A rebuttal in a sales conversation is the act of redirecting the lead’s objection to the sale. Objections are a common aspect of any sales process, but how you handle them is what counts. This article guides you through the most common sales objections and rebuttals so you can counter a range of scenarios and ultimately improve your sales pipeline.
Four types of sales objections
BANT is a common term in sales that stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timing. It’s a sales qualification method that helps sales reps anticipate the four common types of sales objections.
Here is a brief overview:
|Lack of Budget||When you encounter a price objection, it’s best to reflect on whether your cost is genuinely too high or if the lead doesn’t see enough value in your offering.|
|Lack of Authority||It’s essential to ensure that you are speaking to the decision-maker during your sales pitch. If the lead says something along the lines of ‘I’ll have to refer to my boss’ during the conversation, it could mean one of two different things. |
Either they don’t have the authority to sign on with you, or they have another concern and are looking for a way to close the dialogue.
|Lack of Need||Lack of need implies that the lead’s company doesn’t see how your product can resolve their pain points. It can also mean that they don’t believe the problem is big enough to warrant a fix.|
|Lack of Time||Sometimes, the timing just doesn’t work in your favour. The lead might not be too antsy about solving their problem because they have other matters prioritised.|
Examples of common sales objections + rebuttals
Given the high chances of encountering objections in sales meetings, it’s best to be equipped with the likely scenarios and potential responses before going in. This allows you to pre-plan your rebuttals. Here are some scripts that showcase common sales objections and the possible ways to counter them.
1. ‘It’s too expensive’
What it means
After your prospect has taken a look at the final cost, they might be dissatisfied. Pricing objections often stem from a lack of ability to see the product’s true value and how it can help them improve their problems. It could also be because your price is considerably higher compared to other options they have in mind.
It’s best to redirect the conversation and highlight what makes your product stand out. Chances are that the alternatives they have looked at are cheaper, so tell them what makes your product stand out from the crowd and how it will help their company save more money in the long run.
‘I completely understand if our offer exceeds your expectation. Many of our customers felt the same, but after looking at our product in action, they soon realised that it was worthwhile.’
Don’t forget to give proof. Mention a client you’ve helped in the past and highlight their current success due to using your product.
2. ‘I don’t need it’
What it means
When you hear a prospect say they don’t see a need for your product. It can often imply that you caught them at a bad time or they simply don’t understand the value of your product.
If your lead expresses this concern, consider it an opportunity instead of a roadblock. Raise a sense of urgency by highlighting how letting the problem aggravate can harm the company.
‘That’s understandable. But I feel obligated to let you know that we’ve seen companies who have underestimated [pain point], and it typically leads to [negative consequences].’
3. ‘I need to think about it’
What it means
This type of sales objection means that you probably skipped a crucial aspect of the sales conversation. If they need extra time to deliberate, you likely failed to address some of the burning questions they had in mind.
Take this time to pick their brain. Don’t let them ponder on their own. Encourage them to share their state of mind and help them go over the doubts that are keeping them from agreeing.
‘I can understand the need to deliberate before committing. Is there a particular area you are unsure or concerned about? I would love to help you go over those points.’
4. ‘I’m happy with my current provider’
What it means
When your lead tells you that they already have a similar product from another source, it doesn’t have to be the endgame for you. It could be that the lead isn’t properly aware of how your product differs from what they are already using.
Ask open-ended questions to gather information about the product your lead is already using. Once you have an understanding of the competitor’s solution, you can present a unique sales proposition to put your business ahead.
If they have you mixed up with a different product:
‘Many of the customers we’ve worked with put us in the same boat at first, but our product offers [highlight the important benefits]. With X company’s product, you miss out on [mention how they differ].’
If they are working with one of your competitors:
‘I see. May I ask what made you choose them? Is there any aspect of the product that doesn’t work for your company?’
This gives you an in to showcase how you stand out.
5. ‘I don’t have time right now’
What it means
Bad timing can throw off your whole game in a sales conversation. It could be that your prospect is busy at the moment or that your solution isn’t a priority. They might not see any real value in engaging with you.
Let the prospect know that you completely understand that they are busy and politely ask for an appropriate time to talk. And if priority is the issue, throw in a snippet of your value proposition so they can consider setting aside a time to meet.
‘I understand that you are busy. Is it possible to set a time to continue this discussion? I believe we can help your company overcome [prospect’s pain point] and [highlight the primary benefit].’
6. ‘I need to get approval from my boss’
What it means
Sales reps often end up pitching their product to someone who isn’t authorised to make business decisions. They might hesitate to speak to a higher-up because they don’t yet see any value in your product.
If they are not authorised to conduct business, you can ask them to redirect you to the right person. Add your value proposition and briefly talk to them about a similar company you work with to establish your credibility. They will likely put you in touch with the decision-maker.
‘Oh, I see. Thank you for taking the time to talk. Could you connect me with the person who makes the decisions? I believe our product can [value proposition].’
