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May 5, 2023·16 min read

33 Common Sales Objections and How to Respond to Them

Facing objections in sales comes with the territory, but it doesn’t make them any less painful. Learn how to overcome the most common sales objections the right way.

You’ve done your research and bravely picked up the phone to make the first sales call of the day, and on the other end of the line, you’re met with crushing sales objections that stop you dead in your tracks.

Like a sweet little deer caught in headlights, you freeze and perhaps fumble to make your next move—or maybe you’ve just been hung up on, and it’s a moot point.

Facing and overcoming sales objections is part of the gig, but that doesn’t make it any less complicated (or sometimes excruciating) as a rep to face day-to-day.

That’s why we’re here to make things a little easier for you regarding how to handle objections in sales calls. With the help of our expert Sales Feed team, we’ve rounded up 33 of the most common sales objections and how you can respond to them the right way.

  1. Contents
  2. 1. What Is a Sales Objection?
  3. 2. How to Handle Common Objections in Sales Calls
  4. 2.1 Just “No”
  5. 2.2 “Take Me Off Your List”
  6. 2.3 The Hang Up
  7. 2.4 “I’m Busy”
  8. 2.5 Two Words “Not Interested!”
  9. 2.6 “Where Did You Get My Number?”
  10. 2.7 “Is This a Sales Call?”
  11. 2.8 “Send Me an Email”
  12. 2.9 “Let Me Think about It”
  13. 2.10 They’ve Never Heard of You
  14. 2.11 “You Don’t Understand Our Business”
  15. 2.12 Call Back Next…
  16. 2.13 Don’t Call Me. I’ll Call You
  17. 2.14 “I’m Heading Out on Vacation”
  18. 2.15 “Can We Reschedule?”
  19. 2.16 Straight to Voicemail
  20. 3. Overcoming Budget-Related Sales Objections
  21. 3.1 Too Expensive
  22. 3.2 “Just Give Me the Price”
  23. 3.3 No Budget
  24. 3.4 “I Can Get It Cheaper Somewhere Else”
  25. 3.5 There’s No ROI
  26. 4. Handling Resourcing-Related Sales Objections
  27. 4.1 “We Don’t Have the Capacity to Implement”
  28. 4.2 Not a priority
  29. 4.3 “We Have Something in Place”
  30. 5. Overcoming Product-Related Sales Objections
  31. 5.1 Bad Mouthing from Competitors
  32. 5.2 “What Makes You Different?”
  33. 5.3 “Do You Have This Feature?”
  34. 5.4 Bad Online Reviews
  35. 5.5 You Don’t Have__
  36. 6. “Not the Right Person” Sales Objections
  37. 6.1 “I’m Not the Decision Maker”
  38. 6.2 It’s a Team Decision
  39. 6.3 “I Need to Talk to My Boss”
  40. 6.4 “I’m Not the Right Person”
  41. 7. Handling Objections in Sales with Ease
  42. 7.1 “What Makes You Say That?”
  43. 7.2 Silence Is Golden
  44. 7.3 Prevent Sales Objections Before They Come Up

What Is a Sales Objection?

For those new to the game, a sales objection is a blocker you face from the prospect or person on the other end of the line, email, InMail, etc.

Some sales objections are totally valid, while others are just plain harsh. A buyer can use an objection as a negotiation tactic, or maybe they’re just trying to tell you they aren’t interested in what you have to offer.

Regardless of the type or circumstance, read on to find the best way to handle any sales objection so you can feel confident about your next call or prospect interaction.

Learn the Right and Wrong Way to Handle Sales Objections

Rather watch than read? The Sales Feed team shares rapid-fire examples of how to handle objections in sales calls like a pro—both the right and the wrong way. With a little help, you’ll be ready to take on ANY sales objection that comes your way and come out on top.

Vidyard video thumbnail - click to play

How to Handle Common Objections in Sales Calls

Let’s start with these general or common sales objections you likely face when a prospect tries to blow you off.

1. Just “No”

A straight-up ‘no’ or ‘we’ve decided no’ is a common but tough one. What is the best way to handle this objection?

“I appreciate you telling me. How did you decide that?”

