How Not to Handle Sales Objections

There are certain ways how not to handle sales objections.

Never but never argue.

The customer is NOT always right but the customer is always the customer.

If you argue, even if you are right, you'll probably lose the sale.

Never, but never attack the person.

Separate the person from the objection and deal with it as apart from them.

If you fight a person's feelings, more negative emotions will emerge and you will lose!
(Not a good Rapport building tactic)

Never assume you understand an unspecified word

You probably already know to make sure you question any business jargon that a prospect uses to make sure you understand the meaning.

But I suggest you be even more diligent.

If a prospect uses a word that is a Nominalisation don’t start answering until you first understand their meaning.
( Briefly, a nominalisation is a word you cannot place in a wheelbarrow, it’s a concept not a tangible thing.)

For example, if a prospect says: “I need versatility.”
Don’t start talking about flexibility or the range of products you have or your payment options because that may not be what your client is talking about.

Better to ask: 'Could you explain to me what you mean by versatility?'

Never Insult the Prospect

Let’s look at an example.
Prospect: 'Your prices are too high.'

It would not be very smart to reply with,
'Aren’t you interested in quality?'

You could reply with:
“High prices compared to what?”
or you could soften that with,
“I understand your concern about pricing, we all need to ensure we’re competitive in this modern world, and could you tell me who or what you are comparing us to in making that comment? ”

Never Avoid the Issue

'Quite frankly, your service is useless.'

It would not be right to change the subject or talk in theory about what is good service because you are dealing with an emotion here. The client is obviously angry or frustrated when they use a word like “useless”. You need to help them vent their emotion.

Much better to stick with the issue,
'Obviously something has happened to make you feel that way. Can you tell me about it?'

You need to do your best to establish and maintain Rapport in these situations.


Hi Greg,

I am forever grateful for your mission of helping salespeople around the globe to raise the bar of service in this profession through your free articles and sharing of experiences even offering to sales coach.

My perspective about selling raised to a new level since reading some of the articles yesterday... Marcelino

Don’t Shift Responsibility

When there is a problem don’t try to blame it on your office staff or your delivery people. Think about how that is perceived by your customer. Your customer will only understand that you are dodging the blame.

What your customer wants is for someone to accept responsibility and fix the problem.

You need to be responding with “We….”, to show that you stand with your company then with “I’ll fix it.”
The “I” bit is important as you are the company in the eyes of your customer and if you have any sort of relationship with him / her they will feel more comfortable knowing the person who is looking into it for them.

Never, but never make the person wrong.

Never make a person wrong because you will create an enemy.

Making the person wrong is not a good Rapport building strategy.

I can remember years ago a colleague of mine may a big sale to a multinational company.

Once they started using the product in manufacture the customer complained it did not work. The product was "in specification".

So, we arranged for a technician from the overseas supplier to come to Australia.

Not only did he make the product work but certain people on the production line remarked "that's the best product we've ever made".
Despite those glowing comments we never made another sale to this company.
The reason?
We offended their Technical Manager by making him look inadequate. So, he promptly removed our raw material from the approved list of products.

New Courses

I have launched 3 Video Courses on Sales Objections 

The courses will be housed on the Udemy learning platform and you'll need to provide your name and email to Udemy to access the course.

The first video course is on improving your attitude to sales objections.

Free access has now ended but you can buy ..

Just click on this link


The second video course covers skills and tactics to handle sales objections.

Free access has now ended but you can buy ..

Just click on this link


The third video course introduces my Ultimate System for Dealing with Sales Objections

Just click on this link


Never Contradict the Prospect

'You guys always seem to be having production problems.

It would be a mistake to reply...
'No, that's not correct. We had some problems when we upgraded the plant two years ago. Did you know we have not had any downtime in the last 18 months?'

A better reply would be ...
'Yes, we had some production problems when we upgraded the plant and currently the plant is running flawlessly.
In fact, it’s been running like that for the past 18 months.
Can you tell me if you have experienced any delays so that I can investigate further?'

In the second reply, the sales rep acknowledges the prospect's perception of a problem. Remember, first you meet them where they are and then move them to where you want them to be.

Don’t dwell too long on an objection

Don’t dwell too long on an objection because you will amplify its importance in the mind of your customer.
Better to answer briefly.
Your answer should be just long enough to satisfy the prospect, and no longer.

Never guess an answer

Admit you don't know.
Say: "I'm sorry, I don't have the answer to that question, but I promise to get the information to you."

When you actually get back to them with a reply, this will show you have the courage to admit what you don’t know and that you “walk your talk” and follow through on your commitments. This can only improve the client’s perception of you.

Now you know what not to do.

If you want advice on what to do to handle objections feel free to click through to these pages:

Overcoming Sales Objections

How to Handle Sales Objections ( some different viewpoints)

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