Objection Categories: The Best Response To Any Objection

February 4, 2024

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

Objections can be a major stumbling block if not anticipated and managed correctly.

At the heart of many lost opportunities are objections that catch architecture firms off guard. These objections can range from concerns about timing and budget to doubts about the architect's suitability for the project.

But the objections themselves are not the issue. Objections are a natural part of the process. The problem arises from a lack of preparedness and understanding to appropriately address the objections.

Many architects operate on a reactive basis and prefer not to think about objections until they happen. But there are three problems with this approach:

  • It's reactionary, leaving architects scrambling to devise a response on the spot.

  • It lacks a feedback loop for improvement, meaning the same objections will continue to stump you time and again.

  • It signals a failure to genuinely understand and address the client's concerns, leading to a higher likelihood of losing the contract.

Anticipate and Categorize

Instead, I want to share how you can anticipate and categorize objections. This will help you to better prepare for those closing conversations so you can appropriately address client objections and avoid losing opportunities.

Here are the three categories of objections and how to respond to each:

01 // Time

Time objections are concerns about the project's timeline, including the start and completion dates, and whether the current moment is the right time for the project. For example:

  • "We were hoping to start the project sooner."

  • "The project timeline is too aggressive."

  • "Can the project be completed faster?"

02 // Money

Money objections relate to the project's cost, encompassing the architect's fees, the overall budget, and the perceived value or return on investment (ROI) of the project. For example:

  • "How do we know we're getting the best value for our investment?"

  • "We're not sure we can afford this project at your quoted price."

  • "Your fees are higher than we anticipated."

03 // Relationship

Relationship objections revolve around trust and decision-making, including the need to consult with others or compare with other options, and doubts about whether the architect is the right choice for the project. For example:

  • "We need to consult with our board (or another decision-maker) before proceeding."

  • "We've had a bad experience in the past with a similar project."

  • "We're still considering other architects."

Responding Effectively

Each objection category has its kryptonite. After identifying the category of an objection, it becomes much easier to understand the most effective way to respond.

  • Time → Education: Time objections stem from a lack of understanding or a misunderstanding in process. So they require educating the client about the process of working with an architect and completing a project. You should explain how a well-planned timeline ensures quality outcomes, why certain phases cannot be rushed, and how flexibility in timing can benefit the project's overall success.

  • Money → Value: Money objections stem from a lack of understanding in the value of your services. Architects should reinforce the value they bring to the table, tying their fees to the quality of work and the outcomes the client desires (based on what they learned from the discovery meeting and pain points). Discussing the three different ROI’s and anchoring the fee relative to the total project costs can also help mitigate money objections.

  • Relationship → Social Proof: Relational objections generally stem from a lack of trust or confidence in your ability to execute. Respond by sharing social proof, such as testimonials and case studies from satisfied clients, demonstrating expertise and reliability, and showing understanding of the client's specific needs and goals (again referring back to the discover meeting and their pain points).


Anticipating and categorizing objections moves architects from a reactive to a proactive stance, allowing for a strategic response to objections that addresses the underlying concerns. It also creates a feedback loop for continuous improvement, as firms learn which objections are most common and refine their preemptive strategies accordingly.

Understanding the nature of objections and preparing tailored responses ensures that architects are not just defending their position but actively demonstrating their value and aligning with the client's needs.

  1. Identify the category of the objection: time, money, or relationship.

  2. Then, respond with the appropriate content: time → education, money → value, relationship → social proof.

One thing I didn’t cover here is a framework for wording and responding to those objections in a friendly and conversational way so that your clients stay engaged. If you prefer more templates or examples for responding to objections, then check out these three tactics below:

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