Home » Objection Handling, Presentation, Qualifying

What are Sales Objections?

3 June 2011 3 Comments

Certain objections exist to every proposition in the world. What would a soccer, football or basketball game be like without the blocking of shots? And what your proposition is determines what the objections are.

Call on a thousand average people to whom your proposition is salable. You’ll find the same objections on the lips of the majority of them. And these objections, boiled down and standardized, resolve themselves into a very small number.

For instance, in the paint business the standard objections are:

(a) “Too much money tied up in present stock to consider changing.”
(b) “Nobody is asking for your products.”

And really these two objections represent the big buffing points of the paint salesperson today, found in the mouths of the great majority of their prospective buyers.

Now considering the fact that the majority of a salesperson’s calls have the same objections, it is only reasonable to suppose that the same rebuttals or answers should overcome them.

When I say objections, I mean what I say – bona fide objections, not merely excuses for not buying. That kind of objections is a reflection on the salesperson by not yet selling the customer. A real objection can be defined as a valid, existing reason for not taking the products or proposition. When it’s overcome the sale is made.

The effective rebuttal or answer to an objection is one that gets past; it settles it forever. Every salesperson should study and classify the objections met throughout his or her career. Then when these objections are well established in mind, the salesperson should start formulating rebuttals. They can be (the rebuttals) taken from colleagues, common sense, experience, and experiments.

Whenever an answer overcomes one of these standard objections and makes the sale, put that answer down as a standard rebuttal to that particular objection. There’s nothing better than your own success journal. And the first thing you know, your skills toolbox includes a standard, effective rebuttal that will clear the path of every common objection you meet.

It is positively a shame to see salespeople stumble and stammer and “hem and haw” in answering an objection they have been up against forty times before. It is inexcusable.

Further reading:

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  • Hi Alen,

    Nice article. I agree that it is inexcusable for sales people to repeatedly fumble over the same sales objections. Sales people must learn from their previous success in overcoming objections if they are to avoid, anticipate and handle objections in the future. One of the greatest selling skills that can be acquired is the ability to avoid most objections in the first place. Great sales people open discussions by creating urgency and desire in their prospects with compelling (external) events. This deters prospects from raising most objections. However, it is impossible to avoid ALL objections. Great sales people must also be flexible and prepared to give away value to overcome the most difficult of objections and are poised to provide clients with case studies documenting their previous successes with similar customers.

    Kind regards,


  • Alen,

    Great article! You are right; it simply takes a little work and a commitment to be a sales professional instead of just going through the paces. Study your craft and decide to take responsibility for your own development. Who knows, you might even make some money along the way 🙂

  • Alen

    Good post. Just to reinforce Chris’s note, the idea that a lot of sales people generate objections by the way they sell is key. In B2B sales the most frequent reason I have observed for that generation problem is the reps “jumping in too soon and talking too much” about their solution before a shared vison of the scope of the problem is established. This is often a source for price concerns.

    The other note about handling objections is “clarifying” the objection before you answer it. Often reps do a good job addressing the wrong objection. They are too quick to answer.

    Richard Ruff