What is Objection Handling?
Objection handling refers to the strategic process a sales rep employs to deal with sales objections from prospects. During the sales process, it’s common for prospects to push back with reasons why they aren’t interested in your product. Objection handling is the tactics and techniques salespeople use to overcome objections in a sale.
Sometimes these sales objections are simple misunderstandings, or a prospect trying to get more information before committing to a sale. Other times there are actual barriers blocking a sale. Either way, sales reps need to be well versed in objection handling to work through these scenarios and successfully make sales.
Why is Objection Handling Important?
If a sales rep is unable to overcome sales objections, they’d make very few sales. Companies typically want to make money, not spend it, so if you’re prospecting new clients their initial reaction will likely be to turn you down.
Being able to answer questions, quell fears and uncertainties, and tap into a buyer’s precise needs and show them that you have answers to their problems is crucial. A good sales rep knows how to do this and consistently uses their objection handling skills to close out sales and hit their revenue targets.
How to Overcome Sales Objections
Sales reps encounter all kinds of sales objections. Some are legitimate reasons why someone can’t make a purchase – they don’t have the budget or wouldn’t use the product enough to justify a purchase – but others are simply attempts to brush you off.
It’s important for a sales rep to understand the difference and know when to pursue a prospect, or simply say “thank you for your time” and walk away.
Let’s look at some common sales objections and how you can interpret them.
- A firm but simple “no.” They might be setting a firm boundary, or simply trying to brush you off the fastest way possible. It’s worth asking some qualifying questions to see if you can get more information to work with.
- “I’m busy right now.” They’re busy now but won’t be later. Act quickly and set a time to chat when you’re both free.
- “I’ll have to think about it.” Everyone needs to reflect on their options, but don’t let them think for too long. Follow up and continue the conversation.
- Budget restrictions. Every company has a budget they must stick to, and sometimes your product may be out of that range. Figure out what exactly you can offer, what they can pay, and see if you’re able to negotiate.
- Negative reviews. This one can be tricky, but try to find out exactly what was said in a bad review so you can address concerns head on. Let them know what you’ll do to ensure a positive experience.
- They ghost you. Sometimes a prospect will dodge your calls, delete your emails, and simply never respond back. This is a clear sign they truly aren’t interested, and you should move on.
- “I’d need to get approval.” Your sales prospect may not be the decision maker for their team. That’s fair. If this is the case ask if you can speak to them directly, or get their contact information so you can follow up.
But the ultimate secret to objection handling? Stopping it before it even happens. An experienced sales rep can deal with sales objections when they occur, but they’re even better at ensuring they don’t come up at all.
Always research your prospect beforehand, prepare your script, and don’t be too pushy. It’s important to humanize your sales pitch, make meaningful connections, and focus on how you can help solve your prospect’s pain points for them.