5 Keys to Handling Sales Objections Over the Phone

Hearing “no” may be a fact of life. But sales reps are among the people who hear it most. For a call center agents figuring out how to handle objections in sales calls, this is what “no” may sound like:

  • “Now isn’t the best time.”
  • “I don’t think I can afford it.”
  • “I’m too busy right now.” 

Responding to these indirect ways of being told “no” —these objections—is the big challenge. A skilled salesperson changes disagreement into understanding. They know that disagreement generally results from holding different points of view. 

Think about it. If you have a phenomenal product/service offering a great return on investment, why wouldn’t an ideal prospect just buy it? 

As the sales rep, your product or service is a no-brainer. But as the buyer, every product/service has a multitude of concerns. Many of these come from just not knowing. 

So while it may seem like some sort of perfect sales rebuttal is the answer, at the heart of objection handling is education. Helping buyers understand by educating is the overarching principle for how to handle objections in sales calls. 

So what are the best practices for educating the buyer? Hint: It’s more than just telling them what you think they should know. 

These sales tactics will help you to better educate your prospect and, in the process, better handle objections. If you’re making cold calls, be sure you start with a good sales script and dynamic scripting software that constructs a clear pathway for the sales agent by incorporating these tactics into the conversation. 

[This post is a collaboration with Balto.ai.  Balto’s AI solution, which is integrated with Convoso’s dialer software, coaches sales teams in real-time during the process of a sales call.]


5 Ways to Handle Objections in Sales Calls


1. Discover the Specifics. Educate the Prospect.

Does the best product or service always win? Of course not. 

That’s why there’s not just one car company or one computer company. At the core of any product is the end-user. Some people are looking for a product that just gets the job done.  Other people are looking for super-specific specs. Others are somewhere in the middle. 

You wouldn’t buy a minivan to compete in a Nascar race.  Similarly, you wouldn’t buy a supercomputer if you just needed to send emails. The people buying the supercomputer or the race car are looking for specs. They want to know the horsepower or the RAM. A completely different consumer would buy the minivan or the laptop.  

Understand what level of specificity your prospect wants and teach them about it. This could be a detailed research report or a simple email. If they’re all about the innovative part of your technology, use their language, and go into details. If they just need something simple and user-friendly, educate them on how your product does it the best.


2. Actively Listen 

Before you try to help a prospective buyer better understand your side, make sure you understand what THEY are saying. One of the most common mistakes is not actually listening. 

When they talk, give your complete attention. Don’t look at your sales notes. Don’t try to think of a rebuttal immediately. Don’t get distracted by something in the office. Truly listen to what they are saying.

There are two main ways to increase your active listening skills

  • Put yourself completely in the present. Before a sales call, clear your mind of any other worries or thoughts. Your lunch break is coming soon? Forget about it. Place your complete focus on the other person. 
  • Take an active interest in what they are saying. You’re not here to just close a deal. You’re here to build a relationship and truly provide value. 


3. Clarify with Questions

If you’re listening to what the prospect has to say, the next step is to ask clarifying and probing questions about an objection. Clarify everything you can, learning as many details as they’ll give you. 

Here are two key ways to ask better questions. 

  • Opt for questions that require more than a yes or no answer. 
  • Limit questions to one at a time. 


4. Explain Your Perspective

Once you have a firm understanding of the objections and you’ve clarified any points of confusion, you should better understand your prospect’s viewpoint. The next step is to educate. 

This is really where you can explain your understanding and your point of view. The keyword here is to explain. Do not try to tell the prospect he/she is wrong. Instead, show where you think the root of the disagreement originates. In other words, the question behind the question. Then ask if your description of the issue is accurate. For example:

Prospect: “I just think this might be too expensive.”

Salesperson: “I hear that it’s too expensive. Earlier you said ____ , so it sounds like what you may be saying is that this isn’t the best timing for you. Is that right?“

The key to voicing your opinion on the question behind the question is to bring up what’s been previously said. This will show that you really listen. It also shows a true interest in the prospect’s journey. 


