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  •   12 min read

10 Ways to Turn Cold Email Objections into Wins


ByJanani H

Published August 25, 2023

cold email objections

Cold email objections are the unsung adversaries of outreach efforts. You've meticulously pieced together an email that embodies your brand's essence, only to be met with a resounding "I'm not interested" or a dismissive click on the delete button. According to the latest sales benchmark, the average email open rate hovers around a modest 38.49%, while the click-through rate lingers at 8.29%. These numbers highlight the uphill battle email marketers face.

But fear not, for this is where the art of objection-handling steps in. In this digital age, where communication bridges vast distances, mastering the delicate dance of turning cold email objections into resounding wins can redefine your outreach strategy.

This guide will unveil the 10 ways to transcend objections and the psychology behind these strategies. So, sharpen your metaphorical swords of persuasion as we're about to transform those 'no's into 'not right now's, and perhaps, into resounding 'yes's.

10 actionable strategies for overcoming cold email objections

1. Understand the objections

Objectives are not mere roadblocks but windows into the prospect's mindset. They offer insights into concerns, preferences, and pain points that might take time to be noticeable. Understanding objections is like unlocking a treasure chest of information that can shape your approach, refine your pitch, and ultimately enhance your chances of turning a skeptic into a believer.

Cold email objection 1: "I'm not interested"

One of the most common objections is the straightforward "I'm not interested." This might seem like a closed door, but it holds valuable clues about the prospect's initial impression, expectations, and preconceptions.

How to overcome: Acknowledge and inquire

The key to navigating this objection is responding positively while digging deeper. Begin by acknowledging the prospect's response in a friendly and appreciative manner. Express gratitude for their time and honesty. Then, follow up with an open-ended question that invites them to share more. 

For instance, "I appreciate your honesty. Could you tell me more about your current priorities or any specific challenges you face?" This approach shows genuine interest in their needs and encourages them to elaborate.

By combining acknowledgment with inquiry, you create a foundation for meaningful dialogue. This strategy helps you understand their perspective and showcases your willingness to tailor your offering to their unique situation. Remember, objection handling isn't about confrontation but crafting connections and demonstrating your commitment to adding value.

2. Research your prospect

The days of generic, one-size-fits-all cold emails are long gone. Today's recipients are discerning and crave personalization. Demonstrating that you've invested time in understanding their business commands respect and speaks volumes about your commitment to meaningful interactions.

Cold email objection: "I don't think this applies to my business"

This objection reflects a need for more perceived relevance. It's an opportunity for you to showcase that your offering isn't just a generic solution but one tailored to their specific needs.

How to overcome: Reference a specific detail for resonance

When faced with this objection, steer the conversation toward a personalized path. In your response, mention a particular detail about their business or industry that aligns with your offering. For instance, "I understand your concern. However, given your recent expansion into [mention industry or sector], our solution has helped companies like yours streamline operations and increase efficiency."

By referencing a relevant detail, you demonstrate that you've done your homework. This small but impactful action bridges your product or service and its unique business landscape. It's an assurance that you're not just sending out mass emails but engaging in a targeted conversation that can benefit their operations.

Prospect research isn't a mere step; it's the foundation upon which you build meaningful interactions. This personalized approach sets you apart as a partner genuinely invested in their success. So, invest the time, gather insights, and craft emails that resonate deeply – the rewards will be conversations that go beyond objections to uncover opportunities.

3. Craft a compelling subject line

Imagine your subject line as a beacon amidst a sea of messages. Its task is formidable: to entice, intrigue, and promise value, all within a handful of characters. In an era where attention spans are shorter than ever, your subject line can decide between opening and ignoring.

Cold email objection: "Why should I even open this email?"

This objection directly challenges the subject line's ability to pique interest. It's an invitation to showcase why your email deserves a place among the many clamoring for attention.

