Your new superpower: overcoming sales objections
Join our experts, Amy Cooke and Mason Mowle, to discover some simple but effective techniques to overcome the eight most common sales objections.
Webinar topic detail
No time. No budget. No need. No trust. End of conversation…
This doesn’t have to be the case if you can help your prospect overcome their objections.
Join our experts, Amy Cooke and Mason Mowle, to discover some simple but effective techniques to overcome the eight most common sales objections. By the end of the 30-minute session, you’ll have picked up some sales objection-busting superpowers!
1. Why prospect objections are important
2. The most common objections
3. How to overcome those objections
Hello and welcome, good morning, good afternoon or good evening depending on where you are watching from in the world and thank you for joining us in this Lead Forensics webinar. My name is Mason Mowle, I am Head of SDR, Sales Development Representatives Arizona here at Lead Forensics. Today’s webinar will be presented by Amy Cooke, Global Development Director at Lead Forensics and the title of today’s presentation Accelerate Sales: Your new superpower: overcoming sales objections. We’ll be using the questions function to take questions from the audience throughout. This can be found at the top right hand side of your screen so do please send any questions in throughout the presentation and our speaker will answer as many questions as there is time for at the end. Thank you, lovely to meet you all and I will now hand over to today’s guest speaker, Amy Cooke.
Amy: Thanks Mason. Hi everyone, my name is Amy and as Mason said I am the Global Development Director for Mid-market SDR which is one of our departments here at Lead Forensics. Some more back story, so I’ve been with the business for just over a year and half now. I was brought in to start the SDR function for mid-market. We did really well and we then grew and expanded over to Atlanta, which is where I am now based. We’ve continued growing and obviously have now got a function over in Arizona, in Scottsdale which Mason heads up within my team. So, Mason and I are just going to be going through how we overcome objections, give you a taster of how we handle them on a day-to-day basis and as Mason said feel free to ask any questions as we go.
Mason: Thank you so much Amy. So no time like the present, we’ll get into it. We are going to be speaking about a lot of objections today Amy. One question I actually had for you to begin with is ……what is an objection, what is your definition of what an objection is ?
Amy: I guess we can break it down to 3 different facets, Mason. First of all, the most common kind of objection is really a buying question. Customers need to be educated and maybe just don’t understand the value at that current moment. They are asking you a question to allow you to educate them. Then you get your reflex objections and your brush off objections which anybody who prospects will be very familiar with. They are objections that we face typically at the start of any call where somebody is either too busy or they haven’t seen the value or they just think that they are being prospected so they are going to end the conversation before they give you too much time. I suppose they’re the 3 different definitions of objections that we face, all slightly different but very similar.
Mason: Super, so just to reiterate there. We’ve got your genuine, authentic objections, we’ve got the brush offs and the reflexes. How is that you traditionally tackled and handled these objections? What structure have you used?
Amy: I was an SDR way before I ever taught any SDR and the method I’ve always used since the moment I started sales is the ARC method. There are lots of different structures, ARQ, ADA but ARC is what I am going to talk through today. That’s broken down to Acknowledge, Respond and Close. The acknowledgement is there and is really important and can often be overlooked when handling an objection but it’s absolutely critical. The acknowledgment is essentially telling the decision maker that you are listening to them, it’s a conversation, it lowers their guard, you’re being empathetic and appreciating that some of their concerns you’ve heard before and you understand them. Once their guard is lowered and it’s less confrontational and it’s more of a conversation you can then Respond. Now the response piece is really dependent on which objection they’ve thrown at you but that’s your chance to educate them. That’s your chance to reassure them as to why their objection is okay and has been heard and this is how we’re going to continue through, I suppose. Then you come back to the Close. Now the Close, towards the back end of the script it’s probably where you want to then absolutely go for the Close and get the booking, agree a time or get the next action. If it’s at the beginning of the script, you almost want to see it as you’re going down a road and an objection comes up, all that is, is the decision maker taking you slightly off the road and it’s your job to get back and continue the path you were on. The Close there, instead of asking for times or using a closing method, would be getting back to your structure may be asking a question or continuing what you were saying when you were previously interrupted. So ARC !
