Uncensored Objection Handling Techniques
Devin Reed: What's going on, everybody? What's going on? Welcome back to another episode of Gong Labs Live. I'm your host, Devin Reed, head of content strategy here at Gong. Now, we always like to get warmed up with a little icebreaker question, build a little rapport, not just with me, but with each other in the comment section. So I want you to ask yourself and then answer in the comments, what's your least favorite objection to hear from buyers? It can be when you're prospecting, trying to get a meeting booked, it can be in the middle or the end of a sales cycle. What is your least favorite objection to hear from buyers? And if you're tuned in today, that's exactly what we're talking about, objection handling. My least favorite is probably, it's kind of an objection, but I need to think about it. I can't stand when I hear that. It's kind of just annoying. I know how to handle it, there's good Gong data on how to handle it, but just something that kind of rubs me the wrong way. Not my favorite. I'll look in the comments and I'll shout them out as folks jump in and share your least favorite objection. But in the meantime, what's Gong Labs all about? If you're back for another episode, welcome. We're thankful that you're hanging out with us on Friday. And if you're just here for the first time, every Friday, we meet at 9: 00 AM Pacific to talk about real talk and data behind sales. The goal is just to help you be more effective, if you're a manager or a leader, help you coach your team, if you're an individual contributor, help you be more effective with your buyer conversations, better prospecting, better selling, better closing, more money, more glory, all that good stuff. So we're here to get better and to hang out, so make friends in the comment section if you want, and I see it starting to blow up here. We've got Vincent. What's going on, Vincent from New York? How's it going, Ray? Danny's saying," Sarah and Devin in the house. Fantastic." This is great. Anita says," I have more than enough business than I can handle." Let's go. She's just here for a good time. She's got her coffee, maybe she's warming up. I love that. All right. Now, if you want to check out previous episodes, this is episode nine, there's eight more waiting for you, you can watch them at live. gong. io. We're going to drop the link in the comments right now. All right, last little bit of housekeeping is, we have some free swag for you all. So we made some Gong Labs Live dad hats. I say it every week, you don't have to be a dad. You can be a mom, you can be a pet owner, pet mom and dad, or you can just like hats. It's all good. Mine gets a lot of wear and tear. I'm going to wear it today at the pool later on. So if you want your Gong Lab's dad hat, all you have to do is tag a friend in sales in the comments. It can be someone from your team, maybe your arch- rival, or maybe just a friend in revenue. So go ahead and give them a tag and we'll go ahead and send you the hat. It's that simple. All right, let's hang out and introduce our guest, who needs no real introduction because y'all know Sarah Brazier, and we go way back. Sarah, always a pleasure, hanging out with you. How are you doing today?
Sarah Brazier: I'm doing great, I'm doing great. What I love is that it's the last day of the month and you're like," Yeah, I'm just going to go to the pool." You can tell you've left sales and you're in marketing now, Devin.
Devin Reed: Or you hit quota and you hit it early and often, my friend. We all got KPIs. Speaking of objection, how that for a quick handle? But yeah, man, it's Friday. It's Friday, go get a margarita, go hang out at the pool. Even if you're chasing the deal, you can get your phone, there's wifi, there's hotspots. You can crosstalk-
Sarah Brazier: I'm going to start with coffee. This is crosstalk-
Devin Reed: There you go. Does that say selfie?
Sarah Brazier: It does. I didn't buy these mugs, but they're the mugs that I now have at my house. I've got another one that's got a bear on it. That's my favorite, but I used it for tea last night, so it's dirty.
Devin Reed: Nice. Does that mug say, bearly hanging on? That's a pun. Let's get into today. So Sarah, you're one of the best objection handlers I know, and I'm not just saying that because we're friends or because you're on the show, and I think I know why. We were talking right before this. You are a debate champion and we were starting to debate over Olympic sports right before this, and I started feeling the argument heat up a little bit, in a good way. And I'm like," I better pump the brakes because Sarah is trained to prove me wrong or to change my mind, at the very least," so I think you're equipped for this. So I thought we could open up with a couple common objections, and then you can tell me how you'd respond to them and share with folks so they can learn as well. How do you think? What do you think about that?
Sarah Brazier: Yeah, I think that's great. Let's do it.
Devin Reed: All right, let's do it. And by the way, Paul is saying," Let's get you back on RevGarage." Apparently, you got some big fans here. I love that.
Sarah Brazier: Ooh, yeah. I made some cold calls on RevGarage, so if you want to hear objection handling in action, I think there's a recording somewhere on YouTube.
Devin Reed: Lovely. All right, first one, I think I saw it in the comments, I'm not sure, I'll have to go dig to make sure, but one we've all heard, which is, you're prospecting, you're trying to get a meeting going, and someone says," I'm not interested right now."
