Handling Objections Without Sounding Pushy

Do you want to stop negative people stalling conversations during meetings? Are you sick of making proposals, only to have them dismissed by whiners? Are you fed up trying to close a sale, only to find objections are putting a barrier in the road to success? If these situations are frustrating you, you need to learn how to handle objections like a master negotiator.

In my course, Negotiation Skills for Women, we cover a range of techniques women can use to overcome objections in both formal and informal negotiation settings. Here’s a quick rundown on the advice I give to participants in these classes.


Ask exploratory questions

Highly skilled negotiators don’t stop when they hear objections. Instead, they adopt a mindset of exploration. They ask questions to uncover what’s going on for the person who has raised the issue. They do this because they know that handling an objection is always easier when you understand what’s prompting it. Useful questions to ask include “What makes you say that?” or “What are you concerned about here?” Get lots more tips on this in my free podcast, Handling Objections Without Sounding Pushy.


Like this blog post? Subscribe for weekly tips     SUBSCRIBE


Listen for the need behind the ‘no’

Resistance and objections are always a sign that the other person’s needs are not yet fully understood or being met completely. To uncover the need behind the ‘no’ try summarising the assumptions that you have heard in their statements or asking what would have to change in order for them to be able to say ‘yes’.

Remember that you’re meant to be showing concern and respect for the other person’s perspective. Don’t argue with anything that they say, instead, use active listening techniques to show that you want to take their opinion seriously.


Offer new options or concessions

For many female negotiators, the first ‘no’ signals an end to the negotiation. However, this is a restrictive way of thinking. Powerful negotiators know that you need to offer up new ways of building solutions rather than giving up the first time someone proffers a resounding ‘no’. So when you meet an objection offer up a counterproposal.

Aim to show your willingness to support the other party in meeting their needs. But make sure you don’t give away too much as you do this. Download this months’ podcast.


Collaborate to build win-win options

The best negotiators I’ve ever met are creative. They seek out new alternatives when they reach an impasse. Use this behaviour as a model for your own success. The next time someone raises an objection, keep talking and keep negotiating. Start by pointing out that you’re keen to find a solution that meets each person’s needs. Then spend 15-20 minutes in a creative thinking session. Remember not to edit as you come up with ideas. Write them all down so you can go through them later.

Always aim to put options together, rather than taking options off the table. This keeps the conversation positive, forward-thinking and solution-based. If you’re keen to build your skills as a savvy negotiator come along to my workshop, Negotiation Skills for Women. We cover lots of practical tips for opening up negotiations and moving beyond objections. I look forward to working with you.


Like this blog post? Subscribe for weekly tips     SUBSCRIBE


About the author of these tips

Eleanor Shakiba is a specialist in training and coaching women in business. Since 1994, she has been teaching talented people – like you- how to think, communicate and behave in ways that build success. Eleanor is qualified in Social Anthropology, Applied Psychology, Adult Education and Neuro Linguistic Programming.