How to Overcome the 16 Most Common Sales Objections

Sujan Patel is the founder of Mailshake, a sales engagement software used by 38,000 sales and marketing professionals. He has over 15 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.
  • March 2, 2024

In an ideal world, your prospects are ready, willing, and able, thanks to your lead qualification process. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, so objections can and will come up. While you can’t avoid them, you can learn how to overcome them effectively, and how to turn a ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ into a ‘yes’. Here’s how to do it.

How to Overcome an Objection

We’ll cover specific sales objections in a minute, but there’s a process for overcoming objections in general. Practice it so that, even if you’re caught off-guard, you’ll have a better chance at overcoming the sales objection – no matter what it is.

Generally speaking, there are four basic steps to the process:

1. Listen

Don’t just let your prospect spell out their objections – actually listen. Chances are you’ll be able to anticipate potential objections before they even occur. I’ll talk you through the most common concerns – and how to overcome them – later in this article.

Rather than jumping in with an answer – or even worse, cutting your prospect off before they’ve even had time to share their concerns in full – be sure to give your prospect time to speak. It’ll help them feel like you’re genuinely looking to help and have their best interests at heart, which increases your chances of closing the deal once you’ve handed the sales objection.

2. Understand

People are complex. We don’t always say exactly what we mean – and even when we try to, our words might still be misinterpreted. So it’s important to paraphrase your prospect’s concerns to demonstrate that you understand their objection (or that you didn’t fully understand, therefore giving your prospect the opportunity to correct you).

For example, you might say: “Just to be clear that we’re on the same page here, you’re concerned that the onboarding costs are too high, so it’ll take too long – and cost too much – for you to see the benefit of our product. Is that correct?”

There may also be additional underlying objections that the prospect hasn’t voiced, or may only have alluded too. You’ll need to ask open-ended questions to help you dig up all the objections before you’re in a position to respond effectively.

3. Respond

Whether or not they seem like a serious issue to you, acknowledge that your prospect’s concerns are valid. If they feel like you’re not taking the objections seriously or are just trying to steamroller them into an agreement, it’s unlikely you’ll end up closing the deal.

If the objection is something you have the authority to handle yourself, don’t be afraid to do it. Otherwise, explain that you need to run it up the flagpole and arrange a time to get back to them.

4. Confirm

Reiterate the objection and confirm that if you’re able to overcome it, the prospect will be happy to move forward with the deal.

This second part is really important: there’s no point in taking the time to overcome a sales objection if it still won’t move you any closer to securing their business. Remember that some prospects are simply never going to buy – in which case it’s not an objection, it’s a brush-off. If they don’t have sufficient budget, aren’t a fully qualified prospect, or lack the authority to make a decision – and show no signs of discussing your pitch with anyone higher up the chain of command – then you’re likely wasting your time.

Put together, these four steps could look something like this:

Prospect: “I can’t take this any further because I’m afraid of spiders, and there’s one on your logo.”

  • Listen – Employ active listening practices.
  • Understand – “So you’re saying you have a spider phobia, and even pictures of spiders make you uncomfortable?”
  • Respond – “I totally understand. Phobias can have a really serious effect on everyday life. I think we could probably remove the logo from your instance of the tool. Would that help?”
  • Confirm – “Great, so if we go ahead with this, I’ll talk to the tech team to see about getting rid of that logo.”

Image Source

Overcoming Specific Objections

Now that you have a basic process down, here are 12 of the most common sales objections you’re likely to encounter, and how to handle them.

1. “Now’s Not a Good Time.”

Timing is a common problem, for several reasons. In fact, there are actually two objections hiding in here: 1) I personally don’t have time to handle this, and 2) This is really not a good time to buy.

Either way, you need to investigate further to know how to proceed.

