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Tips for Effective Retail Phone Calls

Whether it’s a good old-fashioned brush-off or a more serious objection, sales reps need to be ready for anything when it comes to objection handling. Instead of contradicting a prospect or forcing them to change their minds, it’s important to help them understand your product by empathizing and relating; here are some tips for effective retail phone calls.

Ask Questions

It’s essential to be able to understand why a customer may object to your product, as well as the true reasons behind that objection. The best way to do that is by asking the customer open-ended questions.

For example, if a prospect says they don’t have enough time to buy, you can validate their concern by saying, “I see that you have a lot on your plate.” You can also encourage the customer to join your store’s loyalty program to incentivize them to return.

Be careful not to jump in and justify your price structure—that’s a surefire way to turn the conversation into a negotiation. Instead, ask more questions to uncover the real problem and offer a solution tailored to their needs.


Every phone contact is an opportunity to build trust and convert a prospect into a customer. When a potential buyer voices their objections, listen carefully—not to respond with a sales rebuttal but to understand where they are coming from truly.

If you are listening for an underlying issue—like they haven’t considered your product in the past or think that their needs are a low priority right now—you can provide relevant information and shift their perceptions.

For example, you can empathize and relate by saying, “I get it; I’ve been in your shoes before.” You can then validate their concerns and offer a solution to mitigate those fears. They’ll be less likely to object again. Then, you can move forward with the sale.

Acknowledge the Objection

When your prospect reveals an objection, listen to understand — not respond. Avoid interrupting them or cutting them off while they share their thoughts. In addition, it’s helpful to repeat what they say to validate that you’re hearing them correctly.

If the objection is related to timing, show empathy and sympathy by pointing out that they may be concerned about missing a deadline or meeting an important milestone. Then, demonstrate how your solution can alleviate those concerns and add value to their business.

If your prospect is concerned about price, emphasize the long-term benefits of using your product or service and share customer case studies with them. It also helps to explore whether or not their budget is flexible or if the purchase can be financed or put on hold for future consideration.

Explore the Issue

When a potential buyer objects, exploring the issue is important. Often, the underlying reason isn’t what the shopper initially articulates, so it’s your job to get at the heart of the problem and find ways to remove barriers to purchase.

For example, if a shopper expresses concern about the product’s price or value, you can demonstrate how it’s different from other options on the market and address any financial concerns. If a shopper worries they won’t have enough time to implement your solution, you can offer training or scheduling assistance.

Effective objection handling is a crucial skill that can help convert more shoppers into paying customers.


Overcoming sales objections is a necessary part of the selling process, helping shoppers to trust sales associates and close more deals. Using tailored responses, sales reps can pierce through these common objections and show the value of their products to drive conversions.

Objections can range from an old-fashioned brush-off to a serious concern about price or product fit. Either way, they’re not a dead-end but a sign that the prospect needs more information to decide. To help them, sales reps should take the time to empathize and relate while confidently addressing the objection. This approach is far more effective than arguing or strong-arming, which will likely backfire.

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