Mason: Brilliant! So we’ve got that defined structure, we know that we can expect objections and at large the same frequent objections, over and over again. So why do so many sales professionals almost live in fear and dread objections?
Amy: Great question. I think anybody that hasn’t done sales before, getting an objection you know is rejection, isn’t it and I think as humans we do everything we can to protect ourselves from rejection. It’s a mindset thing. It’s a mindset thing that what you’ve said, somebody’s not interested in and people just have to take themselves aside from, you know make it not personal. It’s not that they’re saying no to you, it’s that they haven’t necessarily seen the value in what we’re talking about but it’s an opportunity to educate someone. In most cases it’s either a test or they’ve maybe had a few cold calls earlier that morning and you’ve got to be different, you’ve really got to put yourself out there and tell them why you’re calling. Or it’s a way to just educate them and say hey I understand what you are saying but this is why you can be reassured of that fact and this absolutely is going to be of value. Once you’ve practised it, once you’re confident at overcoming objections and you’ve been able to get back into your script or you have closed a booking off the back of overcoming an objection you will build your confidence. It’s a mindset thing around it being a decision maker rejecting what you’re saying and it’s not personal, we have to look at ourselves and how we delivered the value first of all and welcome objections so that we can overcome them.
Mason: Thank you. From my experience with leading SDRs, BDRs, BDMs and prospectors, those who thrive off of that ‘no’, that rejection normally tend to get the best results and by no means are they getting ‘yeses’ more than ‘noes’, they get a lot of ‘noes’ but they thrive off of that and that leads to more ‘yeses’. By almost taking that in their stride, I’ve always found that actually it builds that resilience that they take on to any future roles as well, so totally right here thank you so much for those definitions. What we’ll do now is go into some of the more common objections that we’ve all faced at some point in time. The first one I wanted to pose to you is the idea that we’re just not in the market for this right now and we’ve all heard this one at some point.
Amy: This is one that comes up most frequently and really what you have to do with this objection is a) listen to the tone of voice that the person is using and listen to the level of detail that they are in fact giving but also read between the lines. If it’s quite early on in the conversation, then what you will find is somebody is telling you that to fob you off. That’s a classic reflex objection, ‘we’re not in the market for this right now’ and the reason why they are saying that is because they probably have stack of other priorities and they’re just really busy and they haven’t got the time to consider additional tech stack or whatever your tool may be or product that your selling. So following the structure that I mentioned earlier, the first stage is obviously acknowledgement ‘Look Mason, I fully appreciate I’ve called you at a busy time right now, I bet you’re spinning a thousand plates as a lot of my customers are when I first initially speak to them. The reason I’ve giving you the call is that I can see that you currently not using any reverse IP tracking, so missing out on 98% of businesses that hit your website with a legitimate need and right now we are running free data captures to evidence those opportunities so you can make an informed decision on the back of that data. What works better, Mondays or Tuesdays to set that up’. Something along those lines so you’re appreciating their time is busy and actually they’ve got other projects on but you’re creating the fear of loss and making sure that they feel confident in the fact that you wouldn’t have called them unless you thought that you could add value. So the tone of voice has got to be really confident there, also bringing quite a lot of authority….you know, I’m not being a time bandit for no reason, this is going to help you out.
Mason: Absolutely, you’re right there. Our job in sales is to interrupt people’s normal way of doing things. Is it a case where you find that they’re genuinely not in the market in some cases or is it just the fact they haven’t heard your value proposition yet and just don’t quite know that they’re not in the market or they are in the market just yet?