Sarah Brazier: Mm- hmm(affirmative). Yeah, that's a toughie. I think that one comes across over email most of the time. And my recommendation if that's what happens is number one, call the prospect, because it's very challenging to handle, not interested, over email. And if you get them on the phone, usually, if they respond, there's their cell phone number in their email signature, so you just say," Hey, it's Sarah, calling from over at Gong. I got your email, and I got to tell you, I think I kind of messed up on this one. Can I have one more shot to tell you why I think it's relevant? If you're really not interested, you can hang up on me after." And they'll usually say yes, and then you can go back to any of the research that you've done on the company and you can kind of contextualize more what you might've missed over email. And then you can ask, is that interesting at all? And then you can get to the real objection, because a lot of times, I think people just send not interested because they didn't read your email. Now, if they don't pick up the phone, then I think the response is to then turn it back around so you can contextualize again," Hey, Devin. I feel like I must not have been very clear in my email. I thought, because of X, Y, and Z reasons," and that's where you pull triggers about the company, you pull triggers about their LinkedIn profile, anything that you can find is relevant," that blah, blah, blah might be interesting to you. If closing 2x more revenue every year isn't something that you find appetizing, I'm curious what is." You can just kind of-
Devin Reed: Yeah, it'd be impossible to say no to that last thing, right?
Sarah Brazier: Yeah, exactly. And then just kind of provoke them.
Devin Reed: I like it, I like it. All right, next one. And Prince says, not the Prince, obviously, but another Prince is saying... I'm taking notes right now, so you're dropping gold here," I don't have the budget. I can't buy it if I liked it." What do you say to that?
Sarah Brazier: Yeah. So it depends on where you're getting this in your sales cycle, so we could start with prospecting because I think that's where I typically heard it the most as an SDR. And when I first started working at Gong, now we're over... I think LinkedIn says we have over 750 employees or something. I don't know. I check every once in a while, but when I first started, I think I was around employee 100. So almost all the time, people would say they didn't have budget for new tools because they had no idea what Gong was. This was a couple years ago, so people hadn't been using Gong as much. We had a lot less customers. So I would just say something really simple, like," Hey. Pretty much everybody I talk to doesn't have a line item for Gong. It's just too new. However, when we've had conversations with folks, we've usually been able to justify a purchase. Would you be open to at least exploring the concept? And then if it still doesn't make sense or budget's not open right now, we can figure out when to if this is appetizing," and that's how you handle it, kind of top of funnel, if you want to try to secure a meeting. And I find that really helpful because even if someone doesn't buy that quarter or buy that month, you've created a connection if they sit down with you, and then two quarters out or three quarters out, you just keep revisiting, you put them in a nurture campaign. And they will convert to a customer one day because you've done a really good job of maintaining the relationship. The second way is, if this is happening somewhere in the middle of the funnel, you've already had a discovery call and you're maybe talking about figuring out what the next step is and trying to justify budget, that's where you can say," I'm confused. You told me that your biggest priority was decreasing time to productivity for your new reps, and correct me if I'm wrong, but you just hired 20 new AEs who are expected to be at full productivity in 12 months. Am I wrong there?"" Okay, yeah."" Okay, cool, so full quota for them is 250k a quarter, is that right?" And so, that roughly equals out to how much a month, and you just make them do the math with you. And so, you get them to calculate," If we can get your reps to onboard one month faster, just doing back of the napkin math together, how much more money would that put in your pocket?"" Oh, man, it's one and a half million dollars."" So don't you think that this initial 50k purchase with the upside of 1. 5 million, do you think that that's a worthwhile ROI?" So you just kind of make them do the math with you. And the best thing that I've heard to do, and I try to do it because I'm also not very good at math, is I just ask people to do the math for me, like," I'm not great at math, so can you help me do the figures?" And once they start writing it out and thinking about it, then they go," Okay, all right. Well, let's see what we can move around. Let's see how we can change things."
Devin Reed: I like it. Good impact questions there, right? Take them all the way down to that funnel. Just like you said, it's like, make it impossible to be like," You're right, I am interested." Well, fantastic answers, by the way. People are taking notes here. This is a new one. Darren says," Gem- dropping 101," so that's a new course with Professor Brazier. So let's look at some of the data because you know Gong, we love the data, we run data on objection handling, and one of the first things that we saw... Can we get the screen share up? There we go. Boom, just like a demo, slight delay, but we're always ready. We looked at, how do top performers respond to objections? Now, there's many things that we find in Gong Labs, right, how long to wait until you should respond, and all these types of good things. But one of the interesting things is, how to respond, is by asking a question. So we took two buckets. One was average performers who sub 80% to quota, and top performers, and we looked at what they do when they hear an objection. 54% of top performers ask a qualifying question. What did you make of this when you first saw this, Sarah? This is not the newest stat, but I imagine just had to cross your path. Does it spark any ideas, validate anything?