How to Handle It

If the prospect thinks that now is not a good time to buy, consider these aspects before continuing:

  1. Make sure prospect is qualified (don’t waste your time)
  2. Don’t oversell because you’re feeling desperate

This article has some good responses to this objection. Try a few until you find a handful that best suits your style. The ultimate goal is to help the lead come to their own conclusion that now is, in fact, a good time to proceed.

If the prospect is too busy, see #5 below.

2. “It’s Too Expensive.”

A sales objection to price is not as straightforward as it sounds. Sure, there could truly be a lack of cash. But it could also be a brush-off, or the prospect might not think that your product is a good enough value to justify the cost.

How to Handle It

Again, you’ll need to work to uncover the real reasons behind the objection. Try pausing for several seconds after a prospect has objected to price, as they’ll often volunteer more information unprompted. Once they’ve finished talking, ask a few more questions to really zero in on their objection.

Try to find out what makes the prospect think your product or service is expensive (or too expensive in comparison to an alternative). You’ll often find their issue is more of a vague feeling than anything concrete. In this case, a few hard facts may help put their mind at ease.

If you feel that the prospect just needs a little reassurance, put the price in context (how much it costs in relation to ROI, how much it would cost not to act, etc). It’s less about proving the product is worth the price than it is about demonstrating its value. Once your product seems crucial, the price will matter less.

3. “I’m Already in Another Contract.”

Here’s an easy one for you. The contractual objection is a straightforward concern, with a relatively simple answer.

How to Handle It

You have a lot of room for flexibility here, but it depends on what your prospect is thinking. Genuinely interested prospects might be afraid of cash flow problems if they’re already in another contract, while others simply don’t like feeling trapped.

If a prospect has a genuine need for your product, a discount or creative payment schedule might overcome their sales objection. This will depend greatly on how happy they are with their current contract, so ask them straight out if they’re satisfied or want a change.

And if all else fails? Mark your calendar to follow up (assuming they’re a good prospect) a few weeks before their existing contract expires when they’re likely to be evaluating their renewal.

4. “Just Send Me the Info …”

Comments like “Just send me your information” or “Call me at X point in the future,” can be interpreted in two ways, depending on whether they’re said early or late in the call.

How to Handle It

If you hear this kind of dismissal early in the call, it’s probably a brush-off. Double-check your lead qualification workflow to see how an unsuitable candidate made it onto your list.

If it’s said later in the call, the problem may stem from the lead being too busy or not really understanding the benefits of your product. If you think the latter is true, take another look at your presentation. If your leads don’t understand what you’re selling, there’s a fatal flaw in your marketing.

5. “I Don’t Have Time to Talk to You Right Now.”

Even though this objection sounds like a brush-off, it’s probably true – no one has time for anything extra these days. If your target is simply too busy, there’s no guaranteed solution, but at least your options are pretty straightforward.

How to Handle It

First, try to discover if it’s really a lack of time, or if it’s something else. Using the general sales objection process above, the interaction might go like this:

“I’m sorry, I just don’t have time to talk to you today.”

  • Listen – Employ active listening.
  • Understand – “I completely understand. I’m swamped too, and this is a crazy time of year.”
  • Respond – “I really don’t want to waste your time. I can tell you about the product in three minutes flat. If you’re interested, I’ll send you more information, and if you’re not, we’ll leave it at that.”
  • Confirm – “Great, so no more than three minutes of your time. How does that sound?”
    • If your prospect says yes – “Terrific, can I go ahead now?”
    • If they say no – “I’m looking at my calendar – how about this afternoon at 3 o’clock?”

If the answer is still no, you’re going to have to probe deeper to find out what’s going on. If you’re still struggling to find a way around the objection, consider that the target might indeed have a need, but the urgency of meeting that need isn’t great or has waned since they first entered your funnel. If that’s the case, you’ll need to reevaluate that person’s journey to this point, as you may have missed something that’s now making them view the problem as less important.

6. “I Need to Run This Past My Boss.”

Whether or not you’ll encounter this objection tends to depend on company size. In larger companies, people will tell you “I need to run it past my boss” or “I need to discuss it with colleagues.” In smaller companies, you can add “I need to run it by my partner” to the list.

