3 Ways to Handle Objections on Cold Calls



Whether it comes in that form or another roundabout way, the impact of those two letters can make or break your sales outreach. It’s a word that your sales team should get used to hearing and understand how to overcome. Rejection stings and it takes a tough skin to become a sales professional these days. 

Your reps have probably heard it all:

  • No thanks. 
  • I’m not interested. 
  • What are you selling again?
  • We already have a solution. 
  • We aren’t there right now. 

And of course, you can add in your own colorful assortment of rejections and cold call responses that you’ve gotten over the years. The point is the same: people are going to say no. They’ll say no more often than yes, and they may repeat it to your reps more than once in the sales cadence. 

That’s okay. What matters is not that you’re getting rejections, but how your team is dealing with them. There are several suggestions and strategies out there people use to deal with these cold call objections and rejections and what separates the good from the great are those who know how to take these objections and turn them into ongoing conversations. 

In addition to relying on solutions like the outreach campaigns support from Smith.ai to assist with your cold outreach, here are three ways to handle objections that can work for any sales rep on your team. 

Validate their concerns

People need validation from the companies with which they do business. They want someone who understands just how busy they are and why they don’t have time to spend hours on the phone. They want to work with companies who hear them, validate their concerns and needs, and deliver a solution that addresses it all. 

There are several ways that you can go about this, depending on the rejection that is presented. Simple phrases like, “I understand,” can do wonders to validate concerns and show people that you’re listening. But you also need to take it one step further by putting a label on their emotions. 

For example:

  • Thanks for letting me know. It sounds like I missed the mark in my first message…”
  • “I totally understand that you’re busy right now. Would [future date] be a better time to connect?”
  • “I understand – this isn’t your wheelhouse. Who would be the best person to speak with?”

When you show people that you are listening, they might even change their tune and decide to hear you out in the moment. If nothing else, they’ll take advantage of your leading follow-up suggestions to pick a better time to connect. 

Make sure you include the lead-in 

Of course, you have to provide them with a leading follow-up question or suggestion if you’re going to get anywhere. Just saying, “What works for you?” is opening you up to a second big objection because you’re giving them carte blanche to turn you down. Instead, use leading questions like:

  • What are your biggest priorities this week? Where does [your business/service] fit in?
  • Would tomorrow or next week work better to connect?
  • Can you share with me (or connect me with) the decision-maker for this?

These questions make people engage. It also makes them work that much harder for a rejection, because they have to answer your question instead of just saying “no” again (with the exception of the last one, but you’ve got to get to the right person, so it’s a valid question to ask). 

Avoid rejections and objections by planning ahead 

One of the best ways to get more leads with cold calls (and fewer objections) is to start by announcing why you’re calling. It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. There are six words that can give you a 2.1x increase in your bookings and conversions:

“The reason for my call is…”

If you ask how they’re doing in your greeting, you’ll increase that to 6.6x more bookings or conversions. 

One of the most effective openings you can use is a lot simpler than you might think:

“Hi Sarah. My name is Jeff Smith. I’m calling from XYZ Company. How’ve you been?” [pause] The reason for my call is…” 

This tells your caller who you are, why you’re calling, and where you’re from, eliminating three big objections right from the start. It also gives them more insight that might make them interested in listening more than if you just dive right into a sales pitch or start by asking permission. 

Don’t ask permission 

Speaking of which, one of the best ways to avoid objections is to train your reps to stop asking for permission when they make cold calls. People will find 1,000 ways to tell you no on their own. You don’t need to hand them out. 

Don’t open your call by giving people an out. The phrase, “Did I catch you at a bad time?” is an open excuse for people to say yes and immediately get out of the call, even if the timing isn’t bad. The same goes for other leading questions. Make sure that you give people options, but don’t lead them to a place where they have any manner of ways to say no. 

Be thoughtful and tell people what you have to offer. Explain to them the moves you want them to make. Use an open-ended CTA and sell the conversation first, not the meeting or the next conversion point in the sales cycle. 

Outsource for even more outreach support 

Of course, there’s also the opportunity to leave the frontline objections to the experts. When you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you will have access to a team that can provide support for your outreach campaigns, including a 24/7 answering service so you never miss an opportunity. Plus, we can help with lead intake and appointment scheduling, and make sure that we deliver the perfect message to every prospect on your behalf. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai

Business Education
Sales Tips
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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