Sarah Brazier: Yeah. So you mentioned I have a debate background, quasi- debate, I did the speech side of things, but I've watched people debate. In debate, you're not asking questions, you're not provoking thought, you're just coming in with a rebuttal. And I think that most people have the reaction to," You disagree with me, that's threatening, therefore, I need to rebuttal and prove to you why I'm right." That's sort of our knee- jerk, natural reaction. So this kind of proves that, that there's a learning curve for the majority of reps where we have to stop going," Hey, well, here's why you're wrong," even if you say it with a smile and really nicely," Hey Devin, you're wrong." And it's-
Devin Reed: I love hearing that phrase. It makes me not defensive at all.
Sarah Brazier: Not at all. No, you love it. I'm sure your wife tells that to you all the time," Devin, you're-
Devin Reed: She's-
Sarah Brazier: ...wrong."
Devin Reed: Yeah, in sometimes less direct words, but yeah. Tone can tell you a lot too.
Sarah Brazier: Maybe she asked," Devin, why are we doing it that way?"
Devin Reed: Yeah, I wish. But yeah, I think you're right, bro, which is, I think the main thing we're talking about is the defensiveness that can happen when there's confrontation or what could be the beginning of conflict, right? And you kind of feel it sometimes. You kind of feel it in your body. You can get a little warm, might get a little shaky if you're not comfortable with it. And so, I like this because of two things. One, it removes that, right? It's like, hey, we don't have to get confrontation. No one has to be right, right away, or at all, necessarily. And the other thing is, sometimes you can hear an objection and actually misunderstand it without asking a clarifying question, which is something I've done a bunch, which we've all heard. The few objections we talked about earlier are one of them. But at Gong, if you sell Salesforce, if you sell Seismic, you hear a certain handful of objections often, right, and they're kind of specific to that platform or whatever it is you sell. And so, when you hear those a lot, you can often think that you know the right answer right away, right, and you want to jump to tell it really quickly. But in fact, and going back to my story, it was like, oh, I jumped on it really quickly, maybe I'm monologuing for a couple minutes, and then there's a pause then, like, yeah, but that's not what I meant, right? And so, now, not only did you not solve the objection, but you actually went further away from the buyer feeling understood and heard.
Sarah Brazier: Yeah. I think a common example of this is if someone says," Oh, well, the timing's not right. We're going to move forward, Devin, but the timing's not right."" Well, what's not right with the timing. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?"" Oh, we just don't have the bandwidth."" Oh, and can you give me some context, like, who would be the person who needs the bandwidth, what's the bandwidth for, blah, blah, blah?"" Well, we just don't think that we can implement this and get adoption up. There's just too many other projects going on."" Okay, so now, we're sort of boiling it down to, it's not really... It's timing, but it's actually implementation and it's adoption. Well, tell me a little bit more, like, what would your ideal adoption be, what's the best launch time?" And then you can go," Well, actually, a common misconception about Gong is that it takes a really long time to set up. But most of the time, we can get people up and running in 45 minutes. And adoption, there's not a lot of difficulty there because it's just two clicks. Reps are integrated and then we start automatically capturing calls, so there's not a lot of change management. I'm curious, with that in mind, do you still think that three months out is the right timing for this?"" Oh, actually, if it's that easy, no, I think we could move that up to two weeks from now."" Well, great. I'll send over the contract."
Devin Reed: Yeah. I like it. It's getting to the root cause of these... Objections are usually just these... I don't mean lazy in a bad way. I mean, lazy, like easy, right? In the back of your mind, you know all those reasons as a buyer that you just stated, right, like," I don't have bandwidth, I need to wait for someone to... I'm hiring somebody, and that person, when they get here, they'll own this," those sort of things. Most buyers aren't going to share that much information upfront, right. They're not going to give you the full picture, so you have to kind of dig in there, like you said, and peel back the onion, as they say. So very great, very great. Sean in the comments, yes, that is Bruce Lee behind me. Very astute. Great guy. Never met him, but I love him.
Sarah Brazier: That's my kitchen behind me.
Devin Reed: Yes. I love your cabin. It's not really a cabin, but it has that cabin vibe, in a good way. All right, Sarah, fantastic. I knew you'd deliver, as you always do. Now, if you want more objection- aling tactics, you know what I mean, we have 10 from Chris Voss. So I've heard from Chris directly that he learned everything that he knows from Sarah, so we took 10 of his best tips and we put them into a cheat sheet for you. So we're going to drop that into the comments, in case you want to download that, hang it up on your wall, put it on your desktop background, your call. It's your call. Sarah, we're going to go into the last segment of our show today, which is the rapid fire. So you have five seconds or less to answer these questions. Now, truth be told, I don't have a shot clock, I'm not going to look at my watch, honor code. Do your best. You ready?