Related Content

Download the 5 Keys to Handling Sales Objection


5. Clarify Again

The final step is to review what the prospect is really looking for. Do they want your solution or do they really need something else? Ask more clarifying questions to see how you can help. 

If you get this right, the objection/s have turned into a conversation, because there’s a mutual goal to figure it out.

This step is critical as it shows how your company’s sales team views prospects. Does your company see prospects as money signs or as opportunities to provide a good fit for the needs of customers by listening to their concerns and goals, and determining if you can help them. 


Summing Up How to Handle Objections in Sales Calls

  • Actively listen to what the potential buyer wants. 
  • Ask clarifying questions about what you heard. 
  • Educate the prospect on what he/she needs.
  • Don’t oversell or try to just close a deal. 
  • Have a mutual conversation about if and how you can help them. 
  • Clarify again if you understand them correctly. 


Finding the Right Rebuttal: Handling More of the Most Common Sales and Cold Calling Objections

In the tips above, I covered an approach for responding to the age-old objection of “It’s too expensive.” But what about other common sales objections?

If you’ve been working the phones long enough, you’ll understand just how frequently some of these cold call objections come up. While the repetition might be a bit maddening, the beauty of it is that this gives you the ability to craft the best rebuttals for your call center.

Here are some tips for handling some more of the objections you’ll hear on the phone most frequently:

Objection 1

“I’m not interested”

Easily the most common sales objection, a lack of interest is, a surprising amount of the time, not actually related to what you’re selling. This is a textbook situation for offering a rebuttal that leans on active listening, empathy, and understanding. Show that you understand their reaction initially and that you’ve heard the same reaction before, then offer them a solution for another key pain point that you’ve discovered. 

Rebuttal example:

I can see why you might feel this isn’t of use to you—[Similar Client Name OR “a customer in your neighborhood,” “many of my best customers,” etc.] have the same reaction. What’s tough to see initially is just how much using our product can [improve metric/lower costs/provide key benefit]. If I could show you in just 30 seconds how other [companies/customers] have done that, wouldn’t you be happy you took the time to find out?”


Objection 2

“Can you just send over an email?”

Asking for information in a different format can be a tactic for trying to ignore your sales approach—or it can be an expression of genuine need or desire. Your rebuttal here should both acknowledge that potential need and try to continue a conversation that gets you closer to closing.

Rebuttal examples:

I’d be more than happy to email you some more info over to you, but would you mind if I ask you a couple of quick questions first? I just want to be sure I send you the best information for your needs.

OR, when trying to set an in-person appointment: 

[Prospect name], I’ll be happy to do that. However, the material we have doesn’t quite cover what I’d like to go over with you in person. Our conversation will take just about 15 minutes. As I mentioned, I’ll be in your area on [Date]. Would you have some time to chat at [Time] or [Alternative Time]?

Objection 3

“I need to check with my boss/spouse/partner.”

This is yet another cold call objection that can go one of two ways: it can either be a genuine statement, or it can be a tactic to get off the phone. Regardless, your rebuttal can very easily turn this objection around on the prospect—or you can use this as an opportunity to clarify whether you should continue pursuing a sale.

Rebuttal examples:

I understand this isn’t a decision you can necessarily make alone. If your partner gives you the go-ahead, then based on the info I’ve provided you with, would you feel confident in moving forward with us?


Let me ask you, how would your boss feel about [saving X% on their monthly costs, improving their productivity by X%, etc.]? If you’d like, we can set up a free demo to show them—it will save everybody time and we can discuss more about how it will solve your current issues.


Helping Sales Agents with Real-time AI Coaching

For experienced salespeople, these sales tactics won’t be new. However, getting reminders during the sales process can really help guide the conversation toward the best result. That’s what Balto was built for—helping salespeople form the best sales habits. 

With A.I. call coaching, those in charge of the sales process can ensure every sales rep is using the best objection handling tactics on every call. By monitoring the quality of every sales agent conversation, Balto helps to drive more growth on every call.

As a Convoso integration partner, Balto is available to Convoso call center customers whether they’re using our predictive dialer, or any of our autodialer capabilitiesLearn more about BALTO.

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