Direct denial is one of several common techniques used by salespeople when responding to certain types of buyer concerns. This approach works well when responding to misstatements of fact. The point is to appease the concerns of the prospect to get him to buy.

Direct vs. Indirect

As the name suggests, direct denial, though not abrasive, is a denial of a falsehood or misconception where you want to leave no doubt in your response. It is different from indirect denial, where a sales rep acknowledges a prospect's feelings. For example, if a potential customer at a repair shop tells you he has "been ripped off by repair shops before," you might respond with a statement like "I certainly understand your concern," before denying that this is an issue with your business or product. This is an example of indirect denial.


The direct denial method often occurs in response to buyer concerns that reflect falsehoods. For instance, a buyer might say "I like your product, but someone at Company X said you have poor service." Naturally, it is easier to deny this statement if you have proof that it is untrue. You could say "We pride ourselves on our service and stand behind it with a money-back guarantee" or "Customer Service Magazine rated us a 4.5 star service provider."


Some buyer concerns are rooted more in misconceptions about product capabilities than falsehoods about your company or products. Direct denial still applies since you are refuting distortion of truth or facts. For example, a customer at a retail store might say, "I don't need Clorox because it is only used to bleach clothes." As the sales associate, you could reply "Actually, Clorox has a number of uses, including sanitizing germs and cleaning up spills."


One of the most important tools you have in selling a quality product is a demonstration. Thus, the best way to directly deny product-related concerns is with the product itself. If a buyer questions whether your knife can actually cut through steel, you simply say "I guarantee it can. Let me show you." When you demonstrate that the knife can cut through steel, you have successfully refuted the customer's concern. Seeing is believing.