If it’s something that you can influence and change, shoot your shot. If not, it’s time to let it go, as no amount of persuading will likely make them change their mind. You could thank them for their time and figure out what you can do better for the next potential customer.

2. “Take Me Off Your List”

Sales and marketers both hate this one—the dreaded unsubscribe. Usually delivered sternly or in all caps by the recipient. It seems simple enough, but a straight-up “Sure, you’ll never hear from me again.” will suffice.

Objections like these are good reminders to stop wasting time on people who do not intend to buy from you. Instead, thank them for their time and focus your efforts on more qualified prospects. Ensure you have a system to remove them from future emails and automated workflows. Ultimately, it’s better to have fewer engaged prospects than many unengaged (and crusty) ones.

3. The Hang Up

Click—that’s the sound of your dreams being crushed. Try this trick next time it happens. Quickly call back and try, “Hey, it seems like we got disconnected.” Not a guarantee, but it might be worth a go.

Employ what we like to call being pleasantly persistent. Keep pushing, stay positive, and you never know what might happen.

4. “I’m Busy”

Deliver this response in a light-hearted manner—an ”I’m with you, [name], and if you’re like any of my other customers in [industry], you’re probably always busy. Would it be fair to ask for 20 seconds to explain what this is about? If we find it irrelevant, then I can make sure I don’t disturb you again?”

Knee-jerk objections like “I’m busy” or “I’m in a meeting” are often a symptom of what you set up front isn’t different enough and sounds like every other call they’ve heard.

Trying different cold call openers could help in these situations. Give one of the openers below a go; it can’t hurt.

  • A permission-based cold call opener: “You’re not expecting my call. Do you have a moment? This will be brief.”
  • An open-ended cold call opener: ”Hey, I understand you have a lot of calls just want to talk to you about these two things that are really affecting the market right now. This __(trend/observation)__ and __(trend observation)__. Which one of these is affecting you right now?”
  • Go for the wild-card cold call opener: “This is a cold call. Do you wanna roll the dice with me?”

Check out our full cold-calling guide for even more tips to break through.

5. Two Words “Not Interested!”

With these brush-off objections, sometimes it’s easiest to validate and adjust your opener as needed for the next one.

“When you say you’re not interested, is that because you believe that things can’t be done any better than you do them currently, OR is it because you get like 1,000 cold calls a day and you just want to get rid of me?”

When a prospect says they’re not interested, it’s important to try and get to the why.

6. “Where Did You Get My Number?”

Honesty can sometimes be the best answer, and that candor might even keep them on the line. Try something like the objection response below if you get asked how you tracked down their number.

“I spotted your profile on LinkedIn, and I noticed that you might be facing a few of the challenges that we help our customers address, so I used our data provider [i.e., ZoomInfo] to get your details and tried giving you a call. I’d be happy to reach out to them on your behalf and get them to take down your number. However, while I’ve got you, would you be curious enough to know why I went through all of the efforts just to try and have a conversation with you.”

7. “Is This a Sales Call?”

Again, straightforward honesty (plus a little confidence) can work.

To handle this objection, try a simple “Yes, it is. Do you have a minute?”

Enable the conversation to start, then you can get into your pitch and how you might be able to help them. If they don’t seem interested, don’t beat a dead horse—politely thank them for their time and move on.

8. “Send Me an Email”

This is another typical brush-off response you’ve likely faced. And if you go ahead and send that email, you might be wasting your time as it’s not likely to get read.

Before dropping off the call, give a response like the one below.

“I can absolutely do that, but before I do, I’d hate to clog your inbox with something totally irrelevant. Would it be fair to take 30 seconds now to see if this is something that’s relevant to you? If it’s not, I can skip the email and any other follow-up as well?”

By giving the person an option to opt out, they might just give you the benefit of the doubt and agree to give you a chance to talk. If not, and you do send that email, maybe try recording a video message referencing your quick call. Seeing your face in a thumbnail and recalling the earlier phone conversations might grab their attention.

One yellow butterfly standing out among a bunch of blue butterflies. Depicting how the best email subject lines for sales emails can help you stand out and get an open.
Best Email Subject Lines For Sales One yellow butterfly standing out among a bunch of blue butterflies. Depicting how the best email subject lines for sales emails can help you stand out and get an open. Learn how to craft the best email subject lines, including writing tips and an inspiring list of 40+ examples Read the Guide

9. “Let Me Think about It”

When you get this one, call it out as a brush-off attempt and see what happens.

