Ask Kathy: Mastering Feel-Felt-Found

By Kathy Sisk

Question: The “feel, felt, found” technique is used a lot when overcoming objections; how can I use it, but not sound so cliché?

Answer: Many sales and customer service agents tend to use this technique as their first attempt to overcome resistance. The drawback is that it may sound too familiar to your prospect or customer. However, when used properly, this technique can be an excellent method.

When using the “feel, felt, found” technique, strive for both unique and unfamiliar wording. Do not say, “I understand how you feel, and others have felt the same way until they found that.…”

Here are some alternative suggestions.

Feel: Empathy; put yourself in your prospect’s place:

“I respect what you’re saying.”

“I appreciate your concern.”

“Thank you for letting me know that.”

Felt: Relate; get them to understand that their concerns are not unique:

“Many people I speak with share the same concerns.”

“It’s not uncommon today.”

Found: Offer solutions; give them objective answers:

“Until they discovered…”

“Until they had an opportunity to…”

Try not to sound canned; you must be sincere and genuine to come across naturally. Avoid using the words feel, felt, and found. Instead, be more creative by using some of the above options, or create your own. For example:

“I appreciate your concern about the cost, and I know that getting the best value for your investment is important to you. What we can do is evaluate what you have now and compare it to what we are offering. If we’re unable to make a positive difference in upgrading you cost effectively, then we don’t deserve your business. Does that sound fair enough?”

Here’s an example when dealing with irate customers:

“I appreciate you being open with me, and I apologize that you were inconvenienced. What I can do is see what can be done to turn this situation around so that you are happy with our efforts. Does that sound agreeable?”

With both examples, you must overcome or outweigh their concerns. In sales you overcome with features and benefits; in customer service you overcome with a resolution.

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 October 2013]

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