Sarah Brazier: Okay, yeah. Yeah, I'm not prepared.
Devin Reed: Yeah. Yeah, I want you on the hot seat a little bit, but you're always prepared. Let's be real. Okay, so you've been a LinkedIn star for quite a while. You've made multiple lists, so I'm curious, who do you think is a must- follow in terms of salespeople on LinkedIn?
Sarah Brazier: Devin Reed.
Devin Reed: That's just for my ego, and I appreciate it. I'd ask for a second, but I'm just going to take it. I'm going to take it and we're going to move on. You were a barista at one point in your career. What's your favorite coffee drink?
Sarah Brazier: Black coffee.
Devin Reed: Just straight up black coffee, all right.
Sarah Brazier: Straight up black coffee, pour- over.
Devin Reed: To the point, all right. What's your go- to cold call opening line?
Sarah Brazier: Hey, Devin. It's Sarah Brazier from gong. io, on a recorded line. How have you been?
Devin Reed: How have you been? I've been good.
Sarah Brazier: That hasn't changed in years. crosstalk.
Devin Reed: That's a good one, that's a good one. What's the worst sales subject line you've ever read, the sales email subject line?
Sarah Brazier: I don't know. There's one that Mark Colgan has shared, and it's, I've got your wife.
Devin Reed: It's going to get an open, but you've got me on edge. You know what I mean? Got to be careful there. My least favorite is just meeting request. It's too, to the point. I delete those when I get them.
Sarah Brazier: Oh, I've got one that I think is truly terrible. It's when people are asking some inaudible like, you missed our meeting, or RE our meeting. Anything with RE when we never talked before-
Devin Reed: That's a no-no.
Sarah Brazier: I find them in my spam occasionally, like, Sarah, you missed our meeting that we had scheduled on this day. And I'm like," I don't know you. You're in my spam."
Devin Reed: crosstalk. Never heard your name before. I definitely didn't miss a meeting with you. Okay, last question. What is something you do every day to get better at work or just at being Sarah Brazier?
Sarah Brazier: Well, drink water.
Devin Reed: That's a good start. Are you one of the wake up and drink water right away folks?
Sarah Brazier: No, I'm not. I wake up and drink coffee. But I've been tracking how much water I'm drinking, and I'll tell you, I've been really dehydrated, I think, for most of my life, so I've been incorporating drinking water more into my routine. Maybe not today, because it's very early, but I think my complexion is improving.
Devin Reed: Well, if you've seen Pharrell. Pharrell is like... I don't know, he's like 60 years old, but he looks like he's 30 for the last couple of decades. He says he just drinks a lot of water and washes his face, so crosstalk-
Sarah Brazier: Yeah, and I crosstalk a lot of sunscreen because this is me tan. This is a very tan look.
Devin Reed: We're in the same boat. I get pink long before I get tan. Fantastic. Sarah, thanks for joining us. I want to sign off, but before we do, how can people get ahold of you, what's the best way to connect, and do you have anything coming down the pipeline that you want to share?
Sarah Brazier: I think the best way to connect with me is to follow me on LinkedIn because that's pretty much the only place to follow me. Everywhere else, I've sort of logged off social media. Or you could try to email me, if you want to buy Gong, and I'll sell it to you. And coming down the pipe, I don't know what I've got coming down the pipe. I've been doing Sales Impact Academy. We teach a outbound prospecting 101 course, and we've got another course coming up in a couple weeks. We're finishing out our latest cohort. And then, SDR Nation always has stuff in the works. I feel like that's basically it, that I know-
Devin Reed: You do great things.
Sarah Brazier: ...of. I'll let you know.
Devin Reed: It's not a quantity thing. I mean, quality works here.
Sarah Brazier: I got one. I'm going to speak at the Sales Success Summit in October, so that's crosstalk way out there. But if you get tickets to that, you can come hang out. And I'm not exactly sure what I'm talking about, but Devin's-
Devin Reed: crosstalk going to be great.
Sarah Brazier: ...going to help me figure it out. crosstalk-
Devin Reed: We've got plenty of time to prepare, plenty of time. Well, Sarah, thank you for hanging out with us. Good luck if you're chasing any deals, closing anything by end of today. I'll be thinking of you while at the pool. Thanks, everyone, for joining today. Hope you enjoyed the show. Make sure to follow Gong on LinkedIn if you're not already. You'll get updates on more Gong Labs data and upcoming shows. And the season finale is happening August 13th, so we're going to hang out with Amy Bullis. It'll be the last episode of the season. All right, see you next time.
They didn’t want us to publish this. They said it was “too sales-y.” So instead, we’re sharing it live with Gong’s sales rockstar herself, Sarah Brazier. All the talk-tracks to counter common objections and silent objections along with behavior patterns you can spot with your naked eye. Ready to get your black belt in objection handling?