An objection isn’t an arrow aimed for your demise. It’s nothing personal. And it’s a normal part of your customer’s buying process that your sales team needs to be aware of.
A sales objection is a manifestation of uncertainty—a display of hesitance, doubt, or concern on the part of the potential buyer.
Why do customers object? They’re assessing risk, considering alternatives, juggling budget constraints, and in many instances, reflecting on their personal or organizational pain points.
Objections are natural and should be expected in the sales process. Understanding them will not only strengthen your sales pitch, but also help you build a stronger connection with your potential customer.
Objections have two main forms: real and perceived. Real objections are tangible issues, such as a lack of budget. Perceived objections are often rooted in misconceptions, misinformation, or a lack of understanding about your product or service.
Understanding this difference is key, as it will affect how you approach and overcome each objection.
Most Common Sales Objections, What They Really Mean, and Their Rebuttals
Unraveling the mysteries of different types of sales objections often feels like decoding a foreign language. But all you have to do is go back to the fundamentals—that is, understand why a prospect is objecting.
Once you understand why, you’ll know how to approach them.
Here’s a breakdown of the most frequent objections you’ll encounter in B2B sales.
“It’s too expensive.”
Price objections typically indicate two things:
- A perceived lack of value, rather than a reflection of the actual cost
- They don’t have the funds
How to respond?
The first step is to uncover the real reason behind their objection. You can ask, “What other features do you need to make this product worth the price?”
If they don’t think the value of your product is worth the price, they’ll tell you what they think is missing. This gives you a way forward.
Emphasize the value proposition of your product and how it addresses their pain points. Share your social proof, discuss your features and benefits, and highlight case studies and customer testimonials.
However, if they don’t have the funds, you might set up a payment plan that makes it easy for them to pay in installments. A yearly subscription, for instance, paid monthly.
Don’t be too quick to offer a discount, however. We generally don’t recommend this as it’s not sustainable and can devalue your offering.
“We’re already using a competitor’s product.”
This usually indicates a reluctance to switch solutions due to the time, money, and effort required to do so. And sometimes, they just don’t see how your offering is different from your competitor’s. Who wants to fix something that’s not broken?
How do you respond?
Find out why they chose to stick with the competitor. If it has something to do with migration logistics, your team can step in to provide assistance.
Close does this. We offer free migration to new customers, and have a team dedicated to making the process painless.
If, however, they enjoy your competitor’s solution and can’t spot the difference, this is an opportunity to stress the value of your product.
To get them talking, ask: “Why did you decide to go with them, and how are you finding their product or service?”
This is an open-ended question that can provide insight to position your product better.
“Your solution doesn’t have X feature.”
This objection might signal that the prospective buyer values a specific feature—and they think your solution doesn’t have it.
How to respond? Suggest a complementary product that integrates with yours.
In SaaS, this is common. Most SaaS tools integrate with many third-party apps, which make it easy to use the entire tech stack together in harmony.
“I don’t have the authority.”
Objections about a lack of authority don’t necessarily mean you’re talking to the wrong person.
When a potential client says, “I don’t have the authority to make this purchase,” you can ask them who you should speak with at the company.
Here’s the upside. Since you already have the attention of an internal team member, you can learn more about your target account and the decision-makers you’ll meet. By courting the favor of your first contact, you can gain valuable information that will prepare you to sell better.
This person can also be your internal champion at the company, securing buy-in and providing the help you need.
“We have no sense of urgency.”
At some point, a prospect will say: “Problem X is not important to us at the moment,” or, “This is not a priority for us right now.”
This sales objection warrants closer inspection.
Are they really focusing on something else at the moment? Or, is it a lack of trust? Is it a brush-off?
If they’re focusing on other things, ask them what challenges they are presently tackling—and see how you might help.
If they just don’t trust you, take your time to build the relationship.
And if it feels like a brush-off, try scheduling a meeting with them at a later date.
“We don’t need this.”
When a prospect says, “We don’t have a need for this,” dig deeper. It probably just means they don’t understand how your product can help them.
Asking open-ended questions based on preliminary research might open doors. For example, maybe you know they use a similar product—and you know the pain points that product solves.
Start a conversation with: “I know you currently use X product that solves Y problem. We know it doesn’t have [a missing feature], and that causes XYZ problem. Our product does Y and Z.”
Explain how your product can help them better than their current stack of solutions. This gives you an opening—and resolves the “lack of need” objection.
4 Proven Strategies to Overcome Objections
For any sales professional, the dream is to get a “yes” ASAP. However, Chris Voss, a retired FBI lead hostage negotiator, recommends getting a “no” first.
