This tool helps you to be able to manage in the moment. When we want to manage in the moment, we’re going to try and remember all the learning, the training we’ve done and apply the smart language. Now, I’ve just found this one very simple and easy-to-remember tool we can use in those moments, especially when you’re under pressure. You’re on the spot and you have to deal with the objection of the person in front of you or the person on the phone.

The type of objections you might experience can be things like,

This is why I’m not buying your product.

These are fairly common ones in the sales arena, but it can also be,

I’m not buying into your idea.

I’m not agreeing with you.

I am not taking on board with what you’re saying.

I’m not going to adapt to what you’re recommending.

I’m not happy with the way things are, the service you provide and what you’re communicating with me.

There can be a whole range of things that people can object to in different scenarios, and this tool can pretty much apply in most of those areas.

What you want to do when handling objections is to apply empathy and NOT sympathy.

Sympathy is where you basically say,

I’m really sorry for you.

I’m sorry you’re feeling like that.

I’m sorry you feel that way.

It’s very detached from that person and it’s almost like you’re looking down on them saying, “Oh, you poor thing.” We don’t want to create that experience.

Whereas with empathy, it’s where you’re very much walking alongside them.

Empathy means that you understand what it feels like to be in their shoes.

You’ve got some direction or some guidance, or simply some support that you can give them that is going to ease the process for them, and it allows them to be more resilient rather than wallowing in their self-pity.

So, this is how you remember the tool. What we do is use what’s called alliteration.

Alliterations are where there’s a sequence of words or phrases that rhyme or they sound the same, or the first letter of the word is the same. It’s kind of like a little nursery rhyme or a poem that we can remember in the moment. We’ve all grown up with those in school to be able to help us memorize grammar or spelling, etc.

Now, this is how this tool works. All you have to remember is, “feel, felt, found.”

You just remember feel, felt, found in the moment as a recipe for how you respond to the person’s objection.

1. Feel

Essentially you want to say, “I know how you feel.”

You can even start the sentence with, “Look, I know how you feel.” You want to mirror words that they’ve just communicated to you.

“You know, I know how you feel. You’ve just said to me how angry this is making you feel”


“I know how you feel. You’re frustrated.”

Whatever the word is that they used, you mirror it back to them if you can.

If you can’t, then you can reflect back on what you observed from them raising their voice, feeling angry or anything you sense from what they’re saying to demonstrate that they’re frustrated.

Let them know that you are listening. Mirroring their words and paraphrasing show that you are listening.

2. Felt

This means, “I have felt the same way” or “I’ve had a customer or a client or someone similar who has felt the same way.” This demonstrates that you understand. Ideally, you’re telling a similar scenario, so they know you understand them, but more importantly, they know that you understand the problem, or the issues they’re experiencing.

3. Found

So, when you can demonstrate that you or someone has felt the same way, then they’ll know that you understand them.

Lastly, you say, “This is what I’ve found. ”This is where you provide them with a solution or method of acceptance.

Essentially, you’re saying, “We’ve found that if you apply this, this is what’s happened.”

Let’s say I’m objecting to the price of a product. I don’t want to spend that much on a particular product and we’re going to empathize, “I know how that feels”, but here is the ‘found’ part you add to this is:

“What we’ve found is that if you buy this particular model of chair, it will just break. It won’t last very long and you’ll have to replace it more often. However, if you buy this model of chair, what we’ve found and what our customers have found is it lasts a lot longer and the warranty is excellent. The supplier is really good at replacing or repairing chairs if anything goes wrong and you save money in the long run by investing in this quality chair in the first place.”

Feel, felt, found is very easy to remember in the moment. That’s what you need when you’re under pressure and when someone is pushing back to you or complaining about the situation.

I’d love to hear your experiences of this.

Perhaps this is something you would like to try in the environments you’re experiencing, and hopefully this supports you to feel more confident when you’re having some of those difficult conversations or wanting to negotiate.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments below.

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About the Author

Barbara Clifford - The Time Tamer
Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a co-founder of The Hinwood Institute. She is the lead trainer and coach in Time Management. She is a recognized leader in Stress Management. An experienced coach, speaker, columnist and facilitator, Barbara’s work with The Hinwood Institute assists people to unclutter mess, make order from chaos, and swap the shackles of overwhelming for freedom. Barbara’s clients move from the relentless hamster wheel to waking inspired, motivated, making decisions with purpose and achieving peak performance. She lives in the desert of Alice Springs, Australia working with people around the country.

Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships


  • Give them words of empathy, NOT sympathy.
  • Mirror and paraphrase their words.
  • Remember the feel, felt and found.


  • Just sympathise with what they’re saying.
  • Make them feel like you pity them.
  • Take their problem negatively.
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