Skip to main content

Article 14 min read

How to overcome common sales objections for reps

Don’t let “no” get in the way of closing a deal. Learn how to handle common sales objections so you don’t lose a lead to something fixable.

By Donny Kelwig, Contributing Writer

Last updated March 8, 2022

Let’s start with every sales rep’s nightmare: After weeks (if not months) of guiding your prospect through the sales process, they decide they no longer want your product. Disaster, right? Luckily for you, this particular prospect’s objections probably aren’t unique. Sales objections are, unfortunately, part of the job for every sales rep, no matter how experienced. You’re never going to eliminate them entirely, but you can study up on how to expertly prepare for common objections and smoothly counter them to get back to the deal.

What is a sales objection?

A sales objection is a major concern raised by a prospect during any point in the sales process. Some objections are minor, but the most common ones can grind your pitch to a halt as you frantically work to calm your prospect’s fears.

Depending on where you are in the sales funnel, you might not have a strong relationship with the prospect, and certain tactics may be less effective. That’s why a strong understanding of different sales techniques is key to knowing which angle to attack from.

So, what are the common hurdles on the path to closing sales? Let’s tackle a few of the biggest concerns buyers express on a daily basis.

Common sales objections and how to overcome them

The first thing to understand about overcoming objections in sales is that most of the time, your prospects’ concerns are extremely valid. Today’s market is saturated with options for every conceivable type of product or service. While those options provide buyers with more specific opportunities, they also create choice overload and lead to second-guessing.

When faced with such an overwhelming number of purchase possibilities, prospects will understandably have questions. Does this product cost less because it’s poorly made? Is this product worth the expensive price or is this a scam? Do I actually need this or is this company taking advantage of me?

All these questions are a symptom of too many choices in the market and the impossibility of researching every single one. Once you understand that, you’re ready to start tackling the top objections:

How to rebuttal in sales

Now that we know the problems, let’s look at some specific rebuttals. The key to a solid sales objection rebuttal is to not argue with the customer but to offer them another option or perspective. Here are a few examples:

Objection: “We don’t have the money for that.”

Rebuttal: “I completely understand. Based on your company’s resources and need for [type of product], I can take you through some of our similar products that may be a less expensive fit for now.”

Objection: “We’re already in a contract with [insert vendor].”

Rebuttal: “Oh excellent, you’re already familiar with this [type of product]. Are you liking [insert competitor]? Is there anything you’re lacking in their product? We’ve added new features to [our product] like [list features] that we’ve heard are a major upgrade from a lot of similar companies.”

Objection: “I’m not authorized to approve this purchase.”

Rebuttal: “I completely understand. Who is the person I should be speaking with, and can you redirect me to them?”

Objection: “I’ve never heard of your company.”

Rebuttal: “I’m glad to introduce you to us now! We specialize in [insert specialization], especially for companies that do [what prospect’s company does]. I’d love to chat with you about your current solution and see what we can do to help.”

Objection: “We don’t have the time to train our people on your product.”

Rebuttal: “That’s more than understandable. I’d be happy to walk you through our training and implementation plan. We also have one of the highest customer service ratings in our industry, and we’d be happy to help you along the way.”

The common thread through these rebuttals is that you’re never telling the prospect they’re wrong. They’re not wrong—they just don’t have all the information yet. Good thing you’re there to give it to them.

How to overcome objections in cold calling

Objections during an advanced sales conversation with your prospect are one thing, but cold call objections are their own beast. Phone sale objections are inherently harder than any other type of objection because the prospect can always hang up. Even when they don’t hang up, it can be hard to keep prospects on the line once they realize it’s a sales call.

Improve your sales process

A good sales process is the foundation of any successful sales organization. Learn how to improve your sales process and close more deals.


The secret to cold calling is that you’re rarely going to make a sale during the initial conversation, so don’t try. Instead, encourage the prospect to set up a meeting. When you take money out of the equation, people are much more willing to listen. If you can get contact information from a prospect on a cold call, you’ve already knocked it out of the park.

Fundamentally, the best way to overcome sales objections in cold calling is to simply avoid them.

5 objection handling tips

We’ve looked at specific objections, but what about best practices for objections in general? Here are five tips to keep in mind no matter what objection comes your way.

