Sales Objections: How to Overcome Them (With Examples)

In this guide, you'll learn how to overcome any sales objection and successfully move prospects down your sales process with examples to mimic.

Cleverly Team
May 8, 2021
9 min read

Rarely do people purchase without harboring at least a few concerns. If it's hard for people to buy a sweater because "it might shrink" or "it might go out of style," imagine how many reasons not to purchase marketing, software, or finance someone can come up with. 

‌‌It's natural for your buyers to have reservations. Any smart one would. The trick is getting them to express these concerns. If prospects hide them within, they become impossible to discuss and dissolve.

‌In this post, we are going to share with you a four-part technique for overcoming almost any objection, as well as some specific rebuttals for the most common objections you will encounter while selling your services. 

What is Objection Handling? 

 ‌An objection is any concern or reservation regarding a purchase. It could be about price, timeline, authority, needs, competitors, or anything else that might make a prospect question if this solution they are evaluating is an intelligent choice. 

5 Types of Objections

Therefore, objection handling is the process of overcoming objections raised by your prospect that are blocking you from achieving your goal, whether it's booking a first meeting or closing the deal. In sales, you can overcome objections by understanding the root cause of the objection and addressing it. 

‌For example, if a SaaS salesperson placed a cold call to a VP of Property Management and asked them for a meeting, but the VP said, "We are already using software X," the seller has officially bumped into an objection. 

‌To handle it, the seller, if intelligent, would proceed to ask questions about their current software. Perhaps the software runs an entirely different area than the salesperson's software. And so, the seller states the differentiators and the VP, previously unaware of such distinctions, is now interested in this new technology.
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‌The seller has officially handled the objection and hopefully booked a meeting. Encounters like these pop up throughout the entire sales process. Therefore, salespeople need a mode of attack to deal with them, no matter their substance. If you can't overcome sales objections, money is lost. That's where the LAER Framework comes in. 

The Four-Part Strategy For Overcoming Any Objection 

‌Memorizing rebuttals to common objections is essential, but sometimes rebuttals aren't enough. Prospects differ in their needs, wants, and situations, so no one size fits all for the rebuttal, "The price is too high." Also, if misused, a quick rebuttal can make a prospect feel like you are bulldozing past their feelings. 

‌Not to mention, the human species has a wide range of thought patterns. No matter your experience, there will always be times when you hear a novel objection. ‌For these reasons, it's critical to have a strategy in your back pocket that can be deployed in any situation. The LAER Framework is such a strategy. 

The LAER Framework

This strategy focuses on understanding the prospect's situation and valid objections. Prospects can often be exceptionally cryptic about their true reason for not moving forward in a sale. 

‌They tend to hide the true, underlying objection under a canned phrase. For instance, when they say, "It's not the right time," they might mean, "This is going to be such a long implementation process," or "Last time we bought a SaaS solution, it was too confusing for our team, and the training took forever."

‌‌So, with the LAER framework, you are trying to find this underlying objection. What you know, you can deal with. All the while, you are building a relationship and rapport with the prospect, both of which can dissipate objections.

Whenever a prospect objects, follow the following four steps. 

LAER stands for: 

Listen: Actively listen to their objection. After you think they've finished, let two seconds pass. If you're lucky, they might add on, revealing more critical information. 

Acknowledge: Acknowledge their concern. Repeat it back to them in your own words. This action shows them you are listening and trying to understand. We all want to feel understood. 

Explore: Ask a question around the given objection. Dig deep. Explore their world. 

Repeat OR Respond: If their answer did not provide enough substance for you to appropriately respond, repeat the process starting at the acknowledge step, and continue doing this until you have uncovered the true objection and feel comfortable giving a rebuttal. 

‌Throughout this process, you're not only learning about their business, pains, struggles, and worries, but you are also building a bond based on understanding. 

‌Let's see it in action. 

A LAER Framework Example

Salesperson: {After a prospecting automation platform demo, a seller tries to move a prospect into the next phase}. 

Prospect: "I love the solution, but we're so busy with other initiatives." 

‌So, that's their objection, huh? We'll see about that. Let's try to find the real reason for their hesitance using the LAER strategy. 

