“Yes, and”: Overcome Objections Like A Comedian

January 14, 2024

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

I’ve been fortunate enough to have great leaders around me over the past few years.

One of my first sales coaches was a former comedian. (As it turns out, humor is a great quality to have in sales - you’ll learn why a bit further down.)

I was only a few months into my new sales role after having spent 2+ years building and running my own architecture design studio. I kept hitting the same objection from my prospects (architects) and I couldn’t figure out how to best respond.

After a pleasant phone conversation, I would suggest setting some time aside to review our project management software, Monograph. Half of the time, the person on the other end of the phone agreed to meet. The other half of the time, they’d say, “Can you just email me some information so I can take a look?”

I used to hear variations of this objection a lot when I ran my architecture design studio too. Do these sound familiar?

  • “How about you just send me a quote?”

  • “Can we talk about this project in a few months?”

  • “Will you email me the proposal so we can take a look?”

As you try to move a prospective client to the next step of your sales cycle, they’re essentially saying, “Let me think about this without your input.”

Why is this a problem?

01 // Time kills sales

This is no secret. The longer it takes for prospects to move through a sales cycle, the less likely they are to sign a contract. If you don’t schedule next steps with the prospect, it only becomes infinitely more difficult to move them forward.

02 // You are the expert

Remove the picture from your mind that a salesperson is some sleazy guy from a 1970s car dealership that will tell you whatever you want to hear as long as you buy a car. That is not sales. That’s just greed. Nobody wants that.

Sales is not about selling. Sales is about solving. You are the expert that can evaluate whether or not your firm is the best solution to a problem (because you see the same problems over and over). You’re not the right solution? Refer them to another firm. You are the best solution? Awesome, you will make their lives infinitely better.

Using “Yes, and…” to overcome objections

Back to my story! After listening to my problem, my sales coach said, “You just need to use the ‘Yes, and…’ approach.”

“What’s that?” I replied.

Remember how I said that my sales coach used to be a comedian? Well, a common training and improvisation technique for comedians is the “Yes, and…” tactic. Here’s how it works:

  1. Your partner begins by making a claim. For example, “Monkeys have invisible wings that allow them to fly.”

  2. Instead of rejecting that claim, you accept the claim by saying, “Yes.”

  3. Then, you say “and…” to support the claim by continuing the conversation. For example, “Yes, and their wings can only function for 30 seconds at a time.”

  4. Your partner must then continue with “Yes, and…” — then round and round it goes. I can only imagine how ridiculous these conversations must become.

The important concept for you to understand is that “Yes, and…” will help you accept an objection and continue the conversation. As long as the conversation continues, the objection is less likely to be a road block. For example:

  • Prospective client: “Can you just send me some more information so I can take a look?”

  • You: “Yes, and let’s find some time early next week so I can hear your thoughts. Does Tuesday at 2pm work for you?”

This tactic was transformative for me. It works incredibly well. Here are some more examples for common objections faced by architects:

Objection: Send me a quote

  • Prospective client: “How about you just send me a quote?”

  • You: “Yes, and let’s meet first so I can make sure that you get the most accurate quote and I understand what you need. Does Tuesday at 2pm work for you?”

Objection: Timeline delay

  • Prospective client: “Can we talk about this project in a few months?”

  • You: “Yes, and can you help me understand why you don’t feel that now is the right time?”

Objection: Send me an email

  • Prospective client: “Will you email me the proposal so we can take a look?”

  • You: “Yes, and I want to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. Can I swing by your office later this afternoon to review it with you?”


When meeting with a prospective client, you’re goals are to (1) be genuinely interested in helping them solve their problems and (2) continue to move them through your sales cycle.

Naturally, you’ll face objections and hesitancies throughout the process. Instead of letting an objection end the conversation (and perhaps the sale), use the “Yes, and…” technique to accept and continue the conversation.

And if you’re looking for other objection-handling tactics for architects, be sure to check out AAA and FFFF.

Remember, you are the expert! 🙂

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