Amy: It can be a mix of 2 things, really Mason, can’t it. I guess the whole reason why Lead Forensics is global and we are so successful in what we do is because timing is everything. So being able to contact businesses when they are searching for what you do is important. I think often if you are cold prospecting, which we do often as well, it’s about that they haven’t listened to necessarily what you’re saying or they don’t see the value because ……..specifically when we pitch Lead Forensics, who wouldn’t want to see businesses in their market browsing their website but we haven’t delivered it in a way they think ‘wow!, I have a pain and this is the solution’. So you just need to go back and reiterate the value and really make it specific to their business. Make sure that they are picturing business looking for whatever they do, in the market, on their website, searching products, coming through their marketing channels like PPC or organically finding them through their SEO but bouncing off before taking that final step. It’s really about personalising it and really showing the value it could bring to them and I bet they’ll change their mind.
Mason: That’s a really important point there Amy, That timing piece, if you can contact people who are in the market at that exact time ……. you’re never going to get this objection in theory and you’re going to be seeing far higher conversions. Thank you for that response. Moving on to the next objection then, the next one we wanted to explore in a bit more detail is ‘I’m just too busy to look at this’ and you’ve mentioned being a time bandit already. Could you go into a bit more detail about this one?
Amy: This is a brush off or a reflex objection. When I teach this to my team I always use this same example. For example Mason, you were looking to buy a pair of shoes and you walk into a shoe shop and there’s a sales assistant who is probably going to be stood next to the door. What they always ask is ‘Hi good morning/good afternoon, can I help you with anything?’ and our knee jerk reaction every single time, regardless if we want a specific size, a specific colour and a specific shoe is to say ‘no, I’m okay, I’m just looking’ or ‘no thank you, I’m fine’. We’re innately built just to think ‘I’m too busy, I’m not interested, I don’t need this’. So again, reassure them, the acknowledgement…. ‘I completely appreciate that I’ve called you out of the blue and you may not have been expecting my call today’. We reassure them that ‘we’re working with a lot of those in your job title so we completely respect how busy your day is and how many priorities you have, that’s why when we run the free data capture, it runs in the background for 7 days and a time is set when you have more time to look at the results, the initial stage is about just getting that test set up’. So you are lowering their guard, letting them know that a) a lot of others in their exact same job title feel the same type of time constraints that they do and we work around them. But also you could change that response to the value again, show them why they should commit time. Because if you are speaking to a senior decision maker, which I think a lot of prospectors do, they want the ultimate decision maker on the call that’s going to have budget and sign the paperwork. Then we can’t go in naively thinking that they have loads of gaps in their diary, they’re stacked. So you’ve got to give them a good enough reason to think actually this is worth me rearranging or I’m actually going to cut my lunch break by half an hour and entertain this. Then you go for the close at the end, ‘what time works better for you, we will work around your timescales because I know you’re super busy, I’ve mornings or afternoons which suits your diary best?’ Make sure you are putting emphasis around their diary because they are really busy.
Mason: Absolutely! You’ve probably hit the nail on the head there actually. You’ve interrupted someone’s day and time already, one of the worst things you can do is then back down to this very much brush off objection and interrupt their time again probably later in that week so make the most of that time, there and then. From your experience, how often is this actually a genuine objection ? I know people are busy but if we look at Lead Forensics for example where we’re trying to secure 15 minutes, how often is that someone wouldn’t be able to squeeze 15 minutes into their diary?
Amy: It’s all about priority. so if someone sees something as a priority they’ll make that time. You need to create the urgency on the call and that’s down to you as an SDR or prospector or leader to instil into your tea. You’ve got to create the urgency and there’s got to be a reason for them to give up that time. Its a knee jerk reaction, everybody has 15 minutes. The classic excuse is I don’t have time to go to the gym or I don’t have time to read, everybody has time it’s just not necessarily a priority for them at that moment in time. You shift that focus and show them the value and I bet they’ve got 15 minutes somewhere.
