A Simple Story That Perfectly Illustrates the Importance of Objection Handling

A Copywriter’s Guide to Objection Handling

Donald, a farmer, needed to borrow a tractor. His own had met a rather sticky end involving an overweight cow, an over-ambitious maneuver and an oil slick, and he had a large amount of work on the farm that needed urgent attention.

“I know,” he said. “Jackson, from the Windy Acres Farm, is a great guy. I’ll ask him if I can borrow his tractor. I’ll only need it for a few hours; I’m sure he won’t mind.”

So Donald began the 3-kilometer walk to Jackson’s farm.

After walking for a kilometer, he started to think about whether the tractor would be available: “I hope that Jackson isn’t using it today, he won’t be willing to lend it to me if he needs it himself…”

After a further kilometer, he started to worry even more: “What happens if Jackson’s tractor is worth a lot of money? He may not trust me with it, especially since I crashed my own…”

As he neared Jackson’s farm he thought some more: “Actually, I saw Jackson at the market last week, and he didn’t acknowledge me. Maybe he doesn’t like me. There’s no chance he’ll lend me his tractor.”

Finally, Donald arrived at Jackson’s farm, walked up the path and rung the doorbell.

“Well, good morning Donald, nice to see you, what can I do for you today?” asked Jackson.

Donald replied, with eyes bulging, “You can take your damn tractor and drive yourself off a cliff!”

Handling Objections

People are cynics. When it comes to sales copy and websites, they always think the worse. They may have actively sought your services out via online searches or by asking friends for suggestions, but as soon as they start to read what you have to say, they become doubters and start to question your motivations and the accuracy and legitimacy of your claims.

“Oh sure, they say they can paint my house for half the price. But what will it look like when they’re finished? I expect half of the paint will have chipped off by this time next year.”

Writing great copy entails anticipating what objections and doubts your customers may have and heading them off before they get in the way of a sale or conversion. One great way to do this is via a smart strapline. Take weight watchers for example:

Weight Watchers Slogan: Don't eat less, eat smart

This slogan is great because it overcomes one of the most common objections potential dieters voice, fear of being hungry all the time. It is specific, punchy and straight to the point—the big message here is that you can lose weight without suffering.

Another great way in which your written copy can handle objections is within the headline itself. Say, for example, you run a site that advertises car sales. Many of your customers may talk themselves out of contacting you because they don’t want to commit to the next step. A useful headline for your site may be:

Why “Just Looking” Can Cost You Your Dream Car.

Copywriting Tips:

  • The best copy anticipates the objections that a potential customer may have and heads them off before they get in the way of the sale.
  • Consider including a FAQ section on your site or in your article. Anticipate the questions that will be asked and casually answer each one.

If you need help perfecting your objection handling techniques, get a professional editor on the job!