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Leadership Communication #25: Handle Objections with Ease

An objection might sound like, "This won't work," "We don’t have the resources," "I’m not convinced," or "That’s not a priority right now." These are common responses we hear from teams, and they require a different approach.



Reframing Objections

Objections are not barriers but opportunities. They indicate that your audience trusts and respects you enough to share their concerns. It’s worse when an audience nods in agreement but takes no action after the meeting. An objection provides a rationale for their hesitance, giving you a direction for discussion. Treat objections as a kind gesture from your audience—they’re inviting you to collaborate and problem-solve. This mindset shift is crucial: becoming a learner rather than a bulldozer will help you face less resistance.

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Embrace Objections


1. Plan for Objections: 

Expect and welcome objections. Look for them not just in responses but also in body language—such as someone pulling back in their seat or shaking their head. These signs indicate underlying objections that need to be surfaced.


2. Tools for Handling Objections:


  • Probe and Delay: Neutral responses to buy time and gather more information. For example, if someone says, "Your fee is too high," you might respond with, "What did you have in mind?"

  • Feel, Felt, Found Out: Empathetic responses that validate the concern and share how others have overcome it. For example, "I understand that this seems like a high investment. Many clients initially felt the same way but found the value to be worth it."

  • Match and Lead: Validate part of the objection before presenting a counterpoint. For example, "I understand the concern about the investment. Keep in mind, we only get paid if the transaction goes through, and the outcome is usually very beneficial."

  • Reject and Reframe: Directly say no and then redirect the conversation positively. For example, "I can’t do lunch this week, but how about breakfast next month?"



Applying the Techniques

Imagine you've been asked to lunch, which could be framed as a question or a statement. Here's how to apply each technique:


  • Probe and Delay: "Lunch today? Where were you thinking?"

  • Feel, Felt, Found Out: "I know you want to go to lunch, and I do too. Unfortunately, I’m tied up this week with a big project."

  • Match and Lead: "Lunch sounds great. Unfortunately, I’m fasting right now."

  • Reject and Reframe: "I can’t do lunch this week. How about breakfast next month?"



Real-World Objections

Let’s consider some real objections like "Your fee is too expensive." Here's how to handle it using the four techniques:


  • Probe and Delay: "What did you have in mind for the budget?"

  • Feel, Felt, Found Out: "I understand this seems like a high investment. Other clients initially felt the same but found the return on investment made it worthwhile."

  • Match and Lead: "It is an investment. Keep in mind, the transaction is beneficial and time-intensive upfront."

  • Reject and Reframe: "I can’t lower the fee, but I can offer a payment plan."



Practice and Assertiveness

Handling objections requires practice. Adjust your assertiveness based on the situation:


  • High Assertiveness: Use Match and Lead or Reject and Reframe.

  • Consultative Approach: Use Probe and Delay or Feel, Felt, Found Out.



Final Thoughts

Use these tactics to handle objections effectively. Practice them in team meetings or problem-solving sessions. When faced with objections, remain calm and assertive, ensuring you provide clear and confident responses.



Join Us in Detroit!

On July 10th, we’re meeting in Birmingham, Michigan, for a day to sharpen and elevate our skills. In the morning, we’ll work on presence, followed by a lovely lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll focus on agility, learning the five leadership communication roles and how to think on our feet under pressure. This is a day designed to polish your skills. Whether it’s for you or someone you care about, email us at team@speakbydesign.com for registration details. We hope to see you there!


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Join Speak by Design University to dive deeper into these techniques and improve your communication skills. Work with a private coach, participate in live group coaching sessions, and access a wealth of resources to elevate your speaking abilities.


By integrating these strategies, you’ll handle questions with confidence and clarity, leaving a lasting impression on your audience. Start practicing today and watch your speaking skills soar.



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