yeah but“Yeah, buts,” otherwise known as objections, are all the reasons that people give for not being willing or able to buy now. As you know if you’ve been selling more than a few hours, the list is endless:

* “Yeah, but I don’t have the money.”
* “Yeah, coaching sounds great, but I’m too busy right now.”
* “Yeah, but we’re reorganizing. I’ll get back to you.”
* “Yeah, but I’m getting my nails done that day.”

“Yeah, buts” can be garden variety or exotic, true or false, about time, money, or somebody else having to make the decision—but most of them call on us to start breathing again and find a way to let them roll off our backs.

Our first task is to develop some compassion for the people voicing the objections. None of the solutions work when we have steam coming out of our ears.


  • Remember that surfacing people’s objections is a good thing! Otherwise, all those “Yeah, buts” go underground and fester. They keep people stuck and prevent them from buying.
  • Don’t subject objections to the truth test. They rarely pass it, and conducting the test only makes everyone unhappy. People may or may not have “no money” right now, but it won’t help to start shouting, “Liar, liar! Pants on fire!”
  • Take a breath. Frustration and irritation are natural responses, especially when we know the objections aren’t true.
  • Don’t take the “Yeah, buts” personally. It’s almost never about us.
  • Keep in mind the many very human reasons that people say, “Yeah, but,” some of which are: They have genuine concerns and really may not have the time or money. They need to say it’s too expensive or time-consuming so that they don’t seem (to others or to themselves) like a frivolous person or a spend-thrift. They really don’t want what we’re offering and are just trying to be polite.

Clearing an objections means that people get beyond it and buy. They go from having no money at all to, “Well, I suppose I could ask Uncle Albert for the money,” or “I do have that ‘rainy day’ account,” or “I guess I could switch some things around.”

Here are 4 good ways to support people in going beyond their objections:

1. Don’t try to argue them out of their “Yeah, but.” This only gives them something to resist and makes the objection “stick.” Imagine if somebody said to you, “Oh, come on. I know you really have the money.” I’d want to dig in my heels, and that’s what most people do.

2. Make them feel heard. The way to do this is by really hearing them. Sometimes all people need is for someone to hear that they have a concern about buying. The minute that happens, they are over it and no longer cling to the objection. If they keep repeating themselves, it is a clue that they don’t feel heard.

3. Don’t get hooked. Understand that their objection is of concern to them, but don’t jump to the conclusion that it is true, or that it will prevent them from buying. Just be a listening post, without making any decisions. Respect their concerns—but don’t go down the garden path with them without making further inquiries.

4. Give them a choice. You might say something like, “I understand that money is at a premium right now, and you have to choose carefully where you invest it. So let’s look again at whether or not this is worth it to you. You told me that you want from what I’m offering is (whatever they told you they wanted). On the other hand, it costs (whatever financial or time-based cost they mentioned). Let’s put these two things on an imaginary scale and see what you really want to do.” The person feels heard. You respect that there is a decision to be made here, and you’ve clarified what the choice is.

By taking these 4 steps, and by putting the value and the cost on the imaginary scale, we can hear and validate the “Yeah, but” without swallowing it whole. We make it a little more objective for both of us. They have the objection, and they’ll either move beyond it or not. It’s up to them, not to us, and we don’t have to take it personally if they don’t buy. We’ve given them the best chance we can to say “Yes,” and that’s all we can do.

Letting the “Yeah, buts” roll off our backs helps us continue to appreciate people—and helps them see the objection as an objection, not necessarily as a reason not to buy.

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