The term “objection” often holds a negative connotation, and the word “no” tends to be synonymous with it in many people’s minds. However, objections are an integral part of the sales process, and 35% of sales leaders believe objection handling is the biggest challenge reps face.

An objection doesn’t always mean no; sometimes it’s a “not right now”, sometimes it’s a brushoff, or in most cases, it’s an indication that there is an obstacle preventing a prospect from closing the deal. Having excellent objection handling skills is an integral part of being a sales rep, and can make or break the outcome of a sale.

This blog will give you the tools to overcome objections effectively, as well as some tips from one of our very own Sales Development Representatives.  

Be an active listener  

In sales, your approach is everything. It’s easy to become fixated on your sales pitch and closing the deal, but by doing this, you neglect the most crucial element of calling prospects: relationship building. Yes, you are speaking to a prospect, but you are also talking to a human being. Try not to take it personally or get defensive when they are making objections, and instead validate their concerns. Objections aren’t always negative, they are merely concerns that a prospect may have, and can easily be resolved by offering reassurance.  

It’s worth keeping in mind that, in many cases, you might be speaking with a person who doesn’t make purchase decisions. Being an active listener in these cases is essential, especially when the prospects are making objections. Try and be empathetic; ask open-ended questions and lead with phrases such as: “I understand why you feel this way”, or “I hear what you are saying.” By leading with empathy and listening to what they have to say, you are showing the prospect that you care which will lead them to open up more in turn.  

We spoke to one of our own sales reps, Georgia Smith, about common objections she faces and how she deals with them. She reiterated the importance of active listening:  

“A common objection I have found with prospects is that they are happy with their current supplier. I would handle this objection by actively listening to what they are saying, and then ask further questions to gain a deeper insight: What is it you like about your current supplier? How long have you been with them? Are there any challenges? If you could change one thing about your current supplier, what would it be? The key is finding the gaps to see where we can help them.” 

Practice ‘professional persistence’

At durhamlane, we train our salespeople to practice our fourth mantra: Professional Persistence. Being told no – often more times than yes – comes with the territory of a sales career. To combat this, you need to be as prepared as possible. You can’t predict every single question the prospect may ask, but by conducting meticulous research and pondering objections that may come up, you will be ready for most scenarios. Don’t be afraid to challenge your prospect, but make sure you do it in a way that is respectful and validates their concerns. For example: 

Objection: “Your services are too expensive.” 

Response: “I understand why you are hesitant to invest. However, we can guarantee that this will pay off long term. We have worked with similar businesses who felt the same way at first, but we have achieved ____ for them, and they have found that the results produced were worth the investment.” 

This method is known as Feel, Felt, Found, a popular framework used to handle objections. You are stating that you understand how they feel, referencing other clients that have felt the same way, and then providing them with evidence of a positive outcome. Most importantly, you are showcasing the value of your service to a prospect and backing up your claims with a case study.  

Reframe the narrative

You can also use customer objections in a positive manner by ‘reframing’ them. For example, if a prospects objection is:  

“This is not a good time for us right now because we are busy with ___”  

You can reframe this by saying: “With so much going on within your business, this could actually be the best time, as we can support you with __” 

Turn objections into opportunities, and use them to reinforce the value of your products or services. Putting this value into context is the best way to highlight it. 

While there are many resources and tutorials available on how to master the art of prospecting, not everyone can execute them efficiently. At durhamlane, we train our SDRs to be great listeners and coach them to overcome, challenge and reframe all the new objections they encounter on a daily basis. We believe that preparation should only be a foundation for creative thinking: mindless pitching won’t cut it. 

If you want to transform doubts into opportunities, a career in sales might be just what you are looking for! We are always seeking to hire more talented people to expand our team. You can browse our current vacancies here

If you’re a sales leader, and your SDRs are struggling with prospecting in a new market, get in touch to see how we can help! 

Let’s talk

We’re always open to hearing from ambitious organisations that are looking to scale but are unsure how. Get in touch to see how we can help overcome your sales challenges.