06 March 2024 |

objections that’re BS

By Gabrielle "GB" Blackwell

Objections, objections, objections

In my main job, I manage a team of sales development representatives (SDRs) responsible for generating qualified opportunities for our account executive team. The most important reason I mention this is because the majority of our job includes handling objections.

If a rep knows how to handle objections well, they succeed in the role. 

If they don’t overcome objections…well then, they’re likely not going to last long. 

Here’s what I share with my reps – making assumptions will be the death of your performance…especially when handling objections.

Here’s why

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60% of the objections SDRs get are total hogwash and sound like:

  • “Not interested”
  • “Thanks, but no thanks”
  • “Great email, but pass”
  • “Sounds interesting but I don’t think it’s a fit”

What makes these hogwash is that there’s zero substance to them. 

These objections don’t answer any why, how, who, what or where factors that would truly inhibit the conversation from going forward.

Yet, more often than not, when reps get these responses back, they accept it.

Or worse, reps will create a story to validate the objection!

  • “Oh yeah, he said he’s not interested…it’s probably because they’re not hiring”
  • “She said it sounded interesting but it’s not a good fit…I think it’s because they’re not doing enough right now”

This inclination to assume rather than clarify is what I’ve seen hold so many reps back!

Key principles to handling objections

Rather than accept objections at face value, there are a few things reps can do to that’ll give them a better chance of progressing the conversation:

  • Drop the assumptions
  • Test the validity of the objection
  • Get clarity 

But first, it’s important to know the key principles to handling objections! Warning: this may sound corny 😎

  1. Energy flows – your reps need to be mindful of how they’re showing up on calls. If their energy is low, they sound disinterested, or they’re not fully present with prospects, things aren’t going to work out in their favor.
  2. Establish safety – prospects may be on the defensive with sales reps, especially if your reps are cold calling prospects! The first thing a rep needs to do is get the prospect in a non-defensive state.
  3. Build the conversation – IMO, objections are requests for further information. When a rep leans into objections vs. avoiding them, they’ll have a better chance of getting more out of the conversation with prospects.

Framework for responding to objections

What I’ve seen work really well for responding to objections is using the embrace, value, launch framework.

The tl;dr behind why it works:

  • The embrace is there to make sure the prospect feels heard and encourages reps to stay active in their listening vs. listening to respond
  • Value is there to show the objection isn’t something that should stop the conversation from progressing. Note: this part isn’t always necessary, especially when dealing with vague objections like “not interested”
  • The launch is there to remind the rep to keep the prospect engaged by asking a question

Here’s what it looks like in action:

  • Not interested ▶️ “Oh okay, is that because you already have something in place? Or you’re not involved in this process?”
  • We have something in place ▶️ “Awesome to hear you’re already investing in solutions for this. May I ask, what prompted the need for the solution?”
  • We’re not doing enough ▶️ “Totally understand…we actually have some customers that felt the same way before using our solution. May I ask, what would you consider to be ‘not enough’?”

Final notes

One of the biggest lessons I’m always learning is how important it is to keep progressing the conversation with prospects.

Objections are tools that can either hinder or help a sales rep’s ability to keep the conversation going – it all depends on the rep’s attitude towards and approach in handling objections. 

The reps who truly embrace objections as opportunities to relate more and better understand the prospect’s frame of mind are the reps who are going to have a better time performing! 

Hopefully the tips shared today will help reps feel more confident and comfortable approaching objections!! And…if there are ways you and your reps have found to tackle objections that weren’t reflected in today’s newsletter – LET A LADY KNOW!!

I’d love to hear what’s working for you!!