Mason: I’d agree with you, thank you. A fantastic response there. Moving on to the next objection then and it’s a bit of a peculiar one but we’ve all heard at some point in time. ‘I am not the decision maker on this’. What are your thoughts on this objection at face value ?
Amy: I’m smiling because we get that all the time. It’s the classic fob off, it can be genuine but more often than not it’s a fob off because they’ve got stacks of priorities, spinning multiple plates. For a tool, for example at Lead Forensics you would be talking to the VP of Sales or you could be talking to the VP of Marketing or the Head of either department and they don’t see the value, often they will swing it to the other department. A couple of fundamentals with this, know who you are calling, know their job role and know the value it’s going to bring to them before you even approach that phone call. So you know that when the sales director says you need to speak to marketing, you can say – acknowledge ‘thanks John, look I hear that all the time and completely appreciate while you think you may see this as a marketing tool actually we always sit the initial demonstration with sales because inevitably it’s going to be you and your team that are going to be utilising the tool and seeing the rewards off of the back of it. So you really need to make that judgement on the value. Looking at my diary it’s going to be best for us to schedule in a demonstration and show it how it works…….what works best?’ The same for marketing, they want to push it over to sales and you’ve just got to show them the value ‘Jane, great question I always hear that, we always speak to marketing first because you have control over the website and you spend day in, day out driving traffic over to the website so really it’s going to be you that’s going to want to see how we can capitalise on all that opportunity on the website. What works best for me to show that to you?’
Mason: Nice! Very good, great close at the end there. What we find more often than not with mid-market sized companies and enterprise sized companies is, not to say your SMEs also, but normally decisions we find are made on a democratic basis, lots of moving parts, different decision makers there. How much would you encourage your prospecting team to have multiple touch points with multiple decision makers?
Amy: Do you mean on the demonstration or prior ?
Mason: Prior, when prospecting, yes.
Amy: Absolutely, for sure you want to touch base with marketing and you want to touch base with sales. For us at Lead Forensics specifically, our bread and butter is marketing because they can put the code on the website but should their marketing be outsourced then absolutely we want to be going for the head decision maker in sales. When actually running the demonstration, getting the booking, the best question you could possibly ask at the end is ‘who else should we get involved in the demonstration, who else is this going to be interesting to show?’ Because ultimately, any decision making process as you mention, has got multiple stakeholders. So it’s much better for one of our own account executives, who knows the product inside and out, to show them and take them through that journey and overcome any, you know top of mind questions that they might have during a demonstration than having the marketing or sales person relay that message on to another department because I think the message weakens every time there. Just where its new and obviously retention rates post conversation can go down as low as 8%. Always get as many stakeholders as you can on that first initial demonstration, your account executives will love you and you will have more chance of getting a contract in and a quick sales cycle too.
Mason: Nice!. Its makes it far more efficient then. Speaking of multiple decision makers, I suppose when we get to that situation when we get to the back end of the sales process, those decision makers are then talking about whose budget it comes out of. But a common objection we get is ‘we just don’t have the budget for this right now’. So how is it that you look to tackle and handle this objection?
Amy: Good question. Budget is one that we get all of the time, so we are very well rehearsed in that. You’ve got to put this one into some kind of perspective. Budget may be allocated differently in different departments and budget may be put aside for different resources throughout the year. It is highly unlikely the budget has been spent and locked in at any point of the year. That’s why Christmas is so successful for us because people have budget leftover that they either need to use or lose. For us, it’s not necessarily that they have no budget, you need to know that maybe it’s been allocated and you need to show them the value so that this budget can be reallocated to this instead of something else that they were going to use. For example, our customers might have all of their budget on PPC. Actually, if we can show them that 3 out of 5 of their keywords are working effectively and the other 2 are not, that’s again budget saved on their behalf. It’s just about reallocating their budget and seeing why budget should be spent on this. The way that we overcome it and any prospecting team or sales team that offer a free data capture can use something similar. ‘That’s great, it sounds like I’ve called you at the perfect time’……….that positive disruption, that acknowledgement…………’it’s the best time I could have called you if budget’s a concern right now because we are running free data captures so you can actually see all the businesses that are in the market for your services and your product right now, free of charge. You wouldn’t believe how many times our current customers have actually identified a client they’ve been able to get hold of and turn into revenue which has gone on to pay for the tool for a year if not two. In order for me to show you how that works and how that same process achieves by itself, just get a demonstration booked in, no obligation. Mondays or Wednesdays work better’. Just get it locked in that way because we have genuinely seen that. If you run a free data capture and you’re showing businesses in the market, absolutely they can sell off the back of the trial and have budget opened up that they didn’t even know they had, if they don’t want to reallocate. I love that objection.
