Scripting Our Objection Responses


As I travel around the country meeting with Salespeople I am so amazed at the lack of preparation that most have in overcoming some of the basic Customer objections. So many still use the old, “If I could would you?”, “What will it take to earn your business today?”, and the most popular, single word most state when an objection is presented, “Why?”

These responses do not work. They make the Customer very defensive and sound childish. When responding to an objection your only goal is to get the Customer to have second thoughts as to why they have just made the statement. And these responses must be scripted, written out in advance, rehearsed and internalized.

There are two things you need to remember about scripts.

First, Scripts are not good because they’re “Canned”….. they are “Canned”, because they are good.

And second, Scripts are only good…..if they are YOUR scripts.

We’ve all been exposed to the telemarketer calling us with a presentation of some kind that is so obviously “Canned” that it immediately turns us off. Why? Because we know the presentation is virtually being read from a “Script”, and not coming from the heart.

If the individual was so passionate about what they wanted to present to us, could they not speak to us within their own personality?

It is very important to have scripted responses, but only if they come across as a natural response.

I want to share a true story with you that actually happened to me when I first started selling cars.

When I started selling cars back in 1979 I was very young and my desk was on the showroom floor and directly behind an older Salesperson. His name was Tommy St John. Now Tommy was about 65 years old, a bit overweight, was completely gray and wore bifocals. In essence he looked liked someone’s grandfather.

Back then we received very little sales training, and were always told to find a mentor on the showroom floor and watch them closely, and then do as they do. To listen to their verbiage and watch their mannerisms, and then again, do as they do.

WOW!….what a mistake that turned out to be, at least for me anyway, especially in this particular situation.

You see, Tommy had this closing technique that I thought was so cool.

After sitting and negotiating with a Customer for a period of time, Tommy would very casually pause, sit back in his chair, fold his arms, bow down his head, look out of the top of his bifocals, and say exactly this, “Folks, enough is enough….and I am getting tired. This is the price, the price is not going to change, and it is a great price. So either buy the car or move on and shop at another dealership”.

The amazing part is that most people would just agree with him and buy the car. That is right. That crazy verbal technique worked!

The problem is this. It only worked for him, and under his circumstances.

The point I am trying to make, is that I agree with and fully endorse scripting, but only if it is YOUR script. That is, that you have fully internalized the presentation or response.

Again, I stress, that the scripted verbiage is “Canned” because it’s good. It is not good because it’s “Canned”.

But as a follow-up to that statement, I am going to add that it is good only when it becomes your canned response, and not that of the author who wrote it.

Now, you will find certain presentations and responses that someone else has created that you really like and think they will work for you, and if that is the case, then I encourage you to use them. Never be afraid to add your own personality to that script.

The goal is to internalize what needs to be done, and once you “internalize” something, it then becomes second nature, and you no longer have to “think” about what you are saying.

If you truly want to be the best you can be, then I encourage you to write out all your scripts and then learn them. But again, YOUR scripts!

Just think about the added confidence you will have once you are prepared to respond logically and intelligently to any objection you could get from a Customer. No more “shooting from the hip” or responding in ways the Customers have heard over and over throughout the years.

And once you have done this your responses will be fresh, non-confrontational, and logical. And never forget, you can’t argue with “logic”.

David Lewis

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Comment by DealerELITE on November 1, 2012 at 10:34am

Excellent post David, Thank you for sharing with all our dE members

Comment by John B. Hogan on October 30, 2012 at 8:45pm

With so many people shopping online and viewing the "facts" these days, it is also important to note that you can't just BS your way through the objections too. If you are going to handle objections sincerely, make sure any "facts" you present are, in fact, REAL FACTS and not just something you also dreamed up.

Comment by Jim Boldebook on October 30, 2012 at 2:26pm

David, this is an excellent post and so important for the new salesperson feeling his way through the sometimes confusing and contradictory 'sales success' approaches.  Just like you, I had a similar experience selling magazines for Life Magazine when I was a kid.  They sat me next to an experienced pro and said "just watch him and learn"  I was enthralled with his ability to close 15 subscriptions an hour almost effortlessly.  But I fell flat on my face when I tried to mimic his style and word track.  If I were to give any advice to a salesperson, I would tell him/her to KNOW HIS PRODUCT...thoroughly.  KNOW HIS COMPETITORS PRODUCT (and his competitor dealership) thoroughly.  Don't BS.  Listen carefully,  Be engaged.  Try to understand/pace the customer and find the right buttons that will respond to the customized close you have formulated in the interview process.  I would offer one other thought for new salespeople...or anyone looking to improve.  every single time you make a sale, take a few moments to think thru that process and make notes while its fresh in your mind.  What did you say.  What did they say.  What was the 'connection' that gelled the deal?  conversely, review the failures.  Ask yourself what you might have done better.  For most people, become truly successful in sales is a learning process that takes time.  It's hard work.  but then, is there anything good that doesn't take hard work?  As a very successful car dealer once told me... "The harder I work, the luckier I get."

Comment by Mathew Koenig on October 29, 2012 at 7:30pm

If you've sold cars for more than a year or two we realize that there are only so many 'objections' that we hear. That said, people do say them for different reasons so it's important to be prepared. Someone smarter than me once said 'repetition is the mother of all learning', and when it comes to objection handling, the only way to be prepared is to practice. The mistake many of us make is that we practice on the customer - and that's NOT good.

Like you said, it has to be 'your own' and in my humble opinion, the only way to make it our own is to listen with the intent to understand WHY the customer is objecting. If we understand the why, we can dig in our mental database for the words that will help us show the customer how to overcome that concern.


Great article David, thanks for posting!

Comment by Marsh Buice on October 29, 2012 at 5:13pm
Great share David! There is more than one way to cook a dish, the difference is the flair one adds once they've learned How to cook the dish. I agree with scripting as well-seasoning the script with what works best for that Salesperson. The objections are the same, the counters to those objections shouldn't be. Great job sir.

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