  1. Know when a “no” is real


    Not every sale is meant to be, and there are times when no amount of SPIN selling or consultative selling can save it. That’s okay. Knowing when to walk away and let a sale go is an essential part of being a successful sales rep. Choosing the appropriate moment to disengage will maintain your sales ethics, help maintain your sanity, and ensure you’re not wasting your time.
    It’s always more important to walk away from an impossible sale and stay sane for the next prospect than it is to keep at a sale that clearly isn’t going anywhere. As time goes on, you’ll get a sense of which objections are worth fighting and which are best to just leave alone.
    Additionally, don’t let the tire kickers get in your way. If a prospect is giving you objections left and right but still engaging with your funnel, they might be taking you for a ride. Let them down gently, and if you think there’s still a possibility, reach out again in a few months to see where things stand.
  2. Don’t take rejection personally


    The average sales success rate, regardless of industry, is 3 percent. (Yes, you read that correctly.) That means 97 percent of your prospects are going to end up saying no. If you take that personally, you won’t make it in the sales industry.
    Instead, take the focus off of the sale and put it on solving people’s problems. When you can remove the sales goal, you can start looking at your prospects as people, not numbers. People have real problems that need real solutions. If you can be the one to guide them to that solution, you’ve had a great day on the job.
    Remember, if a prospect doesn’t buy, they’re not rejecting you. They’re rejecting the product. And products are never going to be made for everyone.
  3. Always start with listening


    Even if you have your rebuttals ready to go and you’ve prepared your pitch for weeks, always start with listening. The worst mistake you can make when talking to a prospect is not really hearing what they’re saying, especially when it comes to an objection.
    If you hear an objection, stop pitching. Listen to and address the concern before you go back to the product. If someone says the price is too high and you ignore them and keep talking about the product’s benefits, they aren’t going to feel respected or heard. In that case, you’ve likely lost them—no matter what you say next.
  4. Practice your responses


    The first time you use a rebuttal should never be with a prospect. You should be practicing your rebuttals and responses with the other members of your sales team. Sales managers should run exercises with newcomers and host quarterly exercises for updated techniques.
    If you aren’t working with a sales team, take advantage of online templates and walkthroughs. You want to be ready for all types of objection styles and emotions. “It’s too expensive” sounds very different coming from a disappointed, passive prospect than it does from an infuriated one. You need to be prepared for both.
  5. Be patient


    Even if an objection seems ridiculous to you, it’s not ridiculous to your prospect. Take the time to let them express their concern before you try to address an objection. If they want to postpone and take time to think, let them have that time. You can still be proactive and schedule a future meeting rather than simply letting them go, but forcing someone to make a decision rarely ends well for salespeople.

How a CRM helps you manage your prospects and sales objections

When you’re facing a 97-percent rejection rate, you need to be talking to hundreds—if not thousands—of prospects to find success. Not only that, you must be able to keep track of each prospect’s pain points, objections, and progress through the sales funnel. That’s too much for any one person to handle, which is why you need the help of a strong, organized CRM.

Zendesk Sell is a fast, efficient, simple CRM designed with the busy salesperson in mind. With clear formatting and easy cross-departmental communication, you can manage your prospects without losing any along the way. Combine Zendesk Sell with Zendesk for service so you can also create a user-friendly interface for your customers that helps them navigate objections on any future purchases.

Request a demo today and stop letting objections keep you from achieving your sales goals.

Related stories

Article
12 min read

Sales negotiation skills and strategies to win more deals

Sales negotiations can be delicate. Learn how to set your sales team up for success with key strategies and training.

Article
9 min read

100+ catchy sales slogans and taglines that customers will love

Memorable sales slogans and taglines are the earworms of marketing. Learn what makes a great one and how to harness its power to accelerate sales.

Article
8 min read

What is transactional selling, and how does this approach work?

Whether you're a sales expert or new to the industry, transactional selling is a classic negotiation strategy. Get tips on when and how to use it, and see examples of what it looks like in action.

Article
13 min read

How to write a killer sales proposal (examples and best practices)

A successful sales proposal can make the difference between winning or losing a sale. Learn best practices for writing a proposal that helps you close more deals.