How to Handle It

Again, this one is fairly straightforward. If a prospect really isn’t authorized to make the decision, ask to speak to the person who is and start again. If they are, but will still have to “sell” your product internally, you can actually help them prepare for likely objections with answers and solutions to smooth the process.

7. “Product X is Cheaper.”

Every so often, a target will attempt to shut you down by referring to your competitors. This is a blessing in disguise, because a true comparison with a competitor gives you the chance to spot overlooked opportunities and spark new ideas. There’s also a good chance the target already knows what they need (since they’ve been talking to/researching the competition), which saves you time too.

How to Handle It

Ask questions to explore their relationship with the competitor or the offer they’ve been made. They might not be persuaded to switch to your product or service, but look at it as a learning experience – and if they mention problems that your product can solve, you might make the sale regardless.

8. “You Don’t Offer Feature X.”

These days, people are used to – and expect – personalization from all products. Sometimes that’s possible, and sometimes it isn’t. If it’s not, you can still go a long way toward making the prospect feel like your product or service is personalized by giving them extra time in your interactions and actively listening.

How to Handle It

Sure, customize where possible, to the extent you’re able to. But also realize that if your prospect needs something you can’t provide, they might not be a good fit after all.

9. “I Need to Get a Few More Quotes.”

The shopping around sales objection is frustrating, but very common. Remember that it can hide multiple objections – it may either be a gentle brush-off, or the truth may be that the target is actually shopping around.

How to Handle It

This type of sales objection seems to be best overcome using a solid script to work around the situation. If someone really believes that they need other quotes (a common approach to buying), it’s unlikely you’ll be able to deter them.

As always, if you’re using sales scripts and other resources to help you handle certain problems, practice enough that you can be flexible and natural when dealing with prospects.

10. “You Have a Bad Review.”

Dealing with negative word of mouth or bad reviews is a great opportunity for growth. You can’t make bad publicity disappear, but you can learn from it and improve in the future.

How to Handle It

Surprisingly, this is a fairly easy fix, as long as you’re proactive. Don’t try to avoid the issue – directly address the problem or concern as quickly as possible. If it’s an issue that someone in-house is already working on fixing, offer to put the prospect in touch with them to allay their fears and answer any questions.

Likewise, if you can offer some kind of reassurance and explanation, do so. Once you’ve explained the issue and what the company is doing to fix or avoid these problems in the future, follow up with a perk or value-add to take the sting out of the experience.

11. “Where the Hell Did You Get My Name?!”

Most salespeople will face an aggressive prospect at some point or another. Some people are just unpleasant, and there’s not much you can do about it. But remember – unhappy customers tell more people about their experience than happy ones do, so resist the temptation to sink to their level.

How to Handle It

Kill with calmness and kindness. Some complaints, like “Where did you get my number?” can be answered directly. Other situations may result from personality clashes. If this is the case, can you hand off the prospect to a colleague or use a psychology-based technique?

Finally, realize that some people just cannot be won over. Stay calm and collected and try to diffuse the tension, but never let yourself get drawn into the melee.

12. No One’s Home

This isn’t technically an objection, but it can have the same effect on your prospecting efforts: What happens when you can’t get your prospect to respond to you?

How to Handle It

The key here is balance and knowing when to call it quits. First, use the right channel – there’s no point in calling if your prospect is an email-only type. Second, be persistent. People are busy and salespeople are usually not a priority. That said, know when it’s time to call it quits – preferably before you become an annoyance.

13. “I Don’t See the Value.”

Sometimes, people simply don’t understand the value of your product or service, and other times they may just be using it as an excuse to brush you off.

How to Handle It

The best way to handle this objection is through education. Explain why customers benefit from using your product or service, and how it solves their problems in ways the competition can’t.

If you can demonstrate real-world results with case studies and data, that’s even better. Highlight the unique benefits of your product or service and how it could be a game-changer for the customer.

