Closing Questions to Isolate the Objection

One of the most effective ways to deal with objections or stalls is simply to ask questions and isolate them. This works because many objections you get when closing are not actually objections at all – instead they’re smokescreens hiding what the real reason or objection is. The reason sales reps have trouble with them is because they believe them and either try to overcome them or simply give up and opt to “call back later.”

What you must do is get to the bottom of what’s REALLY holding a prospect back. Is it because they have a better deal elsewhere? Is it because they know their boss would never let them get a new product or service? Is it because they don’t have the budget or because the price is too high? Is it because they aren’t the real decision maker, or because they aren’t qualified to make the decision on this at all? Is it because their current supplier or agent can always offer them a better price to keep their business? Is it because they don’t know enough about how your particular product or service will really benefit them? Or is it because they think the learning curve will be too disruptive to their business? Is it because they don’t believe in your value prop? You get the idea…

There are many factors that might be standing behind the objection you’re getting, and the only way to effectively overcome them is to know what the real or deciding factor is. And you do that by questioning your prospect. Not in an interrogative way, but rather in a consultative way. You do it with layering questions and assumptive questions. You do it by using or adapting the questions below to fit your product or service and your personality.

From the list below, choose the ones that feel right to you and then adapt them, post them in your cubicle, or record and listen to them until they become second nature:

Closing Questions to Isolate the Objection

“_________, there is something that seems to be bothering you about this – would you mind sharing with me what it is?”

“It sounds like there something else that you’d like to share with me about that. What else should I know about this?”

“What would you say is an example of why you need to think about this?”

“_________, help me get an idea of what you’re thinking about here…”

“Tell me what I need to know so I understand where you’re at on this?”

“What other vendors are you looking at for this?”

“What do you think is the biggest reason for not going with this now?”

“I totally get that you need to (think about it), what one thing about this do you think you’ll need to think about most?”

“You know __________, it sounds like this is really important to you – can you tell me why?”

“How does making a decision on this affect you or your department?”

“__________ what else do I need to know to get the full picture on this?”

“If you went with this and it didn’t work out, how would that affect you?”

“If you went with this and it did work out, how would that affect you?”

“_________, just out of curiosity, how did you get to that?”

“How much of this decision is up to you?”

“And what is your personal perspective on this?”

“Can you tell me a little more about that, please?”

“How does your upper management fit into this?”

“If you decided to go with this, is the budget there?”

“How about you – what are your feelings on this?”

“And how much influence do YOU have?”

“You know, I keep hearing you say X, but I keep feeling that you mean something else. What might that be?”

“What aren’t you telling me?”

“How would this fit into your (budget, plans, initiatives,) right now?”

“I think what you’re telling me is __________, is that correct?”

“Don’t you mean “when” it works out?”

“If you’re/they’re a go on this, when would you like to see it implemented?”

“I’m sorry, I’m not following you – can you tell me exactly what you mean?”

“How urgent for you (your company) is this right now?”

“__________, from where you’re sitting right now, do you think this is a smart thing to do?”

“Oh, and why not?”

“What would you need to see added to this to make it worthwhile for you?”

“What can I do right now to help you get into this?”

“Level with me, what is really holding you back?”

“What is really standing in the way of us working together?”

“Is there anything that I can do about it?”

“What do you seriously think it is going to take for us to work together?”

“What else should I know?”

As you can see, there are many ways to get your prospect talking to you. There are many ways to get them to open up and reveal what it will take and/or why the deal won’t happen. If you’re not asking some of these questions, then you’re simply letting your prospect put you off, and your pipeline is filling with prospects who likely aren’t going to buy from you.

Take some time right now to adjust four or five of these questions to fit your personality, your product or service, and fit them to the specific objections or stalls that you get. And then use them when that situation comes up. Remember, the best way to prepare for success is to prepare. So start now…

How to Question for Budget

Qualifying for budget, or handling objections around budget and money, are areas most sales reps feel uncomfortable in. To start with, I’ve heard many sales reps tell me that bringing up budget or money on a qualifying call is not only uncomfortable, but that it’s inappropriate as well. They say, “I haven’t given any value yet, so it’s too early to talk about budget!”

My response is that if your product or service is out of a prospect’s budget, or if they feel it’s too expensive, then it doesn’t matter how much value you give it – they aren’t going to buy from you. That’s why it’s crucial to qualify for budget up front – just as you would with decision maker, timeframe, etc.

And when objections about money or price come up, again, sales reps often struggle with how to handle it. In fact, most sales reps’ default response is to try to lower the price rather than either build value or help the prospect find other areas to get budget from.

Below you’ll find a variety of ways of both qualifying for budget and asking questions to help assist you in helping the prospect find the budget. Getting comfortable with regularly asking these questions – both during the qualifying stage and during the close – will allow you to both identify qualified prospects and help you close them.