Mason: Me too! We see it time and time again, don’t we? Not only does it pay for the Lead Forensics tool in terms of this conversation right now but as marketers we want to do lots of different, fund different activities, enhance what we are already doing all of which are all very expensive and pricey. By quite a quick return on investment, it just enables us to invest in those as well so it’s a win, win there, absolutely. One phrase I used to throw out there when speaking with decision makers who wanted to involve other departments, so sales or marketing….is ‘lets loop sales/marketing in a bit further down the line and take it out of their budget as well’. Which always went down a bit of a treat with whichever decision maker you were speaking to. So I agree, this is a buying sign much rather than an objection.
No matter what vertical industry sector you’re in, you’re always going to have someone trying to undercut you or some kind of competitor out there. So with regards to competitors if we hear ‘your competitors do it cheaper’, how have you typically handled this objection?
Amy: There are many different ways and I’m sure everybody has their own special way that they overcome this one. I guess one of the key fundamentals is not to put down any other competitors. You don’t want to seem like you are trying to take away from what they are doing to make yourself look any better. Facts will speak from facts and you just have to go about the business’s unique selling points. For Lead Forensics, its you know ‘great question there, thank you for mentioning that. There’s a reason why we do charge the prices that we charge. Firstly, we are the global leader and what comes with that is the largest IP database in the entire world, which means naturally we are going to outmatch any of our competitors by upwards of 40%’. Secondly, we have X amount of data scientists that scrub our data on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to ensure that the accuracy is there. So we welcome side-by-side comparisons so that you can make an informed decision off of the back of the results and you let me know where your money is going to be best spent. Let’s get that locked in so we can then run that comparison and you can come back to be and let me know what your thoughts are’. It’s always giving the opportunity to the client to actually see it side-by-side for themselves. There are lots of cheaper solutions out there and we will always come out on top so it’s just important that you’re not trying to put anyone else down and let the data speak for itself, Mason.
Mason: Absolutely, and you pay for what you get at the end of the day and would you rather drive from one end of the country of the British Isles on a bicycle or a Ferrari. I know I’d rather use that Ferrari to get there a little bit quicker. Now an objection that I’m sure the audience have all had this one before….. ‘Can you just send me some more information?’…………… some further information into your product/your offering/your service, whatever it is that you’re selling at the time. What’s your kind of thoughts on that objection, how have you handled that in the past?
Amy: It comes up all the time and on one hand you have to respect that. People like to consider things in their own time, when they are able to focus in and laser in on it. Our SDRs do such an incredibly good job in getting the decision makers on the line and it’s tough. Think about the amount of phone calls, the amount of data enrichment, the amount of research that has to go into getting that decision maker on the line. Why would you risk not getting hold of them again and allowing them to just give you their email and not commit to anything more? So I always encourage a push back on this one and the reason for that is an email is not going to give you too much more information than what we have discussed in the initial call. But actually seeing is believing. Instead of an email around this is what we do, this is how we help generic customers or others, lets run a free data capture, it’s a really visual tool then I can send you an email off of the back of the demonstration with exact value, the exact businesses we identified for you and an idea of the cost. You can then make an informed decision off of everything that you’ll want to review in your own time which is fair enough but let’s make it specific to you first’……. and I would lay it out with my typical ARC. ‘Completely appreciate that you’d like to see an email (then what I said there for the response) so let’s go ahead and get this scheduled in so we can see what that looks like and I can send you that email of the back of the process’.
