5 Keys to Handling Sales Objections Over the Phone: Tips & Rebuttals Your Agents Need

5 Keys to Handling Sales Objections Over the Phone: Tips & Rebuttals Your Agents Need

May 24, 2023 | Convoso

Updated Oct 2023

Hearing “no” may be a fact of life. But sales reps are among the people who hear it most. 

If there’s a silver lining to be found anywhere, though, it’s that most of the time, the “no” agents hear over the phone are often driven by the same reasons. In fact, the friction in most conversations can be boiled down to just a handful of the most common sales objections. 

Still, if the ways people object to sales are simple, then it’s how to respond to all these indirect ways of being told “no” that’s the big challenge.

In this guide to handling the most common sales objections over the phone, we tackle that challenge. Follow along as we break down the top objections and the keys to handling them—so you can not only deliver the right rebuttals but close more sales over the phone.

[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.]

The Most Common Sales Objections (and the Most Important Part of Handling Them)

“No” comes in a lot of forms for sales agents and cold callers. The most experienced reps will tell you, though, that they mostly fall into just a few different categories. “No” might sound like:

  • “I can’t afford it” or “It’s too expensive” — an issue of budget or price
  • “Who are you?” or “I’ve never heard of your product” — a lack of authority or awareness
  • “I’m not sure how this will help my situation” — a lack of need
  • “Now’s not the right time” or “This isn’t a priority right now” — a lack of urgency or an issue of timing

These top sales objections all line up with what’s known as “BANT,” short for budget, authority, need, and timing. The BANT framework is simple, but it covers a surprisingly large amount of objections you’ll hear in phone sales and cold calling.

The Importance of Education in Overcoming Top Sales Objections

With these most common objections in mind, the goal of a sales rep, as we’ll see, is to turn disagreement into understanding. Because a skilled salesperson knows that disagreement usually results from two people 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 concerns and sales objections come from just not knowing enough. 

So while it may seem like some sort of perfect sales rebuttal is the answer—and don’t worry, we’ll get to some of those—at the heart of objection handling is education, in reality, helping buyers understand by educating is the overarching principle for how to handle objections in sales calls.

5 Ways 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.

For starters, 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. 

But beyond the right foundation, you’ll need to rely on these tactics to better handle the most common objections—or help avoid them in the first place by educating the buyer.

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”

Perhaps the most common sales objection, this phrase is, a surprising amount of the time, not actually related to what you’re selling. It might reflect a lack of urgency around or understanding of their need for your product. This is a textbook situation that requires 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 metrics/lower costs/provide key benefits]. 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?”

At first glance, this might seem like an objection that falls outside the BANT framework. However, asking for information in a different format can be a tactic for trying to ignore or delay your sales approach—it can be an expression of an issue of timing or it can be about a lead’s lack of urgency. Of course, it can also be an expression of genuine need or desire to revisit your product. 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 AI 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 capabilities. Learn more about BALTO.

Reach more leads faster and skyrocket your sales team's revenue

Learn how you can 3x contact rates

Book a demo

Get the #1 blog for sales & lead gen teams
Keep up with contact center tips & trends, best practices & strategies, AI tools, TCPA Compliance, and more
Skip for now
*Hold onto my email address for blog content and other relevant info. We do not share emails with third parties.

Related Post

Let's get the conversation started.

Schedule Demo
mofu script info