“Maybe I’m being a bit forward, but often when I hear that folks have decided that they’re not interested (and want me to take a hint) OR we’re missing something important. Am I overthinking this?”

If you feel that response is too much, you could go a little simpler and handle the objection like this:

“Out of curiosity, what exactly do you need to think about?”

Delivery is key here, that you come off as genuinely interested. There’s no right or wrong answer—you just want to know what they need to consider. Then you can respond appropriately. It’ll also let you know if there’s truly an issue that needs to be addressed.

10. They’ve Never Heard of You

Is your brand growing or not widely known? Take the opportunity to try and educate them as a way in.

“That’s exactly why I’m calling you. We help with challenges a, b, and c. Are any of those things you’re looking to improve on?”

As an outbound sales rep, this is your time to shine. Help educate your ideal customer profile (ICP) that your company or solution is a thing and can help them solve a real problem they face.

To help build that awareness of your brand (in addition to hopefully your marketing team helping out), mix in other outbound touches like emails, video messages, and social media touches to build awareness with your prospect.

11. “You Don’t Understand Our Business”

Everyone thinks their business and its needs are unique. Aim to make them feel special and help validate their feelings a bit (while also trying to keep the conversation going).

“That’s fair. And I really don’t want to make assumptions. Which parts are you worried that I won’t understand?”

12. Call Back Next…

To handle this objection, lean into why that time will be better to reach out.

“Yeah, I’d be happy to call back. What’s happening next [month, quarter, year] that you think would be a better time to talk?”

13. Don’t Call Me. I’ll Call You

Ah, the “I’ll call you back” is another fun brush-off. Out of 100 of these, you might get five that actually give you a ring back. Try the quick objection response below and see if it gets you anywhere.

“Hey, if it’s not for you, that’s ok! But is it worth taking a few seconds right now to save you the hassle?”

14. “I’m Heading Out on Vacation”

Everyone needs time off to recharge and unplug. And as they’re on their way out, they’re either super busy trying to get organized or half-checked out, dreaming of mai tais on the beach. Try to get something on the books for when they’re back.

“That’s great. How about I send over an email invite, and we can chat when you get back?”

Bonus Tip

If it happens to be a key account, ask them where they’re going and then send them a gift related to their destination.

15. “Can We Reschedule?”

Avoid the trap of email tag. It’s a time waster for everyone involved. If they don’t respond to the objection response below—they probably aren’t that interested anyway, and it might be time to move on.

“Great, I’ve just sent you a new invite same time next week, and if that doesn’t work, here are some alternatives.”

Bonus Tip

Reduce meeting no-shows with a pre-meeting video message discussing what agenda items and areas of focus you’ll cover. It’s just that little extra personal touch that can reduce your no-show rates. Not sure what to say? We’ve got a sales template you can use.

16. Straight to Voicemail

Leave a message and get called back. Not likely. When prospects get your voicemail, they aren’t gunning to write down your number and call you back. Leave a message like the one below, which will not only make you sound very intentional, but that email will have a much higher open rate.

“Don’t worry about calling me back, [name]. I will send you a short email with what this is all about. It will be coming from [your name and your company].”

If you want to take it even a step further, send a video email instead. Not only have they heard your voice and your intention to send an email, but now they can put a face to the name. That little extra personal touch might just be the extra boost you need.

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Budget restrictions are something most B2B businesses face these days. It’s becoming harder to fight for those dollars and differentiate your product or solution as a front-runner. Or be worth the investment for your prospects. Pricing objections are common, and dealing with them has become necessary for businesses to succeed in this competitive environment.

Below, you’ll find some responses to help battle them to help you stand out.

17. Too Expensive

It’s good to think comparatively about this sales objection. Straightforward follow-up questions like the two below are worth trying.

“Expensive compared to what?” or “Oh, what were you expecting?”

And, If you’ve done your discovery call, you can say something like, “You mentioned that this could solve challenges x, y, and z, and those cost you upwards of [add figure]. Are those no longer problems for you?”

