Everyone who has spent much time in a sales role has heard plenty of stalls and plenty of objections. Every sales training course you’re likely to encounter offers advice about how to overcome them. The trouble is, almost all of that advice is wrong.

I believe there are three main reasons why 90% of salespeople remain unable to cope effectively with stalls and objections, despite all the training that companies throw at the problem.

The first reason is that sales training programs address stalls and objections as if they were the same. Therefore, nobody tells you that it is crucial to distinguish between the two because they are not the same, and they require different responses. Unless you know that, you are going to fail.

Here is the essential difference:

An objection arises when there is a specific reason why your prospect does not intend to buy from you yet. The reason always relates to one of the five key buying decisions that every customer makes in the course of every major sale: Salesperson, Company, Product/Service, Price, or Time-to-Buy. An objecting customer might challenge you on your price. Or they might be more sold on a competitor’s company or salesperson. Or they might question the need to own the product you are offering.

While an objection ties to a specific buying decision, a stalling customer does not have a specific reason for declining to make a commitment. Stalls may come in a thousand forms, but they all mean the same thing: “I’m not quite sold yet; I need you to sell me some more…”