Deal With Zero Response Situations
Many cold email campaigns receive no response more often than they receive a reply. That shouldn’t be the end of your attempted communication with the prospect. You’ve got 3 quick steps that you should run through when you don’t get a response:
- Follow-Up: Always send a follow-up email. Perhaps the first email was read and parked for a later date. Maybe they were interested, then something came up. By following up, you’re giving the prospect another chance to engage.
- Build Empathy: When you follow up, include some case studies that are comparable to their current situation. The more you can get a prospect to imagine themselves working with you the more likely they are to reply.
- Deliver Different Value: In your opening email, you might have linked to some content on your website. Don’t immediately link to another piece if you’ve received no reply. Instead, offer value in some other way. Offer a demo, offer a meeting, or share a case study. By mixing it up, you’re working to massage their interest on multiple levels.
If your sales team is able to master the art of objection handling, you’ll quickly be rewarded with a more efficient and effective sales process. When a business treats objections as opportunities to extend the conversation, there’s an opportunity for a mindset shift. They can move from a negative position to a more positive one.
- A comprehensive process of lead qualification should reduce objections in the future.
- Focusing on the value and benefits of the product helps prospects to imagine what their lives would be like with the product in the future.
- Don’t be overzealous in your selling during early conversations. The aim is to develop a dialogue at first.
To first get to the objection handling stage, you’ll need to launch a cold email campaign at scale. Instantly offers a comprehensive suite of cold email tools, including AI-powered account warm-up and effective scalability. Interested? Get started today!