18. “Just Give Me the Price”

Don’t withhold pricing from your prospect. You’ll frustrate them. Providing a broad range will give them an idea of what to expect. However, state that you’ll want to ask more questions to be more precise in pricing. This follow-up can keep the conversation going (and avoid potentially misquoting them).

“Typically, customers of your size sign on for [enter a broad range, i.e., $10k-$50k]. Is that in line with what you were thinking?” and “Would you be willing to chat some more so I can give you a more specific number?”

19. No Budget

There may be interest from the prospect, but a typical response is they don’t have the budget for your solution. Try handling this objection like this:

“I hear you there, but it doesn’t hurt to plan for the future. Do you have some time to chat now? Then we can see if it makes sense for me to reach back out in the future when your budget situation changes?”

If you can demonstrate and they see the value, they will find the budget, so it’s worth trying to get those extra few minutes with them if you can get it.

20. “I Can Get It Cheaper Somewhere Else”

This is a tricky objection as you could set yourself up for failure. Dig in if there’s a way to differentiate beyond the price and try something like:

“Ok, let’s say the price for both solutions is the same. Which one would you rather have, and why is that?”

If it comes down to it and price is the only differentiator between you and a competing solution, it will be a race to the bottom for you on this deal. You should ask yourself if it’s really worth it.

21. There’s No ROI

If this is a common sales objection you’re facing, you need to make a better sales discovery and help demonstrate a return for the prospective client.

“It seems as if you think this area couldn’t get any better than it is at the moment.”

Like budget, resourcing is another area of objection that is becoming more common. Sometimes, you may run into people who just don’t understand the value of what you are bringing to the table. You might find that a bit of charm (and a lot of empathy) go a long way to persuading others that what you’re proposing is worthwhile. Try some of the objection-handling techniques below if you’re up against these types of blockers.

22. “We Don’t Have the Capacity to Implement”

The best way to handle this sales objection is to attempt to isolate if the implementation is really the problem or if something else is going on.

“And if the solution was easier to implement, would that change anything for you?”

If it’s something that you can help alleviate, outline that solution. If not, again, it may be time to move on.

23. Not a priority

If you’re hearing sales objections like this one, you may be missing something in the discovery process. Dig in and see if it’s not a priority or if there are just more extensive areas the prospect is focusing on.

“Is that because this isn’t really that much of a problem for you or just because bigger problems are happening right now?”

24. “We Have Something in Place”

If the prospect is already working with another vendor or has a competing solution in place, don’t disparage; instead, ask why.

“Oh, I’ve heard really good things about them. What do you use it for, and what made you implement that in the first place?”

If you’re up to speed on your main competitors, you could even ask the prospect to highlight something that they can’t do well and try a response like, “That’s great, their product works well for solving [this], but how are you achieving [that]?”

Facing sales objections related to your product can be challenging to overcome. Sometimes, your solution won’t be the right fit, but if you can keep the conversation going, you can look for workarounds or get to the real root cause of the objection.

25. Bad Mouthing from Competitors

It’s incredibly frustrating when competitors say bad things about your company or solutions. Still, taking the high road is important, and not falling into mud singing. It shows maturity and positions you as a partner that is good to work with. Don’t disparage your rivals—instead, ask questions that get to the heart of what’s important. Start by asking questions like the one below.

“Well, we’ve had a lot of customers that chose our solution over theirs, and there are folks that chose them over us. It really comes down to what’s important to them. What’s your top priority when choosing a new solution?”

This lets you start a dialogue and discover more about the prospect’s needs. Once you understand their needs, focus on how you can address those criteria. All while not dragging your competition into the conversation.

26. “What Makes You Different?”

Don’t fall into the trap of feature listing. Chances are the prospect isn’t going to care about many of them. Use this opportunity to find areas of focus most important to them and concentrate the conversation there.

“There are so many things that differentiate us. To save time going through them all, what comparison areas are most important to you?”

27. “Do You Have This Feature?”

Customers often ask a question for a reason and want to understand that reason before you answer it.

“What’s making x, y, and z top of mind for you right now?”