How to overcome: Spark curiosity with value-laden subject lines

The key to addressing this objection is crafting subject lines that radiate value. Instead of revealing everything upfront, spark curiosity by hinting at a solution or benefit waiting within the email. For example, "Unlocking X% Savings in [Recipient's Pain Point]" or “Elevating [Benefit] for [Recipient's Business].”

You provoke the recipient's natural inclination to learn more by weaving curiosity into your subject line. You tap into their desire to uncover the value you promise, thus increasing the likelihood of your email being opened and read. 

Crafting compelling subject lines isn't just about luring readers; it's about signaling that your email holds something valuable for them. It's an art that marries the science of psychology with the finesse of communication. So, invest time perfecting this art, for it's not just about the words you choose but the connections you forge from the first touchpoint.

4. Address objections proactively

Tiptoeing around objections can lead to missed opportunities. Instead, frame objections as stepping stones toward meaningful conversations. When objections are acknowledged and tackled head-on, they lose their power to deter and become catalysts for dialogue.

Cold email objection: "Your solution seems too expensive"

The "too expensive" objection isn't a roadblock – it's an invitation to showcase your solution's value, even in the face of costs.

How to overcome: Highlighting long-term value over immediate cost

To address this objection, emphasize the long-term benefits that outweigh the upfront investment. Rather than merely defending the cost, illustrate how your solution offers cost-effectiveness in the grand scheme. 

For example, “While our solution may have an initial investment, it's designed to maximize efficiency and yield long-term savings. Clients typically see a [specific percentage] reduction in [relevant cost], leading to substantial gains over time.”

By focusing on the broader benefits and ROI, you shift the conversation from a short-term expense to a long-term investment. You showcase your understanding of the prospect's concerns while positioning your solution as a wise financial choice. This approach will resonate with prospects, demonstrating your commitment to their success and showing that you're not just offering a product but a strategic solution.

5. Highlight benefits early

Think of your prospect's attention as a fleeting visitor. To make the most of their presence, you must provide something valuable before they even realize it. This is where leading with benefits shines – the equivalent of opening the door with a welcoming gift.

Cold email objection: "I don't have time to read lengthy emails"

The objection to time constraints reflects the modern reality of information overload. With inboxes flooded, your email needs to make an instant impact to stand a chance.

How to overcome: Immediate value, concisely presented

To tackle this objection, your opening lines should pack a punch. Begin your email with a concise statement that articulates the immediate value the prospect will gain by engaging with your message. For instance, “In just five minutes, discover how our solution can cut [specific pain point] by [percentage] – freeing your time for what truly matters.”

By addressing the immediate concern of time constraints and promising tangible results within a short span, you're more likely to pique their curiosity. This sets the tone for a focused interaction that respects their time and delivers what's promised.

By leading with benefits, you're not just grabbing attention but setting a precedent for a valuable exchange. In a world where time is the ultimate luxury, showing respect for your prospect's time while offering immediate value can make your cold email a welcomed guest rather than an unwarranted interruption.

6. Leverage social proof

The human tendency to follow the crowd is deeply ingrained. When recipients witness others achieving favorable outcomes, their skepticism wanes and their trust in your proposition grows. Social proof isn't just a persuasive tactic; it's a powerful tool to demonstrate that real-world results back your claims.

Cold email objection: "I'm skeptical about the results"

Skepticism can stem from uncertainty about the authenticity of your promises. Addressing this objection requires more than just words – it demands tangible evidence.

How to overcome: Illuminate credibility with testimonials or success stories

To counter skepticism, incorporate a testimonial or a success story from a client who shares similar pain points or objectives as the recipient. For example, “John Doe, a [industry] professional facing [similar challenge], achieved a [specific outcome] after implementing our solution. His experience speaks to the tangible results we can deliver.”

By showcasing the real-world achievements of someone in their shoes, you provide a relatable context that breaks down skepticism. You transform your offering from a mere proposition to a solution with proven efficacy.