Seller: {Acknowledge} "Happy to hear you like it. It sounds like things are crazy over there right now." {Explore} "I'm curious, what other initiatives are you prioritizing?" 

Prospect: "Well, we recently hired some new sales employees, so we have to get them trained up. Plus, we are launching a new product."

Seller: {Repeat}{Acknowledge} "Wow, sounds like a ton of growth is going on over there. Congrats on the new hires." {Explore} "Are you worried about the new hires having more on their plate with a new software or about management having to worry about something else?"

Prospect: "Well, sort of. It's a nightmare situation to have to teach a new software that you barely understand. The last time we onboarded a new technology, our managers didn't have enough time to teach it, and our team barely used it." 

Great, the seller has found the true underlying objection. The prospect has been burned before by insufficient support and training—time to respond.

Seller: {Respond!} "Gotcha, and I bet from the outset, our tech looks a little tricky too. A lot of our clients feel that way at first, but they are glad to find that we take a handholding approach to training and onboarding…" (cont.)

‌The seller now tells the prospect all about how easy it is to implement and how many training options they offer, and hopefully allays their fears. ‌

The Most Common Objections (With Example Rebuttals) 

‌Of course, there are some common objections for sales professionals to familiarize themselves with. Let's go over what they usually mean and how to overcome them. 

"The Price is Too High"

If you get this objection, it means the prospect doesn't see the ROI. So, that's what you need to show them. Avoid saying things that make them feel like you are calling them uninformed, like:

  • It's not that high for something like this. 
  • I don't think it's that bad.
  • ‌We're cheaper than competitor X.

‌Instead, focus on the benefits it provides or the problem it solves. 

  • Imagine how much time your team will have to focus on high-value work when this stuff is automated.
  • Imagine how many more quality leads are going to come to your website. 
  • ‌Think about how much time it takes you to do {X}. From now on you won't have to worry about that. 

‌‌Even better, calculate an exact estimated ROI they will receive from the investment. Or show them what clients with businesses like theirs usually see. 

"I Have to Talk It Over With the Team" 

This means you might be talking with an influencer rather than a decision-maker. Or, as is frequent in the B2B world, there are many decision-makers in the process. Here, try your best to avoid the situation where the prospect has to sell it to the other stakeholders independently.

Instead, try to offer up your support. On the light end, that could mean sending them content to help them sell internally. On the heavy end, you could try to schedule a meeting with these other stakeholders. More involvement is better, for you are the professional seller and master of your product or service.
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Ask: 

  • Who else would be involved in this purchasing decision?
  • What are they going to need to see to make an educated decision? ‌

Say:

  • I recommend that we set up a follow-up meeting for us all to meet. That way, I can answer their questions and address any concerns they may have. Would you and they be open to this? 

"Now is Not a Good Time" 

Here you must create a sense of urgency. Do this by stating some cost they will incur by not acting in the current moment. For instance, if someone was selling lead generation services, they might say:

"There are leads out there who need your service. If you wait three months to ramp up your lead generating tactics and get your brand out there, they might have already found someone else to fulfill their needs when they could have been your paying customers." 

"Can You Just Send Me Some Information?" 

‌Many sellers hear this objection during the end of a cold call. It could be because the prospect is busy, uninterested, or enjoys doing their research alone. To deal with it, ask the prospect to get a little more specific. 

"I'm glad you are interested in learning a bit more about our solution. So that I don't send you something completely irrelevant to your interests, can you tell me a bit more about what you want to learn more about? Maybe a certain feature or service that you think could be valuable?" 

‌If they tell you, send it over, and don't forget to follow up. Give them a call a week later and ask them some open-ended questions about what they read. 

"We're Doing Fine in This Area" 

This one requires you to do some serious exploring. Ask questions to learn more about their processes, responsibilities, and goals. There must be a way they can improve upon their current situation. It's your job to find it and to get them excited about this possibility for more efficiency, revenue, or freedom from burdensome tasks. 

Understand, Then Resolve

Remember, before you try to resolve an objection, you must understand its true nature. What is really holding the buyer back? This requires that you ask plenty of questions, leaving few rocks unturned. That's the secret to objection handling if there is one. Accept each objection as a chance to learn more about your prospect. Besides furnishing you with intel to overcome the objection, this strategy will help you close the deal down the line. 

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