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5 Basic Objections: How to Raise Them and Refute Them

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

Updated 5.3.24

These 5 basic objections are the most common ways a reader puts up resistance as she reads your content.

Objections pop up in a reader’s mind when she reads anything with a call to action, from a landing page to a sales letter, appeal letter, prospecting letter, need statement in a grant application, or even in an article or blog post that makes a clear point with an action step. 

A call to action presents the reader with a choice. Will she buy into your offer or argument – or dismiss it?

To be honest, it’s much easier for human beings to maintain the status quo rather than make a decision to buy a product or service, listen to a new argument, or consider a point of view different from your own.

Often, a reader isn’t even aware that she’s resisting you. 

By raising these basic objections in your content, you catch her off guard. Now the wall is down and she is able to hear your evidence, logic, or reasoning. Motivational speaker Brian Tracy says, “Treat objections as requests for further information.” As you address objections head on, you have the opportunity to showcase the benefits of your product, service, or argument.

(Here are more reasons why raising these basic objections is a powerful persuasive writing technique.)

In other words, raising one or more of these 5 basic objections disarms your reader and allows her to be receptive to what you have to say. 

And doing so gives you the opportunity to reveal benefits, make an offer, or bring the reader around to your line of thinking.

Wherever possible, raise and refute one or more of these basic objections in your content before your reader even thinks to ask about them.

5 basic objections and how to refute them with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #PersuasiveWriting #WritingTips

5 Basic Objections to Raise With Your Reader

Objection # 1: Overwhelm

  • I don’t have enough time.
  • I’m too busy right now
  • I have too much going on
  • I can try that in a few months

Everyone is bombarded with information and offers and your reader is no exception. She wants to dismiss yours quickly and looks for any excuse to do so. 

What To Do: Simplify the solution. Show why your solution or position meets your reader’s need easily. 

Example: It takes just minutes to set up your account, choose your first email template, and send an email campaign. 

Objection #2:  Value

  • I can’t afford it.
  • It’s too expensive.
  • I don’t have the money.
  • I can get this cheaper somewhere else.

In truth, your reader may be able to afford the cost, whether it’s in dollars, effort, emotional energy, or other expenditure. She’s simply not convinced that your offer is worth the price. 

What To Do: Use your content to show how to solve her problem in the most economical, efficient, or reasonable option. Point out what  your reader stands to gain from using your product or service as well as what she stands to lose by leaving it behind. 

Example: There’s no more economical way to stay in front of readers than with this email service provider.

Objection #3: Skepticism

  • I don’t believe you.
  • It won’t work for me.
  • I’ve tried that before.
  • That doesn’t make sense to me.

Your reader may believe your argument is valid or that your product or service works … but it won’t work for her. Perhaps she has tried other similar services that were unsuccessful. Maybe she believes her problem is insurmountable and needs extra proof.

What To Do: Show proof that you, your product, or your service will do what you say. Offer credentials, case studies, testimonials of what other users say. Provide before and after images and statistics. Where possible, give a money back guarantee or simple return policy.

Example: One in four small businesses use our email service provider.

Objection #4: Fear

  • I’m not ready.
  • I’m not sure this is the right time.
  • I need to check with my wife/husband.
  • I don’t think we have the staff to handle that.

Why take a leap or make a change when you don’t know what might happen or are concerned that you cannot manage it? Alternatively, your reader may be afraid that things will change for the better and she won’t know how to handle the improvements on her own.

What To Do: Address genuine concerns about the reader’s pain point. Does she really want to continue with the way things are? Give reassurance that she won’t go it alone by offering customer support, a community, or connections. Explain why she has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Example: The time to start using email is yesterday. And you won’t go it alone. Our customer service is available 24/7 to help you take the plunge.  

Objection #5: Complacency

  • I don’t need it.
  • I’m happy with what I’ve got.
  • I already use X.
  • I can do it on my own.

The reader thinks she’s doing just fine. Or she may simply not want to take the trouble to make a change. She can easily come up with reasons not to read, click, share, buy, or give.

What To Do:  Present the FOMO – that is, the Fear Of Missing Out. Your reader may not be aware of what life can be like … how she can solve a key pain point… or that she even has a pain point at all. Show her.

Example: Your current email service provider could be costing you dozens of new contacts each week.

As you go about writing your next project, remember that your reader is facing a choice. Will she listen to what you have to say or dismiss it outright? 

Help her to hear you. Face her objections with her.

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