Social proof isn't just a means of persuasion; it's a testament to your credibility. It reassures recipients that they aren't alone in considering your solution, making them more inclined to trust your claims. In a landscape where trust is paramount, the stories of others become your most potent tool for turning skeptics into believers.

7. Offer customized solutions

A cookie-cutter approach might save time, but it rarely wins hearts. Prospects seek solutions that resonate with their unique challenges, and this is where customized solutions shine. Tailoring your pitch captures attention and demonstrates a keen understanding of their needs.

Cold email objection: "Your proposal doesn't fit my unique needs"

This objection arises when your pitch fails to directly address the prospect's pain points. It's an invitation to pivot from the generic to the specific.

How to overcome: Introduce customization to align with needs

Acknowledge the prospect's concern while introducing a specific customization that aligns with their needs to navigate this objection. For instance, “I understand your [specific challenge] requires a tailored approach. Our solution can be customized to address [exact pain point], as we've successfully done for [similar client].”

By showcasing your flexibility to adapt your solution to their specific requirements, you're assuring them that you're not just offering a standardized package but a solution sculpted to fit their unique needs.

Customized solutions convey your dedication to their success and signal your willingness to go the extra mile. In a world where personalization reigns supreme, your ability to address objections through tailored solutions can elevate your cold email game from an interruption to a conversation tailored to their success.

8. Create a sense of urgency

Urgency taps into a fundamental psychological principle – the fear of missing out (FOMO). When individuals perceive an opportunity as fleeting, their decision-making process accelerates. This is where urgency steps in, pushing recipients to prioritize action over postponement.

Cold email objection: "I'll think about it later"

The objection of delaying a decision signals the need for a nudge – a gentle push that directs prospects towards making a choice rather than stalling.

How to overcome: FOMO-inducing tactics for urgency

To tackle this objection, infuse your email with a sense of urgency. Incorporate time-limited offers, such as discounts that expire within a specific timeframe, or mention a limited availability of slots for a demo. 

Additionally, it touches upon the potential missed opportunities by not acting promptly. For instance, "Our special offer ends [specific date], and spaces for personalized demos are limited. Don't miss the chance to [achieve specific benefit]."

By leveraging the fear of missing out, you prompt prospects to consider the immediate consequences of their decision but also demonstrate that your offering holds significant value worth acting upon. Urgency reframes their perspective, shifting their focus from delay to seizing the moment.

9. Perfect timing for maximum impact

Imagine your email as a guest knocking on someone's door. Just as arriving at an inconvenient time may result in a missed opportunity, sending an email when prospects are least likely to engage can lead to the same outcome. Timing, therefore, becomes the key to capturing their attention and fostering engagement.

Cold email objection: "I'm always too busy to focus on new offers"

The objection to busyness reflects modern reality – people are inundated with tasks and commitments. However, beneath this objection lies a truth: they're open to new opportunities, provided they align with their availability.

How to overcome: Research and time zone expertise for relevance

Research your target audience's behavior and time zones. Identify the windows when they are most likely to check their emails and be receptive. Highlight how catching them during these moments enhances the chances of engagement.

For instance, “Our research shows that early mornings are when professionals like you often engage with new opportunities. That's why we're contacting you now – so you can explore [specific benefit] without disrupting your day.”

By acknowledging their busy schedules and aligning your outreach with their natural rhythm, you demonstrate respect for their time while ensuring your message is preserved. Also, by sending emails at the right time, you're not just reaching out – you're making an impression that reflects your consideration and dedication to their success.

10. Follow up strategically

Persistence isn't about pushing relentlessly; it's about showing genuine dedication. In a world where inboxes are brimming, your follow-up strategy can be the key to keeping your email on the radar without becoming annoying.

Cold email objection: "I didn't respond to your previous email"

This objection unveils a potential barrier in the recipient's mind. Rather than dismissing it, consider it an open door to reengage with a thoughtful touch.

How to overcome: Evolve with engaging follow-ups

To tackle this objection, take a step back and rethink your approach. Craft a follow-up that offers a different angle, new insights, or additional value. 