7. ‘I’ve had a bad experience with a similar product in the past’
What it means
This sales objection comes up if your prospect has had a bad experience with one of your competitors and would like to talk to you about it.
Don’t immediately go into defence mode — sympathise with your lead’s pain from the problems they encountered. Then, find out what the issue was and take the opportunity to tout your product benefits.
‘I’m incredibly sorry about what you’ve had to endure. Could I ask what the issue was?’
After the client opens up, ease their concerns about your product. Tell them ‘I see, but you shouldn’t be worried about that with our product. We have implemented [important features] and maintain impeccable customer service to keep our clients satisfied.’
8. ‘I’m not ready to purchase your product’
What it means
If your prospect says they aren’t ready to buy your product, it’s likely due to priority. Did you take the time to research their pain points? What’s their most pressing issue? Make them see the value in your offering.
If it’s a bad time to make a purchase, ask them the legitimate reasons behind it. Is it a budget issue, or is it not imperative for them to deal with the issue your product solves? If they have another issue prioritised, take that as another opening.
‘It’s understandable if the timing doesn’t suit you. But could you let me know what you need to change to sign the deal?’
This question will help you know what exactly is on your lead’s mind so you can counter accordingly. Let them know the benefits if they purchase right now instead of later.
Tips for handling sales objections
Knowing how to handle objections is a key part of sales training. Here are some of our tips to help you turn unfavourable situations to your advantage.
1. Build rapport: Establishing a strong business relationship is an important step in the sales cycle. Listen actively, understand their situation and demonstrate a genuine interest in helping them.
2. Prepare in advance: Use proactive sales techniques to anticipate common sales objections and prepare rebuttals in advance.
3. Address objections early: Address possible objections in the early stage of the meeting instead of waiting for them to become a hurdle later on. Learn the prospect’s concerns early on and tailor your sales pitch accordingly.
4. Use social proof: Social proof includes client testimonials and case studies that show how your product has helped other businesses. Use it to build credibility and demonstrate the value of your offering.
5. Stay positive: Don’t let objections get to you. You must stay positive in the face of adversity and exhibit patience. Staying upbeat increases the prospect’s confidence in you and the likelihood of a successful outcome.
6. Stay customer-focused: Don’t waver your focus from the client, as objections are often rooted in their needs. By doing so, you can address their concerns effectively.
7. Practise, practise, practise: Like any skill, objection handling warrants practice. Play out likely scenarios with your colleagues and seek feedback from your mentors to sharpen your skills and build confidence.
What are sales objections?
Sales objections are concerns or questions that a prospect has about a product or service that might prevent them from buying.
Why is it important to understand and handle sales objections?
Understanding and addressing sales objections is crucial to closing a sale and achieving business success. Failure to handle objections can result in missed opportunities and revenue.
Can sales objections be anticipated and prevented?
Yes, some sales objections can be anticipated and prevented by addressing the client’s potential concerns early on. Understand your prospect’s needs, offer clear product information and be transparent about pricing and delivery times.
What are the four Ps of objection handling?
The four Ps of objection handling are:
- Personalisation: Customise your message to the specific needs and concerns of your prospect so they are happy that they have been heard.
- Perceived value: Build the prospect’s confidence in you as a salesperson and your product. Put your best foot forward and lead with confidence.
- Performance value: Performance value is meant to satisfy your prospect. Showcase how your product and customer service can benefit your lead.
- Proof: Don’t forget to corroborate your product’s value with case studies, testimonials and third-party research.
At what time during the sales conversation do objections mostly occur?
Objections can occur during the following stages of the sales process:
- Early stage: During this stage, common objections are related to how the product works, its features and benefits and pricing.
- Middle stage: Objections in the middle stage are typically related to concerns about the product’s effectiveness or suitability for the customer’s specific needs.
- Late stage: Common objections at this stage include concerns about the cost, the delivery timeline or the terms of the deal.
What should I do if a prospect has multiple objections?
If a prospect has multiple objections, address each one individually and prioritise them according to their needs. You might have to offer alternative solutions to each objection to help the prospect see the value of your product.
How can I stay positive and motivated during objection handling?
The key to staying motivated is to understand that objections are very common in sales meetings. Remember to stay patient, persistent and focused on the customer’s needs. Remind yourself about your past successes and never get defensive.
Objections in a sales meeting don’t automatically mean you won’t be closing. Even the toughest of hurdles can be overcome if you are prepared for them. Learning these common sales objections and rebuttals will help you maintain charge of the conversation throughout.
References & Further Reading
- How to Dramatically Improve Your Sales Pipeline + Examples
- The Simple Guide To Sales Qualification Frameworks
- 9 B2B Sales Time Management Techniques Of Top Salespeople
- Here’s How To Handle Customer Objections In A Positive Way
- Seven Proactive Sales Techniques to Scale Your Sales Now
- How to Use Social Proof to Sell Better and Faster
- [Guide] How To Motivate Your Sales Team When Sales Are Down