Mason: I love using that method there and for any of the audience who have never read ‘Objections by Jeb Blount’, he mentions The Ledge quite a lot and this objection in particular ‘Can you just send me some further information’. You want to anchor that conversation and throw out something that’s going to change that brain psychology, something along the lines of ‘I’m so happy that you want to learn more about my business or my offering’ and it really helps with that ARC method as well to kind of cement the conversation going forward. Now the final objection I wanted to discuss with you is………. in a lot of peoples’ minds and this does come down to mindset and it’s maybe the hardest one to tackle…………. is ‘We’re just not interested’. So how is it that you coach to deal with this ?
Amy: It depends where that is with the script. If it’s at the very beginning, it’s about the value and very simply ‘I understand your quick reaction there. I wouldn’t expect you to be interested as I haven’t yet shown you why I’ve called you or shown you any value to your business’. Then back into the script straightaway, why you’re calling, what do you do. If it’s right at the end, then you need to ask more questions and you need to think about how do I make this about them and really they’re not interested in what you’ve just said but if you are a business that has multiple use cases, you just have to ask them a question and loop it back and keep going around the value build. Because what you may have spoken about in that isolated area in your through track or your script or whatever you guys call it, may not have hit that spot but you always need to go back and think actually there must be another angle here and there typically always is. There’s something that has not really hit home and you’ve just got to find that pain point through questioning and building that value again and going for the close around that way. But if it’s right at the beginning, its that reassurance that ‘I’ve not given you anything to be interested in yet but I wouldn’t have called you unless I really thought that I could add value and show you something incredible today so give me 30 seconds and I’ll be in and out of your hair like your favourite shampoo’…… I’ve heard one of your team say!
Mason: You’ve hit the nail on the head there actually. It’s so important that you loop this back and take it at face value for what it is. You’ve interrupted someone’s time, it is a brush off. Only through discovering and that intrigue creating can you bring that conversation back on track. Thank you so much for telling the audience and myself how it is you handle these objections. What are some of your key takeaways when handling sales objections?
Amy: Always stick to the ARC method. Always stick to your structure. Don’t make them long-winded. Objections need to be short, sharp, to the point. They need to add value but they need to pack a punch. Don’t ever leave an objection open. Don’t ever deliver a great acknowledgement, a great response and then just pause and wait for them to jump and say ‘oh my goodness you’ve changed my mind, that sounds great’. Always close the door behind you, you’ll find if you leave it open you’ll always be met with another objection….you’ll go through a bit of a process and a negative cycle there with the customer. Stick to the structure. See it as a question, as a buying sign and welcome it. You know, the more you face objections in the face and you overcome them, the more confident and the better you’re going to be able to execute them as you go on and objection handling works. People are renowned for saying ‘no’ the first time, they just need to be educated and as long as you understand the value you can bring to them they will listen and they will go ahead and book in the end. So they are my key takeaways.
Mason: Very nice, I love that a lot. Thank you so much for the presentation Amy, there was a lot of value delivered there. It was exquisite actually. If you have any questions……. reaching out to our audience today……..for our speaker, please do post them in the questions function now.
Just whilst you’re doing that, the Lead Forensics offer for you today, the audience, is to try out Lead Forensics on your website for 2 weeks free, there’s no catch and no commitment. See which exact businesses are responding to your marketing efforts and what they are looking at, in real time.
If you do have any questions or would like to speak to either myself or Amy or arrange for that extended free trial please do contact us via Linkedin, the QR codes to use are at 33.22 in the video recording. Thank you for listening.
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