If you’re jumping into a sales career, you have to understand that sales call objections are natural and just a part of the job. Unfortunately, not every lead in the sales pipeline is going to agree to a sales appointment after the first few dials. While many cold callers look at sales call objections as a bad thing, it’s important to look at it through a different lens.
Sales objections give you an opportunity to learn more about a prospect in the sales pipeline. The more you learn about them, the more targeted your sales pitch can be when you make a follow-up call. At the end of the sales funnel, what started off as an objection could very well turn up into a high-quality sales appointment that has value to both the prospect and your company, increasing the likelihood of a long-lasting business partnership.
While sales call objections aren’t the ideal scenario for an appointment setter, they can provide a lot of value if you know how to overcome them. Overcoming objections in cold calling can be easier if you’re prepared ahead of time.
Throughout this blog, we’ll highlight the following topics:
A sales objection is when a prospect in the sales pipeline declines to meet for a sales appointment. Rather than saying “no,” they give an explanation for declining a sales meeting. A sales objection indicates that a key decision-maker (KDM) is not ready to make a purchase, and there could be a variety of reasons why they don’t want to invest in a product or service.
As an appointment setter, it’s essential to be prepared for any sales call objection that comes your way. By being prepared to overcome sales objections, you have the opportunity to learn more about the prospect and deliver more value to your pitch. Even if they’re still objecting to a sales meeting after you ask several open-ended questions, at least you have a lot of information gathered to present a more personalized pitch for the next phone call.
Luckily, the most common sales objections in B2B appointment setting are easy to overcome if you prepare for them ahead of time. Many prospects in the sales pipeline decline to set sales appointments because they have:
Prospects in the sales pipeline aren’t actively looking for business solutions if they don’t identify a problem in the first place. If they say they don’t need your company’s product or service, take this time to learn about the prospective business and their industry as a whole. You can use this knowledge to your advantage to give the prospect additional insight that they’re able to understand from your perspective.
If a prospect thinks they don’t need your company’s product or service, they don’t have the urgency to see the value of what you have to offer them. As a sales development representative (SDR), you can help prospects understand your value by asking them about their pain points and explaining how your company can relieve them.
Setting appointments over the phone can be intimidating for prospective businesses. If this is the first time you’re talking to a company’s KDM, they’re more than likely going to decline to meet for a sales presentation. To gain a prospect’s trust for your business, it’s crucial to be genuine and open with them about why you’re calling. Beating around the bush will likely turn them off from your company and make it harder for them to trust you in the long run.
If a prospect is hesitant to set a sales appointment with your company, turn the conversation around to make it less about how great your company is and more about their needs. Asking KDMs open-ended questions is great for building value and encouraging them to trust you and the business you’re representing. Additionally, asking open-ended questions allows your sales reps to explore issues a prospect may be having with their current provider. This allows them to nurture the relationship over time and have a more valuable warm call in the future.
One of the most frequent cold calling objections is that they don’t have any money to spend. While money is a significant factor in choosing an outsourced product or service provider, there are a few ways to handle pricing objections:
- If possible, break the price into smaller billing options. Today, many companies are offering smaller billing options for their customers. They know that money is tight for a lot of businesses right now, which is why they’re accepting a smaller amount of money more frequently than requiring clients to pay everything upfront.
- Focus on the value your product or service provides. The price of your product or service may be higher than competitors, but there’s a reason for that. For example, let’s suggest that you’re a commercial cleaner that provides additional cleaning routines for your clients, such as COVID-19 disinfection services. In this case, your service is worth more than your competitors because they don’t take advantage of these cleaning practices. While your competitors’ service costs may be cheaper, so are their cleaning routines.
When appointment setters call large-scale companies, it can be challenging to determine the KDM for a particular product or service. If you’re directed to an employee who says they’re not responsible for a specific product or service, politely ask them if they know who your best point of contact would be. If they refuse to give you additional information, you may have to do further research to find the new KDM.
“Thanks for reaching out, but we already have a solution in place.” Well, of course, a prospect already has a B2B product or service solution in place. If they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t even be in business. While most (if not all) prospective businesses already have a company they’re working with, this doesn’t mean that they’re not a good fit for your business.
If a prospect says, “We’re already working with XYZ company,” then they’re not directly telling you that they don’t want to work with your business. This is a good time to ask the KDM open-ended questions about what they like about their current provider, where they want improvement, and what it would take to make a business change. If you keep digging and gaining more insight from the KDM, you may uncover hidden pain points they didn’t know they had.
Now that we’re aware of all the most common sales objections, how do we overcome those objections? Here are some ways you and your sales team can properly handle objections in cold calling:
When a KDM says they don’t have a need for your company’s product or service, use this time to ask them about their current solution. By gathering this information, you have the opportunity to learn about their priorities and potentially where their pain points lie.
