Sales Objections and The Contrast Frame


In terms of answering sales objections sometimes it’s good to use contrast to your advantage.


On my website I have some pages relating to Robert Cialdini’s influence patterns from his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. (A great book and a MUST read if you are serious about being a sales person)


Cialdini discusses the Contrast Principle at some length in his book.


The contrast principle can be used when you are dealing with price objections to make the cost of your offer look smaller. The idea is to compare your price to something larger so it doesn’t look so expensive. You may compare your price to the extra profit the client will make or to your competitors or to the much larger costs inherent in the client’s business.


Let’s explain the contrast principle and see how it works.


The contrast principle affects the way we see the difference between two things that are presented one after another.


Simply put, if the second item is fairly different from the first, we will tend to see it as more different than it actually is.


So if we lift a light object first and then lift a heavy object, we will estimate the second to be heavier than if we had lifted it without first trying the light object.


If we talking to a beautiful woman at a cocktail party and are then joined by an unattractive one, the second woman will strike us as less attractive than she actually is. 


The point is that the same thing can be made to seem very different, depending on the nature of the event that precedes it.


Examples of The Contrast Principle in action include:

  • Retail clothiers selling the expensive suit so it’s easier to seel you shirt and tie later.
  • Car sales people selling relatively cheap accessories after you’ve agreed to purchase the much more expensive car.
  • Real estate companies using “setup” properties where they take you to a couple of overpriced houses before they show you the house they think you will want.
  • Warning your customers of an upcoming 10% price increase when you know the increase will only be 5%.


The great advantage of this principle is not only that it works but also that it is virtually undetectable. Those who employ it can cash in on its influence out any appearance of having structured the situation in their favour.


In relation to Objections the principle of contrast is often used when you run into a price objection.


Client says to you, “Your premium service would cost me an extra $1000/year.”


Using “contrast” you could reply, “That’s right for about $2.50 a day you could have all the advantages of the premium service.”


$2.50 a day seems much less than $1000, doesn’t it?


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Sales Objections – Feel, Felt, Found

I’m sure that any of you that have been involved in sales for some time would have heard of the “Feel-Felt-Found” approach to dealing with a sales objection.

This is quite an effective tack for dealing with many objections.

You should consider practicing the use of it because you could use it in a number of situations.

I would be a bit concerned about using it when speaking to a professional buyer these days as the framwork has been around that long that you run the risk of the buyer noticing it and possibly thinking you are trying to manipulate them.

Just for a review (in case you don’t know the pattern) let’s go through an example.

Your prospect says something like, “I’d love to use your service but we just can’t afford it.” (Sound familiar?)

An example of your response, using “feel-felt-found”, would be something like the following.

“Strange you should say that. I can certainly understand how you could feel that way. Mr Jones over at Allied Inc felt the same way for a long time. Then after he started using our service he found that the added cost was minimal and was far outweighed by the benefits of our premium service.”

Another example.

Prospect says, ”We’ve been with our current supplier for many years, I’m just not sure about moving my business to your company.”

You reply, “ I appreciate you feel that way. I would hope you would feel the same way if you’d been doing business with us for many years. In fact, a number of other companies that have switched to us in the last 18 months have felt the same way. That’s why it’s so gratifying that all of them have found the move to be such a good one for their company.”

I repeat, this “feel, felt, found” pattern can be used in MANY situations and should be part of your sales objections kit.
Just take care to make sure it sounds polished and don’t use it too often on professional buyers.

Sales Objections – Last Ditch Recovery

This is a wonderful last-ditch retort.

You’ve been consulting with your prospect or client for some time. No resolution, no sale. You’ve run out of things to say.

Then you say, “What’s the one question you could ask to be totally convinced that this is the product for you?”

This is a beautiful question because of the presupposition that is inherent in the question.

A presupposition is something, often not specifically stated in a sentence, that has to be true in order to make sense of the sentence.

For example if your partner asks you to pick up the laundry on the way home. Certain things have to be true. There has to be laundry, there has to be a place to pick it up from (laundromat) and you have to have a home to go to.

Now the presupposition in the question above is that there is a question that will cause your prospect to be totally sold on your offer. They don’t even have to answer the question!

Once your prospect asks a question his/her unconscious mind believes that this is the product for them.

It doesn’t make the sale but it’s a rung on the ladder because it starts them thinking about using your product.

Another example.

Prospect says. “I can’t see your service working here.”

You reply, “That’s right you can’t see our service working here….yet… because you haven’t yet asked the one question that allow you to realise all the benefits you will have by using our service.”

This follows a pattern I recommended earlier. That is, you agree with the objection first and then try and redirect it. As a general rule meet them where they are and then take them where you want them to go.

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Sales Objections – Handling them Effectively

Handling objections in a necessary skill for a sales person.

There is a certain mindset you need to have in order to handle an objection effectively.

There are certain things you need to practice and in a certain way.

Take a read of the attached post for some pointers.

Sales Objections

Sales Objections – A Lesson from MLM

It’s not often I find things to be enthused about with MLM, maybe that’s just me.

However, I stumbled across a post today from an MLMer and thought much of the advice given about handling objections was sound.

So much so, that I have posted a link to it below.

Loved the comment, ” The purpose of handling an objection and the only purpose of handling an objection is to help your prospect get past what’s currently stopping them from getting what they want.”

It also says, “the success of your MLM business will depend largely on your willingness to help others and the willingness to undergo the right training.” Now that reads to me like it’s a pretty good formula for success in ANY sales business.

Further it says, “Also remember that you’re not handling an objection to get the person into your business. Instead, focus on helping your prospect to get what they want when they are asking you a question or giving you an objection. The objection or the reason behind the objection is stopping them — so help them.”

I think the article is well worth a read interms of handling sales objections for any business not just MLM

Handle Every Objection.

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Sales Objections – Do you know what their Problem Is ?

We are all taught as salespeople to solve problems, deal with sales objections and we’ll get the order.

Even Tom Hopkins has been known to say that we, as salespeople, are PPss = Professional Problem Solvers.

Now given our eagerness to solve and the pressure put on us by the economy and our company wanting to improve results there is a tendency to jump onto the first problem that our prospect’s raise.

This maybe causing us to run into far more sales objections than we might if we just dug a bit deeper before we started offering a solution.
Digging deeper might allow us to build the value of our solution by expanding the problem (in breadth or depth or both).
It’s a bit like the IMPLICATION part of the SPIN Model.

Below is an excellent article by Eric Luhrs, well worth a read.

You think you know what your problem is. But you don’t know what it is. And that is a problem!

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