“I’ve had several prospects tell me to call them back “after the holidays” but now that the holidays are over, they are telling me to call next month or quarter. What gives?”
That can be very frustrating for someone who needs to make a living selling by phone. On the one hand, we don’t want to be the BOILER ROOM pushy sales person, (I do love that movie though) and on the other hand, we don’t want to be such a pushover that our job security becomes, well, less secure.
So what to do?
Well the ultimate solution is to avoid that response from happening to begin with. You accomplish that by (on the previous call) establishing that a problem exists. Most sales people focus on explaining their solution, rather than understanding the problem. I get that it’s a little late for that advice now, so let’s try to do some patchwork on your list of “call backs”.
Here’s some good news:
There are only two reasons why a prospect will say “call me next month / quarter / year” Etc.:
• It’s a blow-off; or
• It’s a valid reason
The important part of breaking down the problem into these two options is this:
We can formulate and execute a game plan.
Knowing that it’s either one or the other, we can have a prepared response that will do two things:
So, How Do I Identify? And How Do I Handle It?
There are several ways. Here’s one of them:
Prospect: “yes, I appreciate you following up with me after the holidays. Now is not a good time. Try me back next quarter”
Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, before I let you go, quick question for you, and I won’t be offended… Are you just being polite and don’t want to tell me that you really don’t see any value in what we have to offer or is it that timing just isn’t right, right now?”
Your prospect can only answer one of two ways:
They don’t see any value. To which you can respond any number of ways such as:
“Fair enough. Before I move you to my NO NEED list and never bother you again, do you mind if I ask you just a couple of quick questions to make sure we aren’t about to make a mistake? (DON’T PAUSE FOR ANSWER) The reason why I ask is because we have helped (competitor 1, 2, and 3) avoid ______ and gain ______ which is why I thought you would be a good fit. Would a few quick questions be OK?” (NOW LET THEM ANSWER)
And now that they’ve lowered their guard and gave you permission to ask a few quick questions, you have a final shot to try and hit their hot buttons and or uncover a problem they are interested in having solved.
And if they originally responded with:
No, we are still interested, timing just isn’t right at the moment.
You can respond with:
“OK thanks for sharing that with me. I’ll update my notes. So I don’t interrupt your day with needless calls, when should we speak again?”
Once they give you a date, take a shot at shortening the sales cycle. Something genuine and to the point like:
“Mr. Prospect, if there was anything I could do to help (mention the pain point) sooner, what would it be?”
They may say, “There’s nothing” or they may say there is something you can do.
Either way, you will now know where you stand and what needs to happen next.
Having a game plan that is designed to IDENTIFY and HANDLE this type of situation sure beats the “just checking in” routine and hoping for the best.
Another MAJOR reason why sales people get this type of response is because they MIS-CATEGORIZED the prospects role in the decision making process.
Meaning, the sales person labeled them as a decision maker or part of the decision making team when in reality they truly do NOT have a vote in the final decision. This is why it is so important to follow a strategic sales process that ensures you cover all your bases, so that you no longer have to fall into these sales traps.
Contributed by Salesbuzz.com