As always, adapt them to fit your product, service or personality and practice, drill and rehearse them until they become automatic for you:

Budget Questions during qualifying:

“How much budget do you have set aside for new advertising?” (This week, quarter, or year)

“How much are you currently spending to attract new consumers?”

“How much budget do you currently spend on keeping or retaining your existing customers?”

“How much have you set aside this?” (Your product or service)

“What do you know about management’s budget when it comes to adding….” (Your product or service)

“Besides yourself, who else would weigh in on making a budget decision on this?”

LAYER:

“And what is their role (or your role) in that process?”

LAYER:

“And what do you know about their budget for adding a new…. (Your product or service)

“How much of a priority is this (your product or service area) for you this month?” (Or quarter)

“How much does your department (or company) spend on new client acquisition?”

“Our solution runs a ballpark of $10,000 up to $50,000.” If you liked what you saw, could you work within that range?”

“What’s your budget for this?”

“What are your plans for (your product or service area) for the upcoming season/quarter for this?”

Budget Questions during the close:

“What is a new customer worth, roughly, to you?”

LAYER:

“And how much budget, per week/month/year, have you set aside to attract those new customers?”

LAYER:

“And how much of that budget is still not used that you could apply to this?”

“When something like this comes up that you believe will work for you (your department or company), how do you normally go about getting the budget for it?”

“How do you draw from next month’s/quarter’s budget to get something like this that you really know will help you?”

“What is your yearly budget for this area (of your product or service)?”

LAYER:

“And how much of that do you have left over?”

“Let me ask you: around this time of year, how do you handle these kinds of purchases?”

“Who else could you get approval from to afford this extra expense?”

“How do you normally get something above budget approved?”

“How can you borrow against next year’s budget to get the profits and results this year?”

“What do you have to do now to make sure this is properly budgeted for next quarter?”

“What other areas/departments can you borrow from to start this service today?”

“If money weren’t an issue here, would you move forward?”

[If Yes]

“GREAT! What are three ways you can think of now to get the budget for this?”

“What did you do last time you really wanted something?”

“How did you get the money last time you really wanted something?”

“We all have ways of getting the money when we really want something, what way do you have of getting the money now?”

“Who (which department) could you borrow from?”

“How about I put you on our low cost down payment program, and you can then set up easy monthly payments so you can get started today?”

As you can see, there are a variety ways of not only bringing up or getting clarity around the budget issue, but of also leading your prospect to revealing how and when they can get or find the budget. Have some fun with this and hit MUTE while you get all the answers and solutions around budget that you need!

Ten New Ways to Handle the “I Need to Think About It” Objection

How do you currently handle it when your prospect gives you the stall, “I need to think about it”? If you’re like most sales people, you might give a wimpy, half-hearted response and then ask when you can call them back. That doesn’t feel too good, does it?

Let’s face it, whenever you get this objection – or any other stall that is similar to it like, “I need to wait until next week/month,” or “I’ll get back to you it,” – you know as well as I do that it means your prospect isn’t sold and will probably not move forward with you. If you don’t believe me, just look at your won/loss rate when you get this objection.

The way to handle this, then, is to deal with it when it comes up and get your prospect to reveal what is REALLY holding them back. The truth is, this objection (like so many) is usually just a smokescreen hiding the real objection…

Use any of these rebuttals to get your prospect talking to you, to get them to reveal what is really holding them back, and then maybe, just maybe, you’ll have a chance to close the sale.

“I need to think about it”

Response One:

“_________, obviously there is something that either doesn’t make sense to you, or you need to check on something, I’m not sure. But procrastinating on this won’t help make this decision easier for you. Let me ask you this: What proof do I need to give you right now that this will work for you, to help you make that decision?”

Response Two:

“You know ________, whenever someone tells me they have to think about it, it’s usually because the price isn’t exactly where they would like it to be – is that part of what you need to think about?

[If Yes]

Thanks for sharing that with me. Let me tell you why we price this the way we do, and what you get for that pricing…

[Break down each part of your product/service and justify/build value in your price. When done]:

You see _________, you get what you pay for with this and then some. Let’s go ahead and put this to work for you so you can start enjoying the benefits today…”

Response Three:

“__________ I understand that thinking about it might make sense right now, but help me to understand something – what exactly is holding you back from this today?”

Response Four:

“_________ let me ask you: if I could email you right now testimonials from other clients that describe how much success they’ve had with this program, how much of a difference would that make for you right now?”

[Listen carefully here. If this won’t get them to move forward, then]:

“Then, please, I love to learn, what specifically is holding you back from deciding on this today?”

