'Is This A Sales Call?’ Objection Handling

The ‘Is this a sales call?’ objection is more of a question than an objection to rebut. But how should you handle it? In this article we dive deep into the exact answers to this objection.
Picture of Benard Kiplangat
Benard Kiplangat

Content Writer

Reading time: 4 minutes

If you engage in telemarketing lead generation services, someone has most probably asked you if your call is a sales call.

This is always a tough question because you don’t always know which answer the prospect wants. The prospect may hang up if you agree and be completely honest, but your call may lose its purpose if you lie and come up with an excuse.

So how should you respond? Do you freak out and deny it? Or do you come clean and reply calmly?

Let’s dive deeper into how you can respond effectively to the ‘Is this a sales call?’ objection.


‘Is this a sales call’ objection handling

When you’re faced with this objection, your first instinct will probably be to disagree. And as expected, you will respond, “No, this isn’t a sales call!”

Then you dive back to the remaining parts of your call script, only now, with little enthusiasm and vigor. Then dead air. The prospect has ended the call before you can speak another word.

Then, the vicious cycle repeats and you end up thinking that cold calling sucks and resenting it. So how should you handle it like a pro?

Firstly, to deal with a problem, you have to go to the root. So, you need to know the reason a prospect asks, “Is this a sales call?” 

Is it because they don’t trust you? Or is it because you jumped in too fast with your pitch?

If it’s a gatekeeper, they want to save time by seeing if you are credible enough for your call to reach the intended receivers.

One important thing to note is that prospects aren’t always asking this question because they don’t know it’s a sales call — they already know, and they’re testing you

Now, let’s dive into how you should handle this objection on your next call.

Emphasize your value proposition

Why do over 80% of prospects still accept cold calls and schedule meetings thereafter? Because they believe you have something of value to share with them.

It’s pretty easy for prospects to know when it’s a sales call, but they’ll still ask you if it is. What do they want to know?

The answer: the value of your call.

If they wanted to hang up because it’s a sales call, they would have done it instead of asking such a question. They want to know what’s in it for them.

So you have to be assertive (but NOT pushy and forceful) in your answer to let them know you’re not going to waste their time. Because when the value of your call is obscure, the prospect will interrupt your call to ask. 

When the prospect asks, concur with a blunt but misdirected answer. Then immediately reinforce it with your value proposition. 

Your value proposition should be clear, concise, and compelling so that your prospect will get it. To make it more effective, focus on the superpowers that your prospects will get out of your call and business. 

Here’s how you can reply:

How to handle when someone asks 'Is this a sales call’

Just be completely honest

The first trait you should develop when dealing with this particular objection is honesty. The way you pose yourself during the call is critical, especially in this scenario.

If you sound unsure about yourself and your business, nothing will save you — not even the value of what you want to propose. 

This is because if your prospects treat you as a nuisance or a liar, they won’t care about what you offer until they see value in your product and business.

So reply that ‘yes, this is a sales call’, then reinforce your value to the prospect like what we mentioned above.

Just don’t ever tell them otherwise, even if you are not asking for a sale in that particular call. 

You may also be tempted to sound clever, such as replying with, “No, this ain’t a sales call. I just wanted to understand the challenges you’re facing in your business.”

But it often backfires. Why? 

Because they will keep prodding for an answer until you have to tell them you want to pitch them something in the future, which makes you contradict yourself. 

“Is this a sales call?” is a question and not necessarily an objection. The prospect expects you to answer it as truthfully as possible and tell them why they shouldn’t end your call.

If you treat it as just an objection, you will fail. If you deny, the prospect will sense the lie in your rebuttal and decide it is not worth listening to your call.

So you lose your chance because lying to a potential client shows weakness. And you shouldn’t dare be weak in sales!

Weave in some humor

A little chuckle can loosen a prospect up. If you add a little pun in your line, it can make your sales call less sales-y. Thus, your subjects might take a chill pill for you.

To use humor to answer this question, you have to be sure it will work. If you’re naturally funny, there’s a high chance it will work for you. Otherwise, you’re making a risky bet, and you may blow off your chances if it backfires. 

When faced with this objection, respond immediately with confidence. You are choosing to be sarcastic and humorous to affirm your answer.

Here’s a line you can use on your next call:

How to handle when someone asks 'Is this a sales call’

What matters is confidence and the way you say it. Your questions should look like statements — do not ask as if you’re challenging your prospect. Else, you invite endless conversations that will not end well.

Handle it like a pro

Remember that prospects do not expect you to be just nice, considerate, and agreeable.

You have to be honest when responding to them because they want you to show your independence and ability to meet all their concerns through your thought-out responses.

If you’re timid in telling them the value of what you want to offer or if this question can shatter your script, then be sure to fail often.

So be genuine, express your value clearly, and give a flair of humor when dealing with, “Is this a sales call?”

For more on how to handle cold calling objections, check out our full article!

Picture of Benard Kiplangat
Benard Kiplangat

Ben is a content writer at Novocall.

Subscribe to our blog

Get insights & actionable advice read by thousands of professionals every week.

Start driving better conversations.
Novocall will be your new favorite business phone system.