Commercial efficiency
8 min reading

The 5 most common types of sales objections and how to overcome them

Paul Berloty
Published on
overcoming sales objections

When a customer throws a sales objection at you, you may be tempted to say, "I have the perfect solution for you!" or go off into a monologue about your product. STOP! It doesn't work. Listening to objections and handling them properly is the key to standing out and performing in sales. So take a deep breath and adopt a more effective approach to stop losing your deals.

Do youwant to avoid objections in sales? Sorry, that's impossible.

But that doesn't mean you can't handle them. Even the best salespeople encounter objections, so treat them as a normal part of your sales process.

What is really important is to recognize the type of objection you will encounter and use the right strategy to overcome it.

I share with you the 5 most common types of objections and how to handle them, from easy to hard.

Hang in there! If you master this, you're well on your way to performance.

1. False objections

False" objections, let's call them phantom objections, are just a decoy to hide what is really bothering the buyer. They can appear in your sale if you fail to identify the customer's deeper doubts. 

It's kind of like getting a superficial answer to "What's bothering you?"

Although they can be easy to handle, they should not be underestimated. They can derail your sale if you don't know the customer's real objection. You will never be able to deal with it and move on to the next step.

To avoid this trap, I invite you to try the following question to handle the sales objection: "If we were to find a complete solution to this problem, what other obstacles would we need to overcome before taking the next step?"

If the customer brings up other obstacles, these may be the real sales objections you need to address. Then you know what really needs to be addressed. If the customer does not mention any other objections, you should have a good chance of making this sale.

Now that you know all of your client's objections, you can move forward with them to confirm the sale.

2. Raise doubts

Look, this step is not that complicated. You have to deal with her concerns, work out the little details so you can finalize your deal.

Customers usually express them straightforwardly, it's not rain dance like some objections. You know what to expect, that's a good point.

So, what exactly is this and where does this type of sales objection come from?

Generally, these are emotional barriers, not real doubts about your product. They arise when a customer already has a good overview of what you offer and has no real objections to buying.

Sometimes it's just a little nervousness before making a big purchase. We've all felt that way, and now your client has too.

Here's how: address his concerns directly. It's the only way to reassure him.

A concrete example?

Let's say your client has concerns about the onboarding and integration process, which can be lengthy. This is a major concern, but a simple one. You have several options:

  • Arrange a meeting with an account manager to provide a detailed overview of the next steps (it is best to have the manager in question)
  • Connect your potential customer with a current customer who can speak from experience.

Whatever you do, make sure you clearly address the specific concern your client has mentioned. No detours.

The concerns can usually be resolved fairly easily. Now let's move on to something more difficult...

3. Business objections

It's time to use your finesse and skill as the sales objections you face become more difficult.

So-called "commercial" objections can be more complicated, but on the bright side, your customer is paying attention.

These objections show their commitment and desire to understand in depth how your product meets their issues and needs.

Of course, this can also be an indicator that you didn't quite get the right message across in your speech, but take advantage of it because it's a second chance to change that.

(You'll want to listen back to your previous conversations to understand where you could have done a better job of getting the message across earlier, and how to do it in the future. This is one of the features of our Modjo platform. If you want to know more, it's here !)

For a corrective approach, take their real and valid objection and turn it into an opportunity.

Your goal is to change their underlying belief about a real sales objection, so they see it in a new light:

  • They mentioned a problem? Turn it into an opportunity.
  • They discovered a weakness? Turn it into a strength.
  • They say the timing is bad? Turn it into the perfect time.

For example, at Modjo, customers often want to wait until the beginning of a new quarter to move forward with a POC (or pilot). Usually, it's a matter of sales focus. They don't want to disrupt the quarter's close with the addition of a new tool.

Except that dragging out the deal is clearly what we don't want. Time kills all deals. I refer you to this article on sales intensity.

This is how we handle it at Modjo:

"Look, you can look at it another way: the conversations where your salespeople are trying to sell are the very conversations that contain the most important information! The end of the quarter is the perfect time to launch a pilot to get that information.

What you may see as a problem is actually an opportunity. The more insights you have into critical conversations, the more you can improve your sales and coaching strategy, and the better your teams will perform!"

Here, as you can see, the idea is to turn that sales objection around, show it in a different light and turn it into a priceless opportunity.

4. The imperative conditions

What we call "imperative conditions" are not simply doubts or commercial objections, but real problems to be solved in order to close the sale.

The point is simple: if you don't fix the problem, you don't make the sale.

This type of objection arises when there is a significant impediment to the sale that is beyond your or your buyer's control.

For example, if your buyer loves your product, but you don't have the right integration. Well already, if that happens, you have a real problem with your discovery phase.

But let's say it's a secondary integration, although it's possible that the technical team will develop a new integration, it's not up to you, it's up to them.

In other words, "must-haves" cannot be solved in the moment in a conversation with the customer, no matter what your level. They almost always require the involvement of other teams to help you solve a complex problem.

This is true even if the problem is on the client's organization side.

For example, even if your prospect loves your solution and clearly sees the benefit, one of the last barriers to purchase may be budget.

And there, you will have to be very persuasive or creative. Spreading out the payment, offering a discount in exchange for introductions with companies in your network, commitment over several years, minimum orders, the solutions are numerous, but will still require internal negotiation on your side and on your customer's side.

The most complicated to manage are the discussions where you will not be present. In this case, you must prepare your prospect to act as a true champion. 

If this type of "must-have" happens, your work will double:

  1. You'll have to come up with a creative solution of your own to provide an interesting solution for your prospect. 
  2. You will also need to prepare your champion to sell it and defend it as you would have done.

5. The ultimate objection: complacency

Your worst nightmare!

When a prospect is complacent, it means only one thing: He is not convinced by your solution! 

That means you have an unqualified lead that should have been identified earlier in the sales process.

Clearly, don't waste your time trying to overcome this, it won't work. 

Instead, stop pushing the sale and go back to an earlier stage in your sales process to create a sense of urgency in your prospect. Show them that their current situation is untenable and that they need a solution, yours, now.

If your prospect is reluctant to buy, it's often because he doesn't understand the urgency of his situation. Once you show him the problems with his current way of doing things, your solution will be more attractive to improve his situation.

Focus on the pain felt by your prospect!

Beginner or expert, objections are part of selling!

Don't worry, it happens to everyone in sales, even the best. The important thing is to be trained enough to handle them.

Now that you've read this article, you're a little better equipped to identify and handle the most common objections. If you're still feeling anxious about it, it's probably because of the most difficult objection: complacency. It will take a little more time and coaching with your team to handle it.

My advice: go back to the basics of sales calls with your team to avoid having to deal with these types of objections. If everything goes well during prospecting, qualification and demonstrations, you will probably not have to worry about this type of objection.

And now that you have all the keys, only training will allow you to go to the next step. I suggest a simple work:

  1. Record all your calls
  2. Always listen to your calls
  3. Note each objection, the response you made and the response you could have made.
  4. Repeat repeat repeat.

Have a good week.

Paul Berloty
CEO and Co-founder
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