5 Types of Customer Objections That Can Kill Your Conversions — and How to Overcome Them
Think back to the last time you had a customer eager to say yes and buy from you.
It felt amazing, right? Probably because it doesn’t happen very often!
Usually, you have to deal with quite a few objections and concerns from potential customers. “This is expensive,” “I don’t think this is for me,” “How do I know this will work?” — whatever we write here, you’ve probably heard a version of it before.
Bumping up against objections is frustrating. Your product or service is great, the customer needs what you’re selling… why all the hesitation?
Well, the short answer is — it’s human nature.
Our brains prefer to avoid possible risks rather than seek potential benefits. However tempting the offer, if any degree of risk is involved, alarm bells will go off in your customer’s head. So they’ll stop and say, “Actually, I’m worried about…” — and come up with a great excuse not to buy.
But the good news is, you can learn to anticipate and counter (almost) all customer objections!
And it’s not even hard — you just have to: a) know your target market, b) have a strong offer, and c) learn the 5 types of objections that you’re most likely to run into.
We know you have A and B figured out… so today, let’s talk about C. 😉
This week, we’ll examine 5 types of objections and concerns that can derail the sales process and make you lose potential customers. You will learn:
- How to overcome price resistance — without haggling or discounting
- What your customers really mean by when they make an objection
- The #1 tool you can use to take away a customer’s fears before buying
Let’s start with the #1 objection every entrepreneur has faced… the price.
1. Price resistance
Ah, a true classic. Price objections are the most common — and usually the most frustrating. They come in two kinds: “soft” objections when the customer can pay in full but wants to get a better deal… and “hard” objections when your asking price is completely outside their budget.
Questions like, “Can you sell this to me for $XX instead of $XXX?” signal a soft objection. On the other hand, “Our max budget for this is $XXX” is a hard objection.
How to solve it:
There’s a number of things you can do to overcome price resistance. What you choose comes down to whether it’s a hard or soft objection, what you’re selling, and who the customer is. For example…
- If you’re selling a premium product or service, and the customer can’t pay for all of it upfront, you can offer a payment plan. You still get paid (except not all at once) and your customer still gets to afford that thing they want! And even if they default on later payments, you still created some revenue. Win-win!
- When a customer tries to haggle with you, it’s OK to politely reassert your price and not give them any ground. Discounts are almost always not worth it! The only exception is if you’re dealing with a long-term, loyal customer who has bought from you before. Even then, you want to be extremely selective!
- If you can recommend a less expensive product or service package, you can do that. Say, “The price for this is $XXX. Now, here’s what we can do for you for $XX…” — and give them the other option.
- Finally, you can use different sales techniques to demonstrate the value of your offer relative to the price. But we’ll talk about that when we get to objection #3!
Before making a buying decision, every potential customer thinks about the downside. What if the product or service doesn’t work? What if you’re secretly out to take advantage of them? What if something goes wrong?
Even more than wanting to win, people want not to lose. To convince your customers they won’t lose, there’s only one thing you can do…
How to solve it:
Counter this objection with some good old-fashioned risk reversal! Figure out what your customers are worried about, and find ways to protect them as much as possible. Your underlying message should be, “We take all the risk — you get all the benefit.”
The best way to do that is by creating an awesome creative guarantee that protects your customers. For example, Hampton Inn tells the guests: if you’re not 100% satisfied, you don’t have to pay for your stay! Now that’s powerful. Not because people look at it and see a chance to crash at a fancy hotel for free, but because it takes away the customers’ fears.
Ask yourself: what’s the #1 thing you can do to take away your customers’ biggest fear? That, right there, should be the basis of your guarantee.
This objection is the exact opposite of #2. Instead of asking what could go wrong, the customer is wondering, “Just how good could it be? What results can I expect? Is it going to be worth it?”
Except, in this case, you’re not fighting against a powerful drive to avoid losses. You’re working with the customer to help them imagine a better future for them — made possible with your product or service!
How to solve it:
Tackling a value-based objection is all about proving one thing…
That even the smallest upside from buying your product or service will outweigh the biggest possible downside.
So, for example, let’s say that you sell those fancy alarm clocks that gently wake you up with light instead of obnoxious sounds. If you wanted to communicate the value of this product, what are some things you could say?
For starters, you could connect the dots between your alarm clock and waking up more rested, and with more energy.
Then, you might ask your customers to imagine waking up like that every morning — and what it would mean. For their job performance. For their quality of life. For their health and longevity.
You could even give them an easy way to test your device for themselves: get one, set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier than usual, and have a regular alarm as a backup. And if they don’t notice any difference after a month, you’ll gladly refund their money!
(That’s right, your creative guarantee can be used to overcome value-based objections, too.)
Friction happens any time your customer interacts with your brand. In the sales process, friction can take many forms:
- A long, overly elaborate checkout process
- Shipping that costs too much or takes too long
- Complicated returns
- Limited payment options
- Hard-to-use product
Even when your customers really want your product or service… they’d still rather not make an effort. For the most part, they want things to be easy and hassle-free. So, if there’s friction, they will complain and object.
Is that unfair? Maybe. Do you still have to work around it? You bet!
How to solve it:
Honestly, the best and only way to deal with friction-based objections is to work on your sales flow. That means:
- Cleaning up your checkout process (unless you’re using complexity to qualify leads).
- Having an easy-to-understand, generous shipping policy.
- Making returns easy and hassle-free.
- Accepting as many payment methods as you comfortably can.
- Using tools like live chat to help struggling customers along.
- Help people figure out how to use your product with onboarding and learning resources.
You can’t remove friction completely — but you can make your sales process buttery-smooth enough that you lose fewer customers because of it!
5. Choice/FOMO (fear of missing out)
Finally, before saying yes to your product or service, customers want to be sure they’re not missing out on something better. Not better in general, but better for them and their specific situation.
So they’ll wonder, “Is this the best option for me?” or, “Will this work in my situation?” — or even, “Maybe I should wait and see what else is out there.”
How to solve it:
There are a few ways to tackle this objection, depending on what your customer’s exact concern is. For instance:
- Are they wondering why they should choose you over a competitor? Time to whip out your USP! Tell them what separates your brand from the rest of the industry. Describe what makes your product or service different.
- Do they need reassurance that it will work for their unique situation? Use social proof! Show them some testimonials or case studies from customers like them. Quote specific numbers about how many customers you’ve helped so far.
- Are they hesitant to take action? Remind them that doing nothing also costs them — in time and opportunities, at the very least!
Want to learn more about dealing with customer objections?
Over the years, we’ve talked about objections a lot.
If you want to get more actionable advice about how to recognize, overcome, and turn around customer objections, here are some of our favorite articles on the topic:
Do you wonder what to say when a customer makes an objection? Here are 4 word-for-word scripts you can use in your sales convos.
You can improve almost any marketing video with objection-focused persuasion. Here’s a short article about that.
Did you know that focusing on the negative sides of your product or service can actually boost your sales? It’s true: here’s how you can use this old sales strategy to your benefit.