How to Respond to Objections During Cold Calls

how to respond to objections

Cold calls can be challenge for many reasons. It can be especially tough knowing how to respond to objections during these calls. The call can quickly go south if a rep can’t masterly handle the prospect’s objection. In fact, when receiving a cold sales call, prospects typically have common objections. This is an advantage to sellers who can learn effective ways to counter them.

How to respond to objections during cold calls

It’s no secret that the combination of a cold call and an objection can be challenging; both can be difficult to handle individually. SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep study found that specifically, over a quarter of sellers say handing objections is one of their top selling weaknesses.

Mike Schultz, president of RAIN Group, discusses cold call objections in a recent article, pointing out the opportunity available to overcome these objections and move forward. He writes, “If your initial attempt to capture attention and create interest on a cold call doesn’t work, don't just wilt! It’s easy to say "okay" and just move on, but, then again, it's easy to fail at cold calling.”

He shares three of the most common objections that sellers experience during a cold call. By being aware of these and proactively preparing an effective response, they can prolong the conversation. By working on how to respond to objections, reps have a clear advantage over competitors.

We are already working with someone.”

Schultz notes that this is a line that reps often hear when making a cold call. SalesFuel’s own research supports this, as sellers reported common related objections such as:

  • The prospect is satisfied with the current vendor
  • They are happy with the way things are now
  • They don’t have the time to consider new options or solutions

But don’t let the presence of a current vendor cut your call short. “You should know that buyers switch regularly, and often times the buyers are thinking about it when you call,” Schultz explains. “They’re just not saying it. Your job is to start planting the seeds of why this prospect should buy from you.”

If you aren’t sure how to respond to this objection, you aren’t alone. Thankfully, Schultz shares three suggestions, one of which is discussed below.

Good to hear. I’m curious, what do you think makes the relationship work so well?”

This response sets the stage to understand the prospect’s mindset regarding their current vendor. Because it’s an open-​ended question, you are encouraging the prospect to talk and keeping the dialogue going.

This question inspires the prospect to think, and voice, why they value their current vendor. It also opens the door for you to direct the conversation and get them to think about what they aren’t getting also. As Schultz points out, “you can probe further and uncover areas where there may be issues with the current provider or holes in the current offerings that you can fill. After the prospect talks for a little bit, you can ask a series of ‘I’m curious to know’ questions.” Be sure to highlight advantages you offer over their vendor, as well as areas the vendor is falling short.

Knowing how to respond to objections about current vendors gives you an edge by steering the prospect into a conversation that highlights why your solution is be a better choice. This suggested response, along with the others Schultz recommends, gives you the knowledge needed to counter any objection that comes your way during a cold call. Unlike other reps who resign themselves to hanging up, you have the opportunity to meet objections head-​on and influence conversations that highlight your value and solution.

Photo by Joyce Busola

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision-​makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.