In his book “Never Split the Difference,” he explains that getting a “no” makes your counterpart feel in control. And by doing so, they feel safer and continue talking—a discussion that will eventually lead to important insights and a “yes.”
So, much of this section is about mastering the art of turning “no” into “yes.” Let’s dive into a few proven strategies that do just that.
1. Empathize with the Customer
Empathy is a fundamental aspect of successful sales. It’s about understanding the prospect’s concerns, acknowledging their point of view, and showing genuine care. Respond with phrases that validate their concerns, like: “I understand why you might feel that way.”
Here’s an example of a sales conversation where a prospect has an objection and a sales rep responds with empathy.
Prospect: “Your software solution looks promising, but it seems to lack integration with our current CRM system. That integration is crucial for our team’s workflow.”
Salesperson: “I appreciate your feedback, and I understand how important the CRM integration is for your team’s efficiency. We’re committed to delivering a solution that meets your needs. While our software may not currently have a direct integration with your CRM, we have a dedicated team working on expanding our integration capabilities.
“In the meantime, we do offer alternative ways to streamline your workflow. Our software provides robust data export and import functionalities, allowing you to easily transfer data between systems. We have also successfully worked with other clients that faced similar integration challenges, and we can collaborate with your IT team to explore potential workarounds or custom integration options.”
This will show prospects that you genuinely care about them—and will build trust.
2. Practice Active Listening
Active listening is more than just hearing the words being said. It involves understanding your prospect’s needs and their concerns about your product/service.
Nodding, maintaining eye contact, asking relevant follow-up questions, and paraphrasing the customer’s objections to demonstrate your engagement are some of the obvious signs of active listening.
But what if you’re in a remote environment? This will be done using your words.
Here is an example of what that would sound like.
Prospect: “I’m interested in your product, but I’m concerned that it may not offer the level of customization we require for our unique business processes.”
Salesperson: “Thank you for your interest, and I understand that customization is a critical factor for your business. Could you please give me more details about your specific customization needs? I want to make sure that I fully understand your requirements and can address your concerns appropriately.”
When you ask these questions, you’ll uncover areas of mutual interest—and learn how to bypass objections.
3. Address Objections Directly
You can also tackle objections head-on with respectful confidence. If a prospect says your product is too expensive, don’t skirt the issue—address it directly. Provide additional context or demonstrate the value that justifies the price.
Here’s a B2B scenario where a salesperson tackles a sales objection directly—and respectfully.
Prospect: “I’m hesitant to invest in your solution because I’ve heard mixed reviews about your customer support. Some of my colleagues had negative experiences, and that raises concerns for us.”
Salesperson: “Thanks for bringing up your concerns! I appreciate your honesty, and I understand the importance of reliable customer support when considering an investment of this size. I want to assure you that we take customer satisfaction seriously and continuously strive to improve our support services.
“I’d like to learn more about the specific concerns your colleagues had. Could you share any details or examples? Understanding their experiences will help me address your concerns more effectively.”
Prospect: “Well, one of my colleagues mentioned that when they had an urgent issue, it took a long time to receive a response from your team, causing delays in their operations.”
Salesperson: “I’m sorry to hear about that negative experience. Delays in response time can be frustrating, and I apologize for the inconvenience. We have actively been working to enhance our support processes to deliver timely and effective assistance for our customers.
“To prevent similar situations, we recently made significant investment toward expanding our support team and implementing a more efficient ticketing system. This helps us to prioritize urgent issues and reduce response times significantly.”
4. Offer Solutions, Not Products
In the eyes of the customer, your product or service must be more than a standalone offering—it needs to be a solution to a business problem. For instance, if a prospect objects because your product lacks a particular feature, reframe the conversation to highlight how your solution can still effectively address their needs.
Here’s an example where a prospect objects due to a missing feature, and the salesperson shows them other solutions that can address their needs.
Prospect: “Your software looks promising, but it lacks a key feature we need for project management. Without it, we may have to consider other options.”
Salesperson: “I appreciate your interest, and I understand the importance of that specific feature you mentioned. While it’s currently not available in our software, I’d like to explore some alternative solutions that could address your needs.
“One option is to integrate our software with a third-party project management tool that offers the desired feature. By leveraging integration, we can combine the strengths of both platforms and provide a comprehensive solution. This way, you can benefit from our software’s existing features while accessing the functionality you require.
