Buffer statements are subtle yet powerful tools used by salespeople to manage customer emotions, alleviate objections, and move conversations constructively toward closing sales. Designed to create psychological distance, buffer statements help the salesperson maintain control of challenging discussions.
When used skillfully, buffer statements transform angry, worried, or confused customers into receptive, engaged partners. They redirect emotional energy into logical, beneficial dialogue centered on the key features, advantages, and value propositions that could fulfill the customer’s needs. Buffer statements represent the mindset of listening, resolving concerns, building trust, and ensuring a superior experience—cornerstones of sales success.
While buffer statements rely on careful listening and nuanced responses rather than overt persuasion tactics, they are not about avoidance or placating customers. Rather, they provide an opportunity to thoughtfully work through objections, address doubts, and build confidence in recommendations at a gradual, reassuring pace. The goal is progress, not stalling. With regular practice, the implementation of buffer statements becomes second nature, enabling salespeople to navigate even the most complex, emotionally charged customer conversations.
When used authentically, buffer statements lead to higher quality solutions, expanded relationships, and a reputation for integrity, expertise, and excellence that continually brings new customers through the door. Above all else, they represent the kind of service experience that gains lifelong loyalty.
Common types of buffer statements
There are several categories of buffer statements that salespeople employ to navigate customer difficulties and keep conversations progressing in a positive direction. The specific buffer statements used depend on the underlying emotions, objections, or lack of understanding being expressed.
Agree and acknowledge statements validate the customer perspective while still reframing it towards a solution-focused mindset. For example, “I can understand your concern.” “That’s a fair point.” These statements avoid direct disagreement but also do not confirm the emotion as truth.
Empathy statements convey that the emotional experience is normal and expected. For example, “It’s normal to feel that way.” “I can certainly see why you feel frustrated.” They alleviate the customer’s feeling judged or unsupported in their reaction.
Reassurance statements build confidence in the recommendations, products, and company while recognizing the cause of doubt. For example, “We stand by our product and customer satisfaction guarantee.” “We have a proven track record of success with customers in your situation.” They reaffirm integrity and a commitment to exceeding expectations.
Delayed response statements involve pausing for a few seconds of silence before addressing the underlying objection or emotion. The pause allows the initial reaction to subside, avoiding escalation. When a response is finally given, the conversation is in a calmer state. Delayed responses also demonstrate that the salesperson is considering the issue thoroughly before responding.
While these categories of buffer statements have different phrasing, they share a common aim of managing adverse reactions, re-framing negative perspectives into positive ones, and transitioning difficult discussions into a collaborative, solutions-focused dialogue. The skill comes from using the most appropriate buffer statements for each unique customer and situation.
How and when to use buffer statements
Buffer statements should be used whenever a customer expresses doubts, objections, concerns, or negative emotions that threaten to derail the conversation. They provide an opportunity to acknowledge the underlying issue while still maintaining forward momentum.
Buffer statements can be delivered verbally or in writing, such as via email or messaging. When used verbally, they allow for the most immediate response and ability to gauge the customer’s reaction. However, written buffer statements also have value as they give the opportunity to thoughtfully craft the phrasing. Either way, the goal is to appear open, caring, and non-confrontational rather than defensive.
Aim to use buffer statements as a mechanism to gain additional time, prevent emotional escalation and form a strategic response. They provide a “buffer” that allows constructive thinking during a challenging interaction. Responding in haste often leads to arguments, hurt feelings, and obstructed progress. By contrast, delayed responses via buffer statements facilitate resolution and agreement.
Buffer statements should be repeated and revisited as needed throughout a complex sales conversation. Objections or emotions do not usually arise and dissolve instantly. Continuing to acknowledge and reframe perspectives leads customers from doubt to belief through gradual shifts in thinking. While a single buffer statement may not resolve deep-seated worries, an ongoing dialogue using them transparently and authentically can build trust and pave the way to closed sales.
Only use buffer statements as a tool to work through obstacles constructively, not avoid dealing with issues altogether. Reframe emotional reasoning into logical, advantages-based explanations focused on the benefits of recommendations for the customer. The transition from a place of understanding to proposing next steps that move forward at a comfortable, assured pace.
When deployed successfully, buffer statements can transform customers from emotional reactors to rational, engaged partners focused on finding the optimal solution to their key needs. With regular practice, delivering buffer statements becomes second nature, enabling the resolution of even the most complicated sales conversations.
Specific examples of buffer statements in use
To illustrate the use of buffer statements, here are a few examples of customer objections or concerns and possible responses using buffer statements:
Customer: “This seems really expensive. I’m not sure I can afford it.”
Response: “I understand the perceived cost is a concern. However, when you consider the value and benefits this will provide over the lifetime of the product, the actual cost of ownership is far more affordable than you might expect.” (Buffer: Agree & acknowledge the concern, reframe cost vs value.)
Customer: “Do you really have customers who have had success with this? I find it hard to believe.”
Response: “Absolutely, I have countless case studies and testimonials I can share with you. Would any of those from customers in a similar situation to yours be helpful? We only work with products and solutions that have a proven track record of results.” (Buffer: Reassure through evidence and credentials, reframe hard-to-believe as reasonable with success stories.)
Customer: “This all seems too good to be true. There must be a catch.”
Response: “It’s normal and smart to be skeptical of any solution that promises a lot. However, we have built our reputation and business over many years by consistently delivering on our promises and providing solutions to complex problems. The ‘catch’ is simply that our products work as advertised. When a solution seems too good to be true, it often is—except in this case.” (Buffer: Empathy for skepticism, reassure catch via reputation and results, reframe too good to be true as truth for this solution.)
Customer: “I’m worried I’ll make the wrong choice here.”
Response: “It is absolutely normal and prudent to exercise caution when making an important purchasing decision. We do not take that lightly whatsoever, and that is precisely why we have done the hard work for you by curating our product line so carefully. When you leave here today, I want you to feel confident that you investigated all options thoroughly and found the optimal solutions to suit your unique needs.” (Buffer: Empathize worry, reframe as prudent, reassure hard work/carefully chosen, aim to end feeling fully confident in choice.)
In conclusion, buffer statements represent a mindset of listening, understanding, and resolving customer needs—a mindset that is key to success in sales. When used authentically, buffer statements lead to higher-quality solutions, stronger relationships, and a reputation for integrity that continually brings new customers through the door.
Buffer statements provide subtle yet influential tools for addressing concerns, managing emotions, and moving conversations constructively toward partnership and closed sales. Rather than confronting or overwhelming objections, they give room to reflect, relieve anxiety, and reconsider perspectives in a caring, non-confrontational manner. Meticulously crafted for the unique situation, buffer statements transform anger or uncertainty into opportunity.
While the specific techniques of buffer statements vary, including agreeing & acknowledging, empathy, reassurance, or delayed response, they share a common purpose. That purpose is progress over persuasion, trust over tactics and ultimate customer gain over short-term wins. When implemented skillfully, buffer statements pave the way for needs to be fulfilled, partnerships to form, and loyal brand advocacy to thrive.
Above all else, the ability to use buffer statements proficiently stems from a commitment to listening, resolving difficulties compassionately, and delivering an experience of excellence at every interaction. That commitment to service as an art form builds the foundation for success in both individual sales and business growth over the long run. Buffer statements are about putting customers first, meeting them where they are, and helping them arrive at where they want to be.