Handling Objections

Skillfully recognize and manage objections (also known as resistance) during any stage of the sales process using a repeatable framework…

Introduction to Resistance

Gone are the days of having to memorize scripts for handling specific objections!

Expert salespeople understand what objections amount to and how to use a questioning strategy to allow prospects to achieve the Certainty necessary to move out of their comfort zone.

To effectively manage Resistance, salespeople must have a clear understanding of the prospect’s specific objections. Once a salesperson understands what they are dealing with, these challenges become welcome and have a clear resolution.

Sales professionals shouldn’t be scrambling with different approaches for each and every single objection that the prospect shares.

Rather, they learn how to reduce resistance, no matter what the prospect shares.

Remember that it’s 100% natural to want to resist whatever a salesperson is saying or offering you.

It’s a human emotion and the most effective way to work with this natural emotion is to maintain S.C.A.L.E. through the AAA framework.

Let’s quickly review the S.C.A.L.E. and then introduce you to the AAA framework


S.C.A.L.E. stands for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Likeness, and Equity.

When you master how to create and monitor rapport through S.C.A.L.E., then you’ll be much more likely to detect which deals are moving forward vs. stuck in your pipeline.

And when resistance (commonly known as objections) arises, the best way to respond while maintaining rapport is to use the AAA framework.

AAA Framework

Remember – resistance is natural and can be easily managed day-to-day by any salesperson.

Managing resistance is not complex! Regardless of the type of resistance (no time, no money, no urgency, etc) or the stage of the sales cycle, you can confidently respond to any resistance that you run into by using the AAA framework and the chances that you’ll get back on the road to the purpose of your call, demo, or other sales activity are greatly increased.

Once you have this framework down, there is an advanced resistance course that you can use to recognize the different types of resistance and master specific techniques that will build on the AAA framework you’re learning today.

Let’s watch a short video on how to respond to resistance, and then go through a few walkthrough examples:


When a prospect shares a resistance with you, the first thing you should do is genuinely acknowledge what they just shared.

By demonstrating that you’re actively listening and actually hearing what they’re saying, they’re more likely to let you get to the next step (ask permission).

Let’s take a look at a few resistances prospects typically share during the first cold call on the left, and observe how the salesperson acknowledges each resistance.


Most salespeople jump from acknowledging a prospect’s resistance to immediately asking a question. However, in order to best maintain rapport (think S.C.A.L.E.), a salesperson needs to build up the prospect’s status by asking permission before they ask a question.

Let’s build on the previous examples above to demonstrate how a salesperson asks permission to ask a question.


After getting the prospect’s permission to ask a question, a salesperson is ready to ask their question! The only key to follow here is to keep the question relevant to the conversation.

For example, if a prospect says they don’t have time to chat, you don’t want to ask for permission to “ask a quick question”, only to then talk for several minutes about pricing!

Let’s put it all together now by finishing responding with questions to the previous cold calling examples.

*Remember that when introducing yourself over a cold call, your question often is simply a S.C.A.N. question for the particular persona you’re talking with

Common Mistakes & How to Fix Them

There are a few common mistakes salespeople make when managing prospect resistance. Let’s review what they are and how to resolve them:



A very common reaction for salespeople is to be defensive when they encounter an objection. However, when a salesperson is defensive they damage rapport which results in the prospect feeling the need to explore other possible solutions instead of what they’re emotionally constrained to choose by the salesperson.

There are a few reasons, but this is most often caused when the salesperson views a prospect’s objections as true blockers to their deal coming through instead of the prospect experiencing completely natural resistance.


  • Understand that resistance isn’t something you need to handle, combat or overcome. Instead, you just need to understand what resistance really is
  • When faced with prospect resistance, the best way to not appear defensive is simply to stop responding with statements and start exploring with questions

When prospects feel that you are genuinely listening and caring for what they have to say, they’re more likely to not only let you ask questions but also respond honestly to your questions.


One of the quickest ways a salesperson can damage autonomy is when the prospect doesn’t feel like they’re being listened to, which is why the first step of the AAA framework is to genuinely acknowledge what the prospect’s resistance is. When done properly, prospects feel like they have a choice to explore (they always do, but now they’re much more open to including you in that decision!).

The prospect’s status is at risk if the seller talks down to the prospect as they consider other solutions (direct or indirect competitors or even doing nothing).


  • The best thing you can do when prospects share their concerns with competitors or something else is to uncover winning zone pains
  • This is best done when asking questions to help the prospect come to realize on their own how you’re the best solution for the pains they’re experiencing

*Remember – prospects are looking for a solution to their pain, which might be you or someone else and if we downplay or marginalize concerns that they share with us then they’re more likely to move forward with competitors who do listen to their concerns.


A salesperson damages rapport when the prospect feels they’re being pushed or forced into a decision.


  • Instead of commanding the prospect through the sales cycle, guide them with carefully chosen questions and help them draw their own conclusions. You want to be their trusted advisor more than “that” salesperson.
  • Remember that pain does not exist unless the prospect states their pain…and you cannot get prospects to admit to pain when they feel you’ve tricked or manipulated them into saying there’s pain somewhere when there might be more pain somewhere else – or not at all!

One final note: In order for your manager to give you feedback to improve on managing prospect resistance, it’s critical that you use and follow this AAA framework so they can give specific coaching and feedback on this specific framework!

It is very difficult to give quick and effective feedback if each sales rep uses a different approach when managing prospect resistances or objections.

To obtain further information, please contact us via email or visit our website. The material has been provided by The Sales Enablement Company.