The Pro’s Guide to Handling Objections During the Sales Process

Objection protection—that’s what we want you to have.

We want you to know how to preemptively handle objections and how to get to the root of the customer’s concern.

To get all of this valuable info, we sat down with Morgan J Ingram in a recent episode of the Closing Show Live on LinkedIn.

Morgan is the VP of GTM Talent and Development and a sales consultant who upskills teams of AEs and SDRs.

Check out the full interview with Morgan or keep reading for his best objection-handling techniques.

Image showing a cartoon person crossing their arms in front of sales objections

What is an objection (really)?

Morgan reminded us that there are two types of objections:

  1. The ones you get from cold prospects

  2. The ones you get from leads during the sales process

We’re going to focus on the latter because those can be the most infuriating. Right when you think you’re about to close the deal…you get hit with a big one.

“The common objections are this isn’t a priority right now, this is too expensive, I don’t work there anymore, we don’t really need it right now, and I already used this product and I didn’t like it. Those are the objections that everyone is facing.” - Morgan J Ingram

Why objections aren’t a bad thing

Objections aren’t always blocks. They might actually be pathways to the finish line.

“Objections start to come up when the buyer is getting closer to the point where they need to make a decision. You get more objections because you’re helping them get clarity.” - Morgan J Ingram

If you think of objections as confusion and uncertainty, that can help you approach them more productively.

The 3 types of objections

While objections come in every flavour, they tend to boil down to one of these 3 main types:

  1. The person doesn’t believe you can help them.

  2. The person needs more clarity on how you can help them.

  3. The person isn’t actually the decision maker (and is throwing out objections to end the conversation and stick with their status quo).

You can’t handle an objection until you know which type you’re dealing with. Morgan uses a 3-step process, which we outline below, to get to the bottom of things.

“Managing objections is about doing better overall discovery.” - Morgan J Ingram

How to handle an objection

To handle any type of objection, try Morgan’s signature approach.

Pause. Acknowledge. Ask a question.

Step 1. Pause

The first step is to pause. This will keep you from trying to force the sale, and ultimately killing the opportunity.

“You have a fight or flight response and most people go into fight, like well we’re the number 1 product in the space. And that’s not gonna help you at all. You don’t want to get into a fight mode, you want to understand what people are saying.” - Morgan J Ingram

Step 2. Acknowledge

Next, it’s wise to acknowledge the objection.

You might say simple something like, “I understand where you’re coming from” or “I get that.”

Step 3. Ask a question

The next step is to ask a question (and then keep listening to ask even more questions).

“By asking a question, I can figure out okay this person doesn’t believe I can help, or this person needs clarity so I need to figure out why this objection is happening in the first place, or this person actually has no buying power at all.” - Morgan J Ingram

The more practice and experience you have, the better you’ll be at asking the right questions to keep the conversation going and decipher what you need to address.

How to handle pricing objections

People pay for things that they think are valuable or that will get them results.

“Pricing objections typically mean that they don’t believe that the value you’re going to bring matches that price.” - Morgan J Ingram

So if you get a pricing objection, you need to find out where the uncertainty is and show them how your solution will get results.

What to do when objections happen at the end of a deal

When objections happen at the end of the deal, that could be a sign that the buyer experience wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. Or, it could mean that other decision-makers have gotten involved and are swaying the decision. Lastly, this could also be a sign that a buyer is about to go with one of your competitors.

You want to be handling objections as early on as possible. If you’re not getting any, make sure to ask about any questions or concerns they might have so they don’t pop up later on.

How to build rapport on the first call

The only way to build trust is to really improve the buyer experience. There’s no magic wand.

Morgan recommends doing research before the call and starting with that, rather than breaking the ice by talking about the weather.

“In the first 3 - 5 minutes of the call I say, hey I did some research on your oganizaion and I wanted to share what I found. Can I do that? Then after I share, that person is going to talk for 10 - 15 minutes. That’s what you want. You’re going to get more insight than your competitors.” - Morgan J Ingram

Morgan gave an example of what he might say based on research:

“I looked on your website, noticed that you’re hirding for SDRs, AEs, look like you’re trying to grow that team, so it looks like coaching might be something you’re interested in and you’ve had some product updates so you probably need some sales messaging around that. I also noticed that you just hired a CRO so you probably have a new revenue target. Is that accurate or am I missing something?”

There are a couple of different ways to conduct this research. For public companies, you can read their published reports on corporate goals. For private companies, read live job descriptions of the role you target to discover your buyer’s responsibilities and key objectives.

When to let a deal go

Sometimes, you just have to let a deal go.

At the end of the day, you need to protect your success metrics and your earnings.

Here are some signs it’s time to let go of a deal:

  • You can’t articulate their problem and how you can solve it

  • You aren’t being introduced to the key decision-maker

  • You can tell the person doesn’t trust you

  • You can tell the person is just using you for free consulting on the issue they’re facing

  • You’ve spent more time on this deal than your average closing time

“Let’s say 50 days is my average closing time. For deals after that point, I’m assessing how can I get it out of my pipeline because at that point it’s gone above my average and they’re not ready for it. Everything’s about energy. If I’m spending my time following up on someone who effectively doesn’t want to move forward, I could have done 10 or 20 outreaches that day to someone who might be a fit, so I aim to not be as emotional about my deals.” - Morgan J Ingram

That’s a good reminder that you don’t have to handle every objection.

You might be better off spending time on other deals.

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The Pro’s Guide to Handling Objections During the Sales Process

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