Also, if there are any additional value-adds or discounts you can offer, now is the time to do so.

Finally, remember that some people simply won’t understand the value of what you’re offering. In these cases, it’s best to be honest and direct with them about why your product or service is beneficial. If they still don’t see the value, they may not be a good fit and it’s time to move on.

14. “I’m Not Ready to Commit.”

People may be interested in your product but not ready to commit. There could be a variety of reasons for this, or they may be trying to avoid an awkward situation.

How to Handle It

When a prospect is not ready to commit, it can be tempting to pressure them into making a decision. However, this should be avoided. Instead, explore their needs and goals further in order to identify what’s causing the hesitation.

Ask questions about what they need in order to make a decision and how you can help them move closer to that goal.

This will give you the chance to address any potential issues or concerns they may have, without coming across as pushy.

15. “I’ve Tried Similar Products with Little Success.”

This type of objection might occur when a prospect has already tried out similar products or services and felt they didn’t get the results they were looking for.

How to Handle It

The customer’s objection to your sales pitch is relatively easy to tackle. That’s because it reveals that they are genuinely trying to find a solution that works for them.

This means you know they are interested in buying, and just need some convincing as to why your product should be the one. To close the deal, start by showing understanding of their frustrations and empathize with them.

Ask questions to get an insight into why other products weren’t suitable, and explain how your product is different. Provide evidence that backs up your claims, and make sure you have data to support them. Also, assure them of your availability should any issues arise.

16. “I Already Have a Solution.”

This objection can be a bit tricky, as the customer is essentially saying they’re happy with their current provider or solution.

How to Handle It

The first thing to do is to make sure that the customer isn’t saying this to brush you off. Once you rule this out, start asking questions to get an understanding of why they’re using their current solution and what the limitations are.

Once you understand where they’re coming from, explain how your offering is better in some way than the customer’s existing solution — whether it’s cheaper, easier to use, faster, or more efficient.

Highlight any unique features or advantages your product or service offers, and ask how they would benefit from making the switch.

Finally, if there’s no clear-cut advantage to switching, you could suggest that they could use both solutions in tandem — for example, keeping their current solution for certain processes while utilizing yours for others.

If all else fails, you can always offer a free trial or discounted period to prove your product’s worth. That way, the customer can try before they buy and assess whether it meets their needs.

Putting It All Together

So there you have it – 16 possible sales objections and the opportunities to turn them around. What’s more, if you perfect and practice the general objection technique, you’ll have a virtual skeleton key that’ll help you overcome any objection that might pop up in the future.

The most important thing to realize here is that objections are a natural part of the sales process, not a reflection on your skills as a salesperson. In fact, an objection is the training ground on which you perfect your technique. If you never encounter any, you won’t ever really have the chance to become a great salesperson.

If you want to fine-tune your objection-overcoming capability even further, here’s how to take it to the next level:

  1. Perfect your sales process from start to finish. Sales objections don’t arise in a vacuum, and if other parts of the sales conversation are broken, the whole process will break down (objection or not).
  2. Practice makes perfect. Practice on the job, in your personal life, and in front of the mirror. Your sales numbers will thank you.
  3. Self-awareness is key. Anyone can learn sales and objection scripts, but to employ them with finesse, you’ll need empathy and understanding. Don’t patronize your leads, and don’t recite responses like a robot.
  4. Know when to call it quits. Sure, the data tells us that we need to contact a lead multiple times to have a chance at getting through, but there’s always a point at which more follow-up is unwise. This isn’t always obvious, so pay attention to the signals your prospect is (or isn’t) sending.


Every sales interaction begins somewhere, and cold email is a great way to make initial contact. Using Mailshake can automate your processes, minimize your headaches and, most importantly, save you time and improve your odds of breaking through the clutter.

Continue reading

Grow Your Revenue Faster

Automate all your sales outreach with Mailshake.

Book a Demo
Footer CTA