Defusing "Yes, but..."

We’ve all dealt with clients or customers that respond to an idea with “Yes, but….” It is agreement and disagreement sweetly wrapped together in a succinct response that all but guarantees to put an end to whatever was being discussed. There are ways around this killer phrase that you can use to move the conversation forward and win the deal.

Focus on “but…”

When someone response with “Yes, but…” try to find out what they are really concerned about. This phrase almost always precedes another phrase that is really the issue. Some of these are “It’s not in the budget” or “We don’t work that way” as well as others. Find out what the real concern is so you can focus on addressing it. Avoid re-pitching your idea again and instead address the concern.

They Want More

“Yes, but…” is a way of asking for more information. They have concerns and they want to know how you overcome them. That’s fair enough. Be prepared by thinking through any objections your client or customer might have so you can address them when you hear the phrase. The more detail you can provide the better.

Involve Them

Ask your client or customer what they would do to address their concern. If their concern is that they have never worked that way before, ask them if their is a way to incorporate your proposal into their way of doing things. You would be surprise, they might just tell you how to overcome their concerns or objections.

“Yes, but…” is often used to end a conversation. Paying attention to what the real concerns or objections are will let you turn the conversation stopper into a dialogue. Address their concerns by giving them more information with as much detail as possible. Ask them how they would deal with the objections they have and involve them and their ideas in the conversation. You will be able to turn “Yes, but…” around and win the deal.

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