Looking for Creative Ideas...

Apr 11, 2012

Hello everyone,

I'm beginning to bat around ideas for a project I have on the horizon. Since I actually have some time to put some thought into it, I'd love to hear some of your ideas. 

The course will be for inbound sales reps. I'm in an industry where customers often have or ask for special pricing deals. We want to give our sales people techniques for how to overcome customer objections when a price is quoted. I don't currently have a SME for this, so even though I'm asking about design ideas, any resources you may know on this topic are welcome as well.

I know that I would like to make it scenario based, but that's really the only thing I am certain of at this point. I'd love to hear any ideas you guys have.

Thank you!

5 Replies
Huey Chin Teo

Hi Natalie,

You can look at 2 areas:

1) Psychological resistance (e.g preference for established brands, reluctance to give something up and etc)

2) Logical resistance (pricing, features of product and etc)

Generally, it is recommended that salesperson maintain:

1) positive approach

2) Clarify objection

3) Question the buyer in a way that the buyer have to answer his/her own objection

4) Deny the validity of the objection or turn the objection into a reason for buying

Bruce Graham

Hi Natalia.

What do your existing "rainmakers" do - the guys who are successful in this, in your environment?

Strong peer-to-peer learning is always an excellent technique, (where possible), with sales people.

Perhaps create a scenario with "Question" then "Rubbish" , "Average" and "Excellent" response options, explaining the Por's and Cons of each response.

That is something I am doing for an inbound team at the moment.

Best of luck with this project


SLUG UK - UK Storyline User Group (Slug in Chief...)

Bob S

Hi Natalia,

The first thing I will suggest is that you be super clear about the "scope" of a project like this with your stakeholders. Is it simply overcoming objection strategies? Is it negotiation skills? Does it touch on pieces of the sales process like building rapport and establishing needs? 

Then once you think you are crystal clear on what it is.... and isn't..... go back and check again. I can tell you from personal experience that sales skills trainign like this has more potential for "scope creep" than anything I've ever worked on.

With that warning out of the way, I would ask what's in place right now? Do your learnes have a selling process/system/methodology in place like SPIN Selling, MANDEV Selling, et al?  This question is key, because as you become familiar with sales you will learn that the sale is made or lost well BEFORE the objection stage of the sale.  If there is no formal sales training in place, start there. Don't get talked into creating just an objections module. That is akin to a mechaninc learning how to only remove a bolt after it's stripped.

If you do need a selling program, full blown or light duty, I've already mentioned a few above. There are lots of others. I have also seen some amazing home grown ones based off of Jeffrety Gitomer's work (Little Red Book of Selling) and my personal favorite, Robert Cialdini (Influence: Science and Practice). 

If you have a selling program you love, there are lots of specific resouces on just overcoming objections. But note that many of them are a bit "hardcore" as I believe they assume anyone looking for just that piece wants a more hard-hitting objections module. There are soooooooo many strategies out there around overcoming objections. You will need to find one(s) that fit with your overall selling process and customer engagement. For example....

  • A judo-type strategy centers around acknowledging the objection to ease the defensive position of the customer, then re-directing the objection into a positive.
  • A clarifying-type strategy centers around probing to clearly identify the real objection, then isolating it with "If I can, will you" type statements.
  • An anti-stall type strategy centers around basically ignoring the first objection to see if comes up again or was just a stall.
  • And lots more...

And of course there are specific tactics inside all of the strategies.

I know this can sound quite daunting, and I suppose in a way it is. Everyone and their uncle has an opinion on how to sell. If you cannot identify in-house pros that are doing it right, then consider reaching out to external experts or canned selling systems and strategies that have a proven track record.

Finally... if in the end you just have to do this yourself, then read, read, read and always keep the customer in mind. Selling is the noble art of helping people obtain the goods/services that they need in a way that will make a friend in the process.

Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to me if have any questions,


Jesse Racké

Hi Natalia,

I have no experience in implementing this subject in e-Learning (yet) but I do have reasonable experience in training on this subject. What I did for our sales department was collect the most common objections and catagorize these. I ended up with 12 different objections and divided these in 4 catagories (Price, Reach, Respons & Usability). The most common objection was, of course, Price . After having a complete collection of the most common objections I started to work these out on the reaction methode I use in my training on how to deal with objections. 

I have this al in Dutch so let me try and translate this as good as possible:

Methode on dealing with objections or negative remarks

First of all, you want to react proactive instead of reactive. A natural (reactive) reaction on an objection usually starts with, e.g.: "yeah, but you get this, this & that) directly feeding the customer with benefits and productinformation to justify the price. By doing so the sales rep does not pay attention to the customers objection but merely tries to persuade him into buying the product. This will increase the resistance. 


'Yeah, but' / reactive behaviour tends to lead to discussion, a negative filter, time loss, your saying no to the customer, etc

'Yeah, and' / proactive behaviour tends to lead to creativity, a dialogue, time saving, your saying yes to the customer, etc

"the one asking the questions is leading the conversation" - important to remember when reacting on objections  

Checklist on reacting

  1. a moment of brief silence  (let your customer know you are taking in what he is saying - you are taking this serious - you have time to think about your awnser  -  this prevents you from reacting on a "yeah but" way)
  2. tel your customer you understand him, do so in a natural way   (when the objection is price, a good reaction could be: "I understand price plays an important part in your decision" or "I understand pricing is important for you"  -  your saying yes to the customer - your saying that he's ok)
  3. if needed, give an awnser  (do so in a natural way, don't apoligize  -  e.g. when the question was: "can I get a discount?" the awnser could be "no, this is not possible, you do get this, this & that"
  4. ask an open question, this wil continue the dialogue  (e.g. "What next to price is important in your decision-making?" - "Which benefits do you see for your organisation in this product?")

I know there are a lot of different approaches to this subject and this is just one of many. 

I hope this helps you.  

Good luck with your course, it sounds like a cool project.


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