When getting into tech sales, you hear a lot about the rejection you’ll face daily as a new SDR, but it can be challenging to grasp what this might sound like, much less how you’ll reply.
Learning to handle objections and the big “no” is one of the most important skills in sales and is a vital part of the process. Your ability to overcome a prospective customer’s objections as an SDR will make or break whether they move on to the next stage in the sales process. So you must be prepared to shine.
This overview will teach you what objection handling is and includes 10 tips to help you master top sales objections so you can keep deals moving toward “yes!”
What is Objection Handling?
Objection handling is when a prospect raises a concern, or objection, about buying your product or service, and a salesperson addresses those concerns in hopes of moving the opportunity forward. Objection handling is a natural part of selling and can help you build relationships with prospects as you learn more about their problems and how you can solve them.
Objections can be raised at any time in the sales process through email, phone, in-person, and any other means of communication. Thankfully, preparing for objections is like preparing for a test in which the professor told you the questions in advance – there is a predictability to what you are going to hear. The following tips will prepare you to approach and overcome objections.
1. Listen and Pause Before Responding to Sales Objections
Our first tip is all about how you show up, as your communication approach will set the tone for the conversation and for how you execute the next nine tips. When a prospect brings up an objection, it’s always important to actively listen to gain a true understanding of the objection. If you don’t fully and completely understand the objection, ask follow up questions and repeat the objection back to your prospect to confirm you’re on the same page.
Tip: Practice pausing and staying calm when you hear an objection, resisting the temptation to respond too quickly or speak over the prospect. There is no shame in taking a moment to think! In fact, data from Gong reveals that, “The best-of-the-best salespeople pause 5 TIMES longer than the average rep after objections compared to the ‘normal’ parts of a sales conversation.”
2. When You Hear the “Bad Timing” Objection…
Rest assured that “bad timing” is one of the most common objections of all time, and prepare to learn more about the why behind this so you can determine when might be the best time. An objection related to bad timing can sound like “I’m too busy” or “Not ready to make a decision.” Your solution won’t be for everyone, but in many cases, people do simply need more time.
Tip: To overcome a timing objection, ask about their competing priorities so you can try to discover why other problems are more important for them to solve. If they cannot identify their competing priorities and are still hesitant to take a meeting or make a decision, ask when their current priorities will be closer to completion so you have a timeline of when to follow up.
3. When You Hear the “We Already Have a Solution” Objection…
This means the prospect believes they have already solved the problem that your product solves for, which can sound like “We work with a competitor” or “We already do this in-house.” The fact of the matter is that your product may do a better job of solving their problem, but to showcase that you have to understand what they do and don’t like about their current setup.
Tip: To overcome an objection about an existing solution they have in place, ask questions about why they chose that product, what they like about it, and what they’d change if they could. If they share in-house objections, ask about what drove them to solve this problem themselves. Listen closely to complaints and frustrations to identify areas your product could help improve.
4. When You Hear the “Send Me Some Information” Objection…
It means that the prospect could be trying to rush you off the phone without real interest in a follow up, or they could be genuinely interested to receive more information and learn about your product. It’s up to you as the SDR to suss out the opportunities within this objection, and to get the right contact details so you can follow up with relevant info in hopes of setting a meeting.
Tip: To overcome an objection requesting information, ask them three questions dialing into the what, the why, and the when of it all. This can sound like “What would you like me to send you?” If they aren’t specific, they are likely brushing you off. If they are specific, ask “Why would you like me to send that to you?” for clarity on how they’ll use it. Before ending the conversation, always ask “When would you like me to send it and where to?” Then, follow up as promised.
5. When You Hear the “It’s Too Expensive” Objection…
It means the prospect believes the cost of your solution is something they cannot afford, so they don’t even want to talk to you about it. This can also sound like “We have no budget for that.” Budget, by nature, is a top objection and can be tricky for SDRs to tackle, as pricing is generally handled by Account Executives.
Tip: To overcome budget-related objections, keep the core focus on your product’s value in relation to their specific problems. If they communicate a pain point that your product can solve for, encourage them to discuss pricing with your AE next. If nothing happens, keep an eye on their company growth and watch for any mentions of fundraising, as this signals a new budget.
6. When You Hear the “I Need to Talk to My Manager” Objection…
It means, in most cases, that the prospect needs to run the decision by someone else on their internal team before moving forward. It is common for buyers to collaborate with leadership before confirming purchasing decisions, so admitting this up front offers good process insights. In other cases, it might signal a lack of interest and be an attempt to dismiss you in the moment.
Tip: To overcome objections related to bringing in other decision makers, ask when they will speak with their team and what they plan to discuss. Make a recommendation for their manager to take a meeting with your AE so everyone can get on a call together for ample alignment.
7. When You Hear the “I’m the Wrong Person” Objection…
It means you’ve likely targeted a prospect who is not in the right role, or potentially even the right department, to have a productive conversation on the solution your product offers. This can be especially frustrating for prospects if they feel like SDRs are reaching out to them without doing any prior research on their company (this shows!) thus wasting their time.
Tip: To overcome an objection from the wrong person, request the name of the right person and ask for permission to use their name when reaching out. A warm introduction is always better than a cold one though, so seize the chance to ask if they’d be willing to make the introduction.
8. When You Hear the “We Tried Something Like This” Objection…
It means the prospect is aware they had a problem and desired to fix it, but likely invested in a solution that didn’t work out. From their perspective, they feel burned that what they tried didn’t meet their needs, and are nervous to make another mistake.
Tip: To overcome objections from prospects who have tried another solution before without success, empathize with the frustration of their past experience and ask questions to find out why they decided to solve this problem in the first place and learn what didn’t work along the way. Communicate the value in your solution and draw attention to positive differentiators.
9. When You Hear the “You Don’t Have What We Need” Objection…
It means they need a specific product feature and believe you can’t provide it, so they’d rather shut down the conversation altogether. But in many cases, prospects who present this objection aren’t actually clear on what you offer, so there’s an opportunity to learn more if they allow it.
Tip: To overcome objections related to a feature you don’t have, ask what feature they need and why they need it specifically. The problems they reveal can often be solved differently without the feature. If it is needed, recommend a supplementary product that can be used with yours.
10. When You Hear the “Not Interested” Objection…
It means, flatly, that this prospect is not interested in chatting with you right now, likely in response to a cold call or cold email. This is a common catchall objection, as their lack of interest could be for a number of reasons they are or are not willing to communicate with you.
Tip: To overcome this objection, understand that cold outreach is usually way too early for a prospect to know they are not interested. Do your research, ask probing questions (if you’re able), and offer to send over potentially helpful resources and schedule a follow-up call to connect on if those resources were valuable.
Say “Yes” to a Future in Sales! Apply for Our Apprenticeship
At Vendition, a paid 12-week Sales Apprenticeship program, we are devoted to helping motivated individuals break into tech through strategic coaching and on-the-job experience. During our Apprenticeship we go over each objection you learned today in greater detail, help you prepare potential responses, and even role-play objection handling with you to practice so you can feel confident in your SDR role.
Objection handling is only one element of our comprehensive sales training built to support future SDRs like you, and we seek candidates with various types of professional backgrounds!
To apply for our Apprenticeship, create a New Candidate profile for our career team to review.