For instance, you can mention a recent industry development related to their pain point or offer a case study showcasing a successful transformation similar to what they seek. You're rekindling their interest by offering fresh perspectives with a more tailored and intriguing approach.

Remember, a strategic follow-up isn't just a repetition; it's an evolution. It shows you're committed to their needs and willing to adapt your approach for a meaningful exchange. Demonstrating your adaptability and offering valuable insights reinforces your dedication to creating a connection that goes beyond objections.

P.S. Some extra reading..we made a list of 21 common sales objections with tips on how to tackle them. Check it out here.

3 next-gen Outplay features to smash your cold email objections

1. Objection Handling

Are you ready for our super-star feature?

Every prospect you contact can have some reason, objection, or question when purchasing your product.  It’s pivotal that your SDRs can identify and appropriately respond to sales objections rather than give up. This means that every one of your reps will have to be trained to respond to each of those pesky objections. That’s when Objection Handling by Outplay saves the day! 

With it, you can support your reps in real-time as they encounter these objections - and help them inch closer to a meeting. Objection Handling provides predefined insights about your email's context on Outplay. 

Powered by intuitive AI, this feature can detect objections in the body of an email and offer the perfect responses that can take you one step towards closing the deal.

Once the objection is detected in the email, ‘flashcards’ with reply suggestions pop up immediately. So, from your most seasoned rep to your newbie, everyone has the support they need and can forge ahead confidently. 

This feature is so power-packed that we wrote a whole other blog to break it down for you. Check it out here.

objection handling with Outplay

2. AI Email Writer

Our AI email writer is an incredible feature that helps you create cold emails in seconds, giving you more time to personalize and add your magic ( we discussed it here). 

But guess what? It can do even more than that. Powered by ChatGPT,  the AI Email Writer can be a powerful tool against the ol’ objection. When you receive a reply from a prospect with an objection, and you’re stuck for a rebuttal, you can leverage AI to draft a reply. 

The email writer can use context from the reply and the prospect information to create a draft you can fine-tune. You can also input specific prompts to the email writer to generate a draft. 

For example, you can input the prompts Sales Head, a team of 20, uses *competitor* and let the AI Email writer help you frame the perfect response. One reason why this is an excellent option for you is that AI crafts your response after studying interactions like this you’ve had before and works off what has been successful.

Outplay AI Email Writer

3. OOO Detection

Okay, an Out-of-Office technically isn’t exactly an objection. But it is something that can bring your efforts to a screeching halt. So count this one as a lucky bonus. Outplay’s AI-powered Out-of-Office detection is the secret weapon you didn’t know you could have in your arsenal. 

Let’s rewind. 

What happens when you get an automated OOO reply from your prospect? Nothing? Do you write off the effort and try to find a new lead? Well, Outplay’s OOO detector figures out when this mail comes in, pauses your sequence, and auto resumes it for the date of return mentioned in the email.  

And it even goes one step further. If your prospect has an alternate contact mentioned in their email, the OOO detector will suss it out and give you the option of adding them as a lead to your sequence. Now, your outreach will be truly unstoppable. 

We hosted an expert session on converting objections into opportunities with leaders from businesses like Clari. Check out the session here.


Outplay's AI OOO detection

Navigate objections to connections with Outplay

These strategies offer a compass for steering through objection-strewn waters, revealing the art of crafting genuine connections. As we conclude, does it feel like you’ve stepped into the future of sales? Because you have. These next-gen features can be the perfect sidekick for your reps to overcome cold email objections. 

Think of how much you can cut down training and onboarding time. And how unified your brand voice will sound. And better yet, how many more deals you’ll be able to close because you looked beyond the no. 

If you want to experience these yourself, book a personalized demo today. You can even test these features and see how much they can change your game. Sign up for our free trial and give them a whirl. 

Step into the future of sales

Book a personalized demo of Outplay and change the game.