Ask Kathy: Restate or Agree – Then Probe

By Kathy Sisk

Kathy: After a prospect raises an objection, how can I regain control of the call?

Answer: The key is to use a method not usually used by your competitors – one that is not typical in a sales environment. This helps to set you apart and impress your prospect with your unique style of presentation. TheRestate or Agree – Then Probe” method is one of six methods you can use to take back control of the call.

This method helps you to narrow down the real issue. However, this strategy is only effective if the objection can be restated in a positive way. You will either 1) restate and probe or 2) agree and probe. Here are some examples.

Example 1: Objection: “I can’t afford it.”

Restate: “What you’re saying is that if it were cost-effective and profitable, you would consider it. Is that correct?”

Probe: “Other than affordability, what other concerns do you have?” (This probe helps to isolate the objection, making sure there isn’t anything else standing in the way.)

Example 2: Objection: “Send me information.”

Agree and Probe: “I would be happy to. What additional information do you need that would be helpful to you?”

Example 3: Objection: “I’m not interested.”

Agree and Probe: “I appreciate you being open with me. What are some of your concerns?”

By restating the objection, you can get a confirmation from your prospect and focus on the real issue. You can then proceed to some probing questions. However, if a restatement doesn’t make sense to use, instead agree and probe. Agreeing is used to help defuse the objection so your prospect will actively listen and respond to your probing questions more openly.

Once you have either restated and probed or agreed and probed, you then must outweigh your prospect’s objection with features and benefits, get a reaction, and if your prospect’s response is positive, close.

Email your questions to

Kathy Sisk is founder and president of Kathy Sisk Enterprises Inc., located in California. Kathy is a trainer and consultant, contributing thirty-five years of expertise to the telemarketing, sales, and customer service industries. She is a published author with many manuals and books, including Overcoming Objections and Successful Telemarketing.

[From Connection Magazine Jul/Aug 2013]