Time and Distance: Building Bridges to Handle Objections

Recently, someone sent me a message via LinkedIn regarding the issue of handling objections during the sales presentation. Specifically, this sales professional asked what to do when a customer says early in the sales process, "We never buy on the first day we begin shopping."


This is not an uncommon objection in a retail sales environment involving big ticket items. In fact, the customer is basically building a wall between you and a potential sales opportunity. The key is to understand why the customer is doing this early on in the presentation. A customer's current behavior is shaped by his or her previous experiences.

Facts and Fear

Most people are consumed with fear at the point of contact. What do they fear?

~ Fear of making a mistake

~ Fear of paying too much

~ Fear of buying the wrong product

~ Fear of high pressure

~ Fear of the salesperson

~ Fear of the unknown

~ Fear of being sold

These fears are based on previous information and experiences that have shaped their current reality. These fears tend to change the behavior of a customer from open to defensive. When a customer is in a defensive state, they will use objections like the one above to feel safe. These fears have built an emotional wall that must be turned into a bridge.


The most common mistakes salespeople make are defined by the way they approach a customer who is still operating in fear. Patience does not come naturally, but a lack of patience is destructive to the sales process. Let's examine the most common mistakes:

~ Lose patience and hurry

~ Push back against the objection

~ Lose interest in the customer

~ Attack or question the objection

When we resist, the customer will resist even more by defending their position.
— Paul Cummings

My goal is to equip you to avoid those mistakes. It may sound simple, but simplicity works. Here are four keys to stay on the right track:

~ Slow down and relax: Breathe!

~ Take the pressure off

~ Take on a "No Big Deal" Attitude

~ Display casual confidence

You do need words to respond to the customer to show your casual confidence. Here is an example of the approach I would take: "I understand you don't normally purchase on day one. Please allow me to provide you with all the information you need to make a well-informed decision with facts in hand. Would that be ok with you? By the way, I wouldn't expect you to buy until you find a product you love and feel comfortable that it will fulfill all your needs. Can you see some value in that approach?"

Time and Distance

These customer-centric words allow you to build the time and distance you need between the early objection and any future closing attempt. When you take this approach, you are able to turn the current wall into a bridge of positive communication. You can't close a customer consumed with fear who has put up a wall. Slowing down and demonstrating you understand and care about the customer's concerns allows you to present your product and replace their fear with confidence.

Change the Focus

Shift your focus away from selling and closing to serving your customer. The only goal is to build massive value and create a genuine conversation that builds trust. By taking the pressure off the customer about when they will buy, you are empowering them to now fall in love with your product. As their emotions shift, so will their energy and enthusiasm for your product. This will build interest and urgency and put you in the best position to ask for the close with confidence.

Slow down, be patient, and make a difference today.

Paul Cummings

If you're interested in learning more sales tips and word tracks that will help elevate your sales and income, check out The Vocabulary Vault. The Vocabulary Vault is my latest online course designed to help you:

  • Overcome customer demands and objections
  • Greet the customer warmly and professionally
  • Develop relationship equity with the customer
  • Fully understand the customer's needs and desires
  • Successfully inform the “non-buyer”
  • Conquer the “I'm Not Buying Today” objection
  • Create a winning value proposition
  • Establish a vocabulary of Winning Words to make you rich
  • Learn about The “My” Grid that has been used by Fortune 500 companies worldwide

Forget about the days when you fumbled through objections, trying to haphazardly piece together a response to a customer. If you take this course, you will gain an immense confidence backed by a winning vocabulary to help you secure more sales.

Driving Ambition

Find out about Paul Cummings University demos here.

Copyright 2017: Paul Cummings Enterprises.

About the author: For over 30 years, Paul Cummings has taught dynamic life changing strategies on sales, customer service, communication, building a better business, and leadership. Millions have had the opportunity to learn what it means to live and work at Level 10.