The Anatomy of the Best Sales Rebuttals

The best sales rebuttals follow a formula that helps you achieve your objectives.

THE BASIC GIST OF handling objections is saying to the prospect "I hear you. If I can satisfy you on that issue, would you be more likely to do XYZ?" Ask your prospect "If you could satisfy yourself on this one point, you wouldn't have any objection to moving forward, would you?" This allows you to isolate the objection and uncover if there might be any other additional objections in the way. You are also getting commitment to move forward if you can overcome their concern.

Let's look at an example objection and a sample rebuttal.

Prospect: “It costs too much.”


"It costs too much? (now shut up and listen) … I can appreciate that, Mr. Prospect, I definitely see where you're coming from, and is it a question of cost, or really a question of value? … All I can tell you is that companies like MegaFirm, BigCo, and LargeCorp — who check out every possible option on things like this — looked at all their choices then selected us ... them and about 300 others. And the majority of our business is repeat business. There are very good reasons for that … (pause & let that sink in) … Now, if I can show you how this investment is cost-justified, would you allow me to make you a custom menu outlining some options for your XYZ strategy?"

Rebuttal Analysis

“It costs too much?”

You are restating their objection as a question. This allows you to get more information and understand where they are REALLY coming from. Don't interrupt them when they are speaking. Just say "oh?" ... or "can you explain that a bit more?" to keep them talking. Then don't get sidetracked — stick to the next part of the rebuttal script.

“I can appreciate that …”

Show some empathy, and that you identify with them, and understand their position. Even if you are just mouthing this platitude, use "I can appreciate that" or a similar phrase to show some empathy and demonstrate you have recognized their concern.

“… I see where you are coming from, AND …”

Notice that we do not use the word "but," we use the word "and." When you say "Yah, but ..." you are setting up your response in a confrontational, disagreeing way. Don't say "but." — Say: "Yes, AND ..."

“Is it a question of cost, or really a question of value?”

Pose a question you can answer. You ask the question, then you answer it. You're setting the stage to build the value of your product up to the price-point. You will attempt to make the cost worth the value by outlining the be benefits.

“All I can tell you is …”

This is a great line. It is kind of an absolute. It dismisses other arguments or thoughts on the table. As if what you are about to say supersedes other considerations — like their concern about "cost."

“Companies like MegaFirm, BigCo, and LargeCorp … selected us”

This is a credibility brag. You work with these three companies, plus 300 others, and they selected you even though they are really cost-conscious, they shop around, and they are tough on pricing. You're demonstrating social proof.

“And the majority of our business is repeat business …”

Your clients keep coming back to you because you deliver good value at a fair price. You want to show that "other people are doing it," so your prospect should too. They'll be in good company with other smart buyers who are concerned with cost. Notice how we have gotten pretty far away from their concern about "cost" and we have moved toward social proof, and credibility and value.

“if I can show you / would you …”

Now you're trying to get some commitment to move forward. Get them to agree with you that if you can satisfy them, they will move forward with you.

“investment / cost-justified”

Use the word "investment." Not "purchase," not "product," not "service." Why? Because investments pay back. You also use the word "cost-justified." On every sale, you're prospect is trying to justify the purchase, mostly emotionally, but also logically. This is what they need help with. You want to lead them into thinking the purchase is indeed cost-justified, and now you are addressing their objection head on, using the word they used ("cost") combining it with "justified."

“custom / menu / outlining / options / strategy”

These are some of the best words to use in sales. The best sale rebuttals use these words. Buyers love to hear about "options." They love to hear about "strategies." They want something "custom," from sellers who "specialize" in their industry. And they want choice. They want to see your "menu."

… Of course what you're really doing is offering to send them a proposal.

Basically you have said, "If you'll let me speak more about my product's benefits, can I then send you a proposal, and you agree to this?"

By the way, I hate the word "proposal" and I never used it when I was selling. You should use the words "agreement," "estimate," "invoice," or "statement of work" — but not "proposal." And make sure whatever it is you send is executable — meaning they can sign it so the deal is closed.

So, by using the above rebuttal you have turned a price objection / cost concern into a commitment to review a proposal. This is how the best sales rebuttals work. Nice turnaround, right? … Now go try it!