28. Bad Online Reviews

Get to the bottom of exactly what they read so you can broach it appropriately. Validate their concerns and move to assure them that it won’t be their experience if you are confident it won’t.

“That is concerning. May I ask what you read or heard? If I could assure you that wouldn’t be your experience, would it be out of the question to keep chatting?”

29. You Don’t Have__

Ask for an example of why that feature or functionality is considered necessary to the prospect. You may find that the thing isn’t that important, or you have a workaround. Or, maybe your solution isn’t a fit for this customer.

“What’s the reason that feature is important to you? And can you give me an example of how you would use that feature?”

“Not the Right Person” Sales Objections

B2B buying is complex, and we know the number of stakeholders involved in the buying process continues to increase. So, it’s not uncommon for you to hear that you’re not talking to the right people. Try some of the responses below if you’re coming up against these sales objections.

30. “I’m Not the Decision Maker”

Assure them that you’re not pushing them along the sales process if they aren’t ready while also asking who that decision maker might be.

“We don’t need to jump the gun on sending over the contract just yet. Who else needs to be involved?”

Bonus Tip

Leveraging video in your sales process here can help if you don’t have direct access to the decision-maker. Record and send a personalized video highlighting your solution in the form of a micro demo, FAQ video, proposal walkthrough, or another resource.

Ask your prospect to forward on to the relevant parties. It’s a much lower commitment from the buyer and a deeper way to get into an account. Plus, if you use a solution like Vidyard, video view notifications let you know if someone watched your video.

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31. It’s a Team Decision

This can actually be a good thing. You’re looking for multiple points of contact within the account, and this could be your way in. Try a response like this:

“That’s great. Would it be fair for you and me to see if this is a fit now, and then if it is, we can involve other people from that group?”

If you face reluctance to introduce yourself to others in the group, you may not have a real deal on your hands, and it may be time to let it go.

32. “I Need to Talk to My Boss”

This could again be just a brush-off response. Sometimes, folks don’t want to be straightforward with you. Try a probing follow-up to see if you can get to the bottom of this objection. Rather than getting ghosted down the line, see if it’s just a ‘no’ vs. needing to get the boss involved.

“Great idea, let’s get them involved. But, what reasons would you have against moving forward if it were just up to you?”

33. “I’m Not the Right Person”

This could be a dead end, but try to find out who the right person would be. If you ask for a small favor before asking your main question can depressurize the ask, and you might have more success finding out who that person is.

Try something like this:

“Thanks for letting me know. I don’t suppose you could do me a small favor and let me know who would be the right person to talk to about this?”

If you can get that referral, follow up with that person and mention that [Initial contact] sent you over to chat.

Handling Objections in Sales with Ease

The above information should give you excellent blanket coverage to handle the most common sales objections. But if not, we’ve got three universal ways for you to handle any sales objection that comes your way.

“What Makes You Say That?”

It might seem obvious or simple, but asking this question almost always makes the prospect elaborate more on what they’ve said.

Silence Is Golden

Try waiting two-to-three seconds before responding to the objection (silence makes most people uncomfortable) and see if they elaborate on what they’ve told you before going into your complete objection handling.

Note: this won’t work on cold calls, as they’ll likely hang up on you.

Prevent Sales Objections Before They Come Up

The best way to handle sales objections is to prevent them before you’re ever faced with them.

If you’re getting tons of knee-jerk reactions like many of the ones listed above, then you may be coming off too much like a salesperson when you cold call people—work on improving your opener and your tone.

Learn from the Pros You’ve got the foundations now on how to handle objections in sales calls, but success will also depend on your tone and delivery. In the Fast Forward on-demand session below, one of the top players in the sales game, Kevin Dorsey, goes deep on tonality and how elite sellers use it to their advantage. Vidyard video thumbnail - click to play

If you’re getting many sales objections later in the sales cycle, you may not be doing your discovery and qualification well enough. Identify the ICP of customers you can help with your solutions and ask lots of questions.

This post was originally published on October 28, 2022. It was updated on May 5, 2023.

Erin Ellis

Erin Ellis

Erin manages content marketing at Vidyard. She’s passionate about marketing, tech, and is an avid movie buff and pop culture junkie. In her spare time, she's either chasing after her two little boys or decorating sugar cookies.