3 Ways to Handle: “I Don’t Have Time for the Presentation”

We’ve all been there – you call your prospect back at the appointed time for your presentation and they tell you any of the following:

This isn’t a good time, OR

I’ve got another meeting in 10 minutes, OR

“How long will this take?” OR

What to do? First, understand what’s happening here:

Remember the law in sales: Leads Never Get Better! 

If you sent out the hottest lead ever, a “10” on a scale of 1 – 10, when you call them back, have you ever noticed that now they’re about a “7”? 

And, since many sales reps don’t qualify thoroughly enough, most of the leads they stuff into their pipeline are made up of 6’s and 7’s. 

And you can imagine how they are when reps reach them.

So, expect that your leads are going to drop in interest and receptiveness when you call them back, and then be prepared with a best practice approach to handling them. 

Rather than set another time to get back with them—thus letting the prospect off the hook—try the following:

Response #1:

“Sure, I can take as long or little as you need.  Let’s do this: why don’t you tell me the top three things you were hoping to learn about this, and I’ll drill right down and cover those areas for you.  What’s number one for you?”

[This response will get them to reveal what (or how much) interest your prospect really has.]

Response #2:

“No problem. Our presentation is pretty in depth, but I can do this. Go ahead and tell me two things that are absolute deal breakers for you, and I’ll see if we pass the test. And then if we do, we’ll schedule some more time later to go into detail on how the rest works, fair enough?”

[This response is designed to get them to reveal what possible objections they have.]

Response #3:

“In ten minutes, I can show you some things that will help you determine whether or not you’d like to spend more time with me later. In the meantime, let me ask you – what would you need to see the most for this to work for you?”

[This approach cuts to the chase and acts like a mini trial close. Try it: you’ll be surprised by what you hear.]

Bonus #4:

“I understand, we’re all busy. Let me just ask you: has anything changed from when we last spoke?”  (Now REALLY listen…)

[This is the approach to use if you hear in their tone that they have completely lost interest—or won’t set a follow up call with you.]

As you can see, the responses above are all aimed at getting your prospect to reveal to you both their level of interest and what it is going to take to sell them – or whether or not they are still a good prospect for you.

Have some fun with these; customize them to fit your personality or the personality of the person you’re speaking with.

Find your favorites and then, as always, practice, drill and rehearse until they become your automatic response when your prospect tells you they don’t have time for your presentation. 

Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?


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