“In fact, we have successfully integrated with several popular project management tools in the past, like [Tool A] and [Tool B]. These integrations have allowed our customers to leverage the power of both systems and streamline their project management processes. If you want, I can connect you with our integration team, who will work with you to explore possibilities and guide you through the integration setup.”
Advanced Techniques for Overcoming Objections
Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s introduce a few advanced techniques.
The “FEEL, FELT, FOUND” Technique
This approach acknowledges how the customer feels, explains that others have felt the same way, and then states what those others found once they used your solution.
Here are the necessary steps for the “‘Feel, Felt, Found’ technique:
- Start by acknowledging the objection and empathizing with the prospect’s feelings
- Share a story or example of a customer who had similar concerns
- Highlight what the customer found or discovered after using your product
- Connect the customer’s concerns to the positive outcomes experienced by others
- Offer support and a path forward
Here is an example that uses the “Feel, Felt, Found” approach to disarm a hesitant lead.
Prospect: “I’m hesitant to invest in your software. It seems to have a steep learning curve, and our team is already overwhelmed with multiple tools.”
Salesperson: “I understand how you feel. Many of our customers have shared similar concerns in the past. They felt overwhelmed by the idea of adding another tool to their workflow.
“However, after implementing our software, they found that the learning curve wasn’t as steep as anticipated. Our intuitive user interface and comprehensive onboarding resources helped their team quickly adapt to our solution.
“We also have an expert support team that is always available to address any concerns you have during implementation. We’re confident that you’ll see the same benefits as our other customers.
“Can we discuss further and explore how our solution can address your needs?”
THE “LAER” TECHNIQUE (LISTEN, ACKNOWLEDGE, EXPLORE, RESPOND)
The LAER technique is a powerful framework for handling sales objections. LAER stands for Listen, Acknowledge, Explore, and Respond. Here’s an example of how to use the LAER technique in a B2B sales scenario.
Prospect: “Your pricing is too high for our budget. We’re looking for a more affordable option.”
Listen: “I hear your concern about pricing. Understanding your budget constraints is central to finding the right solution for your needs. Could you share more about the budget range you have in mind?”
Acknowledge: “I understand that affordability is a significant factor in your decision-making process. We value this consideration, and want to make sure you receive a solution that aligns with your budget.”
Explore: “What specific features or capabilities are important to your organization? By understanding your priorities, we can explore different options to find the best budget-friendly fit. And, are there any financial constraints or limitations I should be aware of?”
Respond: “Based on your budget and needs, we have a range of pricing options and packages available. Our goal is to provide you with the best value for your investment. I’d be happy to discuss different pricing plans, including any available discounts or promotions that might be suitable for your organization.
“Additionally, we can explore alternative configurations or payment structures that help accommodate your budgetary requirements while still delivering the core functionalities you need.
“I also want to emphasize the long-term benefits of our solution. While the upfront investment may appear high, our customers have found that our solution’s reliability, scalability, and excellent customer support bring significant cost savings and a strong ROI.”
An experienced salesperson anticipates objections before they arise. By addressing potential issues proactively, you can avoid surprises and ensure that your sales pitch is comprehensive and compelling.
This also lets you preemptively provide information and reassurance.
Salesperson: “I understand you’re considering our software solution for your team’s project management needs. As you explore our product, you may raise a concern some of our customers have had, and I’d like to address that now.”
Salesperson: “Some express concern about the learning curve associated with implementing a new software tool. They worry about the time and effort required to train team members and make a smooth transition.”
Prospect: “Yes, that’s a concern for us, too.”
Salesperson: “Understandably. I want to assure you that we have a comprehensive onboarding and training program designed to address this concern. Our dedicated training team will work closely with your organization to create a tailored plan that aligns with your specific needs and minimizes any disruption to your workflow.
“We offer a combination of self-paced online training modules, live webinars, and hands-on workshops to accommodate different learning preferences. Our training resources are designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, helping your team to quickly grasp the software’s functionalities and apply them to their day-to-day work.
“Our customer success managers are also available to guide you through the entire process, ensuring a smooth transition and providing ongoing support. We’ve received tons of positive feedback from our existing customers about the effectiveness and responsiveness of our training and support services.”
Handle Sales Objections with Confidence + Close More Deals
Overcoming objections is a necessary skill in the sales world. It’s not about manipulating the customer into buying your product. It’s understanding their concerns, addressing those concerns, and showing how your solution creates value to meet their needs.
Mastering the art of handling objections takes time, practice, and patience. But with persistent learning and dedication to your craft, you’ll be turning objections into opportunities faster and more successfully than ever before.