Do You Commit This Sales Sin?

Pop quiz.

You invite a friend to a party.

They say, “Thanks for the invite but I’m going to pass. I’m socially awkward.”

How do you overcome the “objection”?

A. Show photos of how awesome last years party was.

B. You know they love live music so tell them about a band that’ll be performing.

C. Mention someone they’re dying to meet will be there.

The answer?

It’s a trick question.

D. Understand your friend first.

When people raise objections, resist the urge to talk them into what you want.

The problem is the word “into”.

Whenever people feel they’re being talked into something they want out.

A better approach is to start by making the other person feel understood.

Here are few Chris Voss tactics for making people feel understood.


Repeat the last 2-3 most important words the other person said with a slight uptone as if to say “tell me more.”

For example, your friend tells you they’re socially awkward, you say with a slight uptone, “socially awkward?”

Mirroring shows the other person you’re listening while encouraging them to share more information.


Labeling calls out the underlying emotion the other person is feeling.

By way of example your friend tells you they always feel awkward at parties, you say:

“You’re scared you won’t know what to say.”

“Small talk feels fake.”

“Sounds like you prefer deeper more meaningful conversations.”

Find Their Motivation

People are motivated to change for their reasons not yours. Ask a question to see if there’s any motivation.

“I know socializing isn’t your jam, You think this party is a waste of time. What might you get out of going?”

“I know you’d like to meet Lisa. How else will you get the opportunity?”

Knowing what to say to make people feel understood is a superpower for getting through to anyone in your business or personal life.

Strengthen your ears.

Reprogram your brain to listen.