Once they tell you about their current process, discuss your company’s product or service benefits and how it could make their day-to-day operations more straightforward.
For example, here’s a sample response:
“I’m glad you have a solution that’s working for you right now. From our experience working with businesses in [PROSPECT INDUSTRY], some common problems in their processes include [PROSPECT PAIN POINTS]. We’ve enabled businesses like yours to [VALUE PROPOSITION].”
This provides additional value for the lead in the sales pipeline and shows them that your company’s product or service would benefit their business.
When a lead says, “Just send me some information,” this is neither good nor bad. However, it can be difficult to decipher what it means without proper discovery. A KDM could be saying this to get you off the phone, or they could just be busy and interested in learning more on their own time.
While emails are great for nurturing leads, pitching prospects over the phone is ideal because it allows you to talk one-on-one and further pique their interest. When a KDM gives you this objection, consider the following response:
“I can send over some information. Our business owner asked me to reach out to you to learn about what you have in place regarding [YOUR COMPANY’S PRODUCT OR SERVICE]. How are you currently handling those operations?”
However, if you’ve already discussed your company’s product and service offerings, then jump right into pitching the sales appointment. Consider using one of these responses:
“I’ll send you some information. However, from our experience, we’ve found it more beneficial for our account executives to reach out to you so they can demonstrate how we [VALUE PROPOSITION] for businesses in [PROSPECT INDUSTRY].”
Then, offer up two dates and times for an account executive to reach out to them within the next few days.
If you want to gather more information and qualify the lead before setting the appointment, consider the following responses:
“I have a lot of information I can send your way, but what in particular are you interested in learning more about?…”
“…Excellent, I’ll send those materials your way. I’ll also have my account executive reach out to you in the next few days to follow up and see what questions you have about what I sent over.”
Then, pitch them two dates and times for an account executive to reach out to them.
Most likely, leads in the sales pipeline won’t have your company’s product or service solution listed in their quarterly budget. If a KDM makes this objection, it could be because this is the first time they’ve heard of your solution, so they haven’t considered spending money on it yet.
When overcoming this objection, it’s essential to be considerate of their budget and encourage them to think about long-term ROI for their business solution. Here’s a potential response you can use for this objection:
“I completely understand that you don’t have this in your budget right now. Finding someone who did have this in their company budget would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Honestly, all I want to do is introduce you to my company, share how we’ve helped businesses in [PROSPECT INDUSTRY], and how we could help your company when you reevaluate your budget.
Our account executive has some availability within the next few days, does X time work for you on Tuesday or Wednesday?”
Pitching the wrong KDM happens all the time. When this happens, it’s important to be friendly and continue to carry on a conversation with the prospective business. This allows you to leave a good impression on the person you’re talking to.
If an individual says they’re not the right point of contact, consider following this talk track:
“My apologies, I was directed your way as the best point of contact. Do you know who the best person would be to speak with about this?”
If they refuse to give you a name, consider asking which department this product or service would fall under. However, if they still don’t want to provide the information, ask if there’s an email you can send marketing materials to and have it directed to the right person.
As mentioned previously, if you’re a commercial service company, of course the prospect already has a solution in place. If they didn’t have a commercial cleaner, roofer, or HVAC tech, they probably wouldn’t even be in business.
While they may have a current solution in place, it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t change anything about their current product or service provider. When a KDM gives you this objection, use your competitive industry knowledge to highlight what differentiates your business from competitors.
First, you should identify if their current solution is in-house or an outsourced vendor. If it’s an outsourced company, ask them who they’re working with. To gather more information about the vendor, consider asking the following questions:
- What do you enjoy about your provider’s products and services?
- Where do you feel like your current solution could improve?
- What would it take for you to change your current solution?
By asking these questions, you have the chance to learn the pros and cons of their current setup. After asking these questions, shoot for the sales appointment:
“Thanks for taking the time to chat with me and tell me a little bit about what you currently have in place. We didn’t want to step on any toes or anything if things were going well. We just wanted to take a moment to introduce ourselves and tell you how we’ve been able to help local businesses like yours.
I’d like for our account executive to reach out to you in the next few days to discuss more details in case things do change with your current solution. Does X time on Thursday or Friday work for you?”
If a KDM says they won’t review their current solution until next quarter, ask for an email so you can send relevant information to them in the meantime. Then, tell them that you’ll follow up with them when they’re closer to reviewing those contracts. This ensures that the appointment you set in the future is high quality and makes sense with their timeline.
While many appointment setters fear sales call objections, there are ways to get around them and add more value to your sales pitch. Objection handling is a crucial skill that every sales rep should have, and it’s easier if you prepare for it ahead of time.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our SDRs are well-equipped to overcome common sales objections and provide long-lasting value to prospects in the sales pipeline. When you’re ready to convert those leads into loyal customers, contact the sales reps at Abstrakt for an extra hand!