This post is from the series: 20 No-Cost, Low-Cost Weapons for Marketing Your Business.

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It’s all in the way you listen. You can believe that they’re coming from a position of trying to justify why to buy from you, or justify why NOT to buy from you. Most sellers automatically assume that when they hear things like, “Wow that’s expensive,” or “I need to bring this idea to my board,” or “I don’t see how it works,” that the prospect is in some sense defending why they should not or will not buy. As such, the seller reacts automatically from a defensive position, thinking, albeit subconsciously, “Oh no, how do I get past this?” This short-circuits the opportunity for real partnership and puts the seller in the position of needing to apply some type of pressure or simply retreat.

I prefer to listen to prospective clients as though they have a real problem they’re trying to solve and are really looking for someone they can trust to guide them. In fact, the way you interpret the objection (as either something to overcome or a buying signal) is a critical element in the outcome of the conversation. When a prospective clients say, “I need to think about it,” I think, “Wow! Isn’t it great that they’re really thinking about what I’ve said? Now let’s see how I can partner with them to resolve this now so they’re not left with yet another thing to think about.”

I also think of myself as the expert, diagnostician, or advisor. Listening in that way causes me to hear all objections as questions the prospect is trying to answer so that they CAN buy from me, rather than reasons why they shouldn’t.

Quick Tips for Hearing “I Don’t Have the Money” as a Buying Signal:

  1. Listen to this as either, “I don’t see the value yet, please show me what I’m missing,” or “I really want this but I’m strapped for cash. Maybe I can find some.”
  2. Notice how often the very thing that’s in the way of a prospect moving forward is the same thing that they hope to gain from working with you. Point this out in the spirit of partnership.
  3. Create a real sense of trust and partnership well before you make the offer so you can speak candidly and discuss the issue openly if warranted.


Jennifer Diepstraten has 20 years of experience in sales, relationship coaching, and communication studies so she understands what it really takes to inspire people to take decisive action. She’s also taught sales conversion and sales management alongside renowned sales trainers in the entrepreneurial training and personal development industries.