How to Handle Sales Objections in 5 Steps

Are sales objections stopping you in your tracks?

Fielding unexpected objections can be one of the most daunting aspects of sales, especially for a new hire or someone new to selling entirely. This fear is also a leading cause of debilitating Head Trash that can keep salespeople from making enough cold-calls or setting up new business meetings.

The best way to deal with this fear and uncertainty is to face the problem head-on and go into meetings and cold-calls prepared to field a wide range of objections. If you start listing out the potential objections you could hear from a prospect, it might seem like the options are endless. How are you supposed to prepare for everything?

Lucky for you, sales objections actually cluster into a few main groups based on your prospect’s underlying beliefs. Once you master handling one objection in a category, you’ll be able to respond easily and effectively to any number of variations on that theme. Keep reading for 5 steps to handle sales objections.

Sales Objection 1: “That sounds expensive.”

Underlying Belief: “I’m skeptical about the value/ROI.”

When a prospect brings up budget as an objection, the underlying story is about the value or return on investment (ROI) they expect to receive from your product/service. Almost anyone will be able to find the budget for something they truly value—it’s your job to position your product or service in the “can’t do without” category.

Sales Objection 2: “It’s not a priority.”

Underlying Belief: “Your solution isn’t urgent.”

If a buyer hesitates or asks you to call back later, he or she likely doesn’t feel the urgency to move toward your solution. Reroute this objection by asking about current priorities, and using case studies to illustrate the value of your offering.

Sales Objection 3: “Can you handle it?”

Underlying Belief: “I’m not sure I trust your credibility.”

Small businesses and startups often face one particular objection: The question of credibility. When you’re just starting out, or are a small fish in a big pond, your prospects may react negatively to the fact that they haven’t heard of you. Big brand names spend millions on generating brand awareness for a good reason—people tend to trust companies they’ve heard of, and that often results in sales.

Sales Objection 4: “I don’t think we really need it.”

Underlying Belief: “We’re not in pain.”

If a buyer suggests they don’t need your solution, the underlying belief is that they aren’t in pain— that is, they think the status quo is good enough. It’s your job to ask probing questions to uncover a pain point that needs immediate attention.

Sales Objection 5: “That’s not my call.”

Underlying Belief: “I’m not comfortable referring you to the decision-maker.”

If your prospect pushes back by saying they’re not authorized to make purchasing decisions, you might be hearing a statement of fact, rather than an objection. Your goal in this case is not to dispel an underlying belief, but rather to instill confidence in your prospect to introduce you up into the organization.

There you have it – the five most common categories of sales objections. Now it’s up to you to take the objections you hear most frequently and decide which Underlying Beliefs are motivating your prospects. The more equipped you are to handle sales objections, the more sales you’ll close.

For more on the Five Categories of Objections, as well as best-practice strategies for handling them, download our CFS Guide to Handling Objections.


By | 2016-10-17T16:34:35+00:00 May 19th, 2014|Sales Success|5 Comments

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  1. Gregg Berhalter June 5, 2016 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good spirit.

  2. Paul T August 19, 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Great post! Thanks for the tips.

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  4. Kerrie September 4, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

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