Learn to listen.  The only way you can overcome a prospect’s objections is to listen carefully so you really understand the prospect’s concerns.  Don’t try to anticipate an objection until you actually hear it.

Discover the real problem.  You might hear a number of objections, but your prospect might be reluctant to bring up the real problem, such as a clash he’s having with his boss.  If you’ve answered a series of objections and still haven’t made the sale, it’s time to ask the prospect if there’s a problem that’s keeping him from giving you an order.

Verify the problem.  If a prospect says your price is too high, ask him if he will give you an order at a lower price.   If his answer is “yes”, you’re on your way to closing the sale.  Any other response means that price is not the real problem and you’ll have to probe further.

Always ask questions.  Don’t try to overcome an objection unless you’re certain you understand it.  If, for example, you’re selling office equipment, a cost objection could mean your selling price, or the cost of set-up, or the cost of user training.  You’ll never know unless you ask.

Double-check your answers.  To be sure you’ve answered an objection, ask the prospect, “Does that solve the problem ?”

Focus on benefits.  For example, if a prospect objects to the cost of your product, point out the high value of the product in relation to its cost.


  • Don’t set impossible quotas. Many managers automatically increase individual sales quotas every year so that sales people have to book more business before they can earn incentive income.  This is a common approach to keeping costs down, but it can have an adverse effect on sales because salespeople become discouraged by quotas which are impossible to reach and may leave the company for greener pastures.  If selling costs are a real problem, it’s usually a better strategy to keep sales quotas realistic and offer lower commissions instead.
  • Don’t limit income potential. Putting a ceiling on total sales commissions and bonuses tells salespeople that once they’ve reached the limit, there’s no reason for them to continue to work for additional sales.
  • Don’t waste sales ability. Good salespeople need new challenges.  Selling the same customers over an extended period may make it easier to reach their quotas, but they soon realize that increasing their sales (and their income) is becoming more and more difficult.  It’s much better to reassign territories to provide new opportunities for salespeople to improve their income.


  1. Make sure you know what you want before you ask for it. Think about what you really want before you put it into words.  Example: “I need delivery as soon as possible” will fall far short to the results you’ll get from “I need delivery by Wednesday at ten o’clock to satisfy an important customer.  Could you please deliver by then?”
  1. Ask the proper person. It won’t do you any good to ask someone who can’t give you what you want.  Example: If you ask a service-writer at an automobile dealership to work on your car before other cars, you’ll get nowhere.  But if you ask the service manager he has the authority to help you.
  1. Think about how to ask. After you’ve decided exactly what you want and whom you want it from, you should determine how to present your request.  This means giving a clear reason for your request and explaining how the person you’re asking can make a difference by helping you.  Example: “I need a reservation tonight so I can make a breakfast meeting at the hotel in the morning.  You can really help me to get an important customer.”
  1. Show respect. Never be rude or overbearing.  Remember that the key words to getting what you want are “please” and “thank you”.
  1. Never demand and never beg. When you demand something, you immediately antagonize the person that can help you.  And when you beg, you’re dealing from weakness rather than strength.
  1. Overcome false pride. Many people don’t ask for help because they feel they must be self-sufficient.  But when you ask for what you want, you show that you have the strength to ask for help when you need it.
  1. Keep on asking. You can be persistent without being annoying.  A major reason for not getting what you want is the failure to ask for it again and again.