Response Five:

“_________, as you think about the reasons for either moving forward with this or not, I also want you to think about this:

“How much has this been costing you each month by not getting it fixed?”

AND

“And tell me, how much time do you and your team spend on this each week?”

AND

“And how much more money could you (and your company/sales team/family) make if you finally found a solution that worked?”

AND

“And when you think about all the time and energy you’ve already spent thinking about this, how much has THAT cost you so far?”

AND

“And if you continue to procrastinate, how much more do you think THAT will cost you?”

AND

“If you went with our solution and it worked for you, how much would you save/make?”

THEN

“As you can see, continuing to “think about this” has done nothing to fix it and it has only cost you time, money and energy! So why don’t you finally DO something about this today and starting reaping the rewards right now. Here’s what we need to do….”

Response Six:

“I understand that you’re not quite ready to decide on this. Out of curiosity, what factors do you still need to consider?”

AND

“And what kind of proof would you need to decide to go with us?”

AND

“And what else might hold you back from doing this with us?”

Response Seven:

“If there was one thing that would get you to say yes on this today, what would it be?”

Response Eight:

“__________, generally whenever I tell someone I need to think about it, one of three things is going on: One: I’m either weighing other options and want to make sure I’m getting the best deal, or Two: What I’m looking at just doesn’t fit exactly what I need so I want to keep looking, or Three: It’s too much money….

“Which of those three things is happening for you right now?”

Response Nine:

“_________, how much is a new customer worth to you?”

[Listen carefully]

“And do you think what we’re talking about here will bring you enough customers to at least pay for this?”

[If No, then they aren’t sold on your solution, and you’ll need to build more value]

[If Yes]:

“Then there is no downside here for you and each additional client will simply make you money. So let’s do this: let’s sign you up for our introductory offer, and once you see how this WILL make you money, we’ll adjust your subscription to make you even more…”

Response Ten:

“________ tell me two things: Why would you NOT do this, and why would you DO this with me?”

[Hit MUTE and let them talk…]

These rebuttals will work in a variety of situations if you take the time to customize them to your product or service, and then use them consistently. Ultimately, what you’ll find is that if you can get past this smokescreen to the real reason they’re not moving forward with you, then you’ll have the chance to either build value or clarify something they either don’t understand or misunderstand. And once you do that, you’ll finally have a shot at winning their business.

Six New Ways to Handle: “I need to talk to my boss/partner/corporate” etc

The stall, “I need to speak with someone” is as old as “The price is too high” objection. Despite it being around before all sales reps working today were born, most still have trouble overcoming it. You’d think that with all the good rebuttals and techniques that have been written for it they might have figured it out, but, alas, most reps still struggle with it.

To help you finally and definitively deal with it, I present you five new, improved and proven ways of handling this stall. Now, let me make something clear: these techniques won’t always work at overcoming this stall (sometimes they will, though!), but they will let you know how much of a stall this put off is, whether or not it’s a smokescreen, and how much of a shot you have at overcoming it, side-stepping it, or setting yourself up for a successful next call (or if there should even be a next call with a prospect).

So let’s start at the beginning. The first thing you need to do is qualify for this stall during your opening call. Do you? If you don’t, then you’re likely to keep getting this at the end of your presentations and, oh, how frustrating that must be for you. If you get it once, then shame on them, but if you keep getting it over and over again, then shame on you. Here’s what you must be asking on your first call:

“And _________, besides yourself, who weighs in on the final decision on something like this?”

And if they tell you their boss or corporate, etc., then you must layer that with:

“And how much influence do you have in that?”

And,

“And what do they usually do when you bring them something like this?”

And

“Based on what you know about how they feel about something like this, what do you honestly think they would do?”

Etc. You must get as much clarity as you can upfront so you know what to expect when you go into your demo or presentation. And, of course, as you begin your close, you must also preface it with:

“And before we get started here, just so we’re on the same page, if you like what you see at the end of our presentation today, what are the next steps for putting to work for you on your end?”

OR,

“At the end of our presentation today, if you like what you see, can you put us to work for you today?”

Again, you must have clarity over the process before you begin your presentation. Once you have that, however, if you still get the “I’ll have to show this to my partner, boss, etc.,” then use one of the proven scripts below to handle it. As always, adjust it, customize it, and make it your own, and then practice, drill and rehearse it until you’ve got it down.

“I need to talk to my boss/partner/corporate” etc.

Response One:

“No problem, and are you going to recommend this to them?”

[If Yes]

“Great! Then I’ll hold on while you check with them…”

OR

“Great! And as you mentioned earlier, they do usually go with your recommendation, right?”

[If Yes]

“Wonderful. Then I’ll go ahead and get the paperwork started on my end – can you reach out and see if they’re available now to run this by them?”

[Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this technique! About 20% of the time, the decision maker is sitting in the next room and some people will go and get the approval right then and save you valuable time in delaying and following up…]

Response Two:

“I understand. Let me ask you two things: One: What do you think the biggest reason is they will put us to work for you today?”

[Listen for the buying motive]

“And two: What do you think is the biggest reason they won’t go with this solution?”

[Listen for what the real objection is and then layer and explore…]

Response Three:

“Of course and I understand – we talked before about your decision process. Let me ask you this, though: is getting their approval the ONLY thing holding us back from doing business together?”

[Listen carefully – if YES then]:

“Will you have time to talk to them before we next speak at 2:30 tomorrow afternoon? Great! Then because you’re onboard with this, I’ll go ahead and prepare the paperwork, I’ll email it to you, and I’ll even reserve a spot for you.”

[Give a brief pause here and wait for push back. If none]:

“I’ll look forward to us moving forward tomorrow!”

Response Four:

“I understand _________.” Tell you what I’d be happy to do: I know you’re behind this, right? Well, it’s not fair to ask you to do my job, so if it’s all right with you, I’ll be happy to reach out to (decision maker) directly and answer any questions they might have – would that be O.K.?”

[If NO]

“No problem. Just out of curiosity, do you think they will go with this?”

[If NO or Don’t Know]:

“What would it take for them to say yes?”

Response Five:

“Well, I know you’re behind this, and I know you need it – as we discussed during out first phone call. I know you’ve tried to sell or buy something in the past, and you’ve probably been told that someone had to “talk to someone else” before, right?

[Wait for a response]

“Well, based on your experience, what do you honestly think is going to happen here?”

Response Six:

“I understand. __________, I’ve been in sales a long time, and when someone tells me they have to speak with someone, it either means they really do, or it means they don’t really have to, and it’s just a way to get me off the phone. I don’t think that’s happening here, but if it is, can you level with me?”

[If they really do have to speak with someone, then]
“Thanks for that. Now, based on what you know about this, and based on the fact that you’d like to see us work together, what do you seriously think is going to stand in the way of this getting approved?”

OR

“Thanks for that. Now, based on what you know about this, and based on the fact that you’d like to see us work together, what do you seriously think it’s going to take to get this approved?”

There you have it! Six new ways to handle the “I need to speak with someone” objection. Remember, some of these will work some of the time, but all of them will help you smoke out the real objection. And once you get a handle on what’s really likely to happen, then you can deal with it and overcome it – or move this prospect to the backburner and move on.

Ten New Ways to Handle the Objection: “The Price is Too High”

The price is too high is an objection that is as old has humanity itself. If you think hard enough, I’m sure you can see the ancient Egyptians walking around an outdoor marketplace haggling with sellers using this very objection. And if you think even harder, you can probably envision weak sellers dropping their prices to make a sale. Things haven’t changed much in four thousand years, have they?

The good news is that today there are a variety of proven ways to handle this age old objection. The most obvious way is to see it for it often is: a smokescreen hiding either a real objection or an attempt to haggle and have you to cave in and give a better price. In either of these situations the technique is to isolate the objection first and see what other stalls they come up with are before you negotiate price. You’ll see examples of these below.

The following rebuttals are broken down into two groups: One set of rebuttals are for business to consumer sales – things like investments, insurance, home remodel, etc., and the other are for business to business. In B to B, the objection often manifests more as a “budget” problem, but many times companies are looking for the best deal as well and so will still try to haggle on price with you.

Below are ten new ways to handle both types of price/budget objections. Pick the ones you’re most comfortable with, then make them your own and practice them until they become automatic. Given the frequency of this objection, you’ll be much more confident once you know how to handle it:

Business to consumer rebuttals:

“The price is too high – I can’t afford that”

Response One:
“I completely understand, and let’s face it – we all have to work within a budget. But there is always a difference between a purchase and an investment. With a purchase, the value usually goes down, so regardless of what you spend – whether you can afford it or not – it’s never going to appreciate or justify its value.

But with an investment – like this is – what you spend always justifies itself and ends up either saving you money in the long run or paying for itself month after month. And it always makes sense to invest in yourself, don’t you agree?”

[If Yes]

“Then here’s what I recommend we do…”

Response Two:
“I definitely hear what you’re saying, but let’s take the price out of this for a moment and let me ask you: besides price, what other reasons do you have for not moving forward with this today?

[Note: I know that’s a negative response, but given that you are trying to isolate the objection and uncover any others, in this case it’s recommended.]

OR

“I understand and let me ask you: if price weren’t an issue on this – in other words, if this were more in alignment with what you could pay, is this something you would move forward with today?”

[If Yes]

“Great! Then tell me, where could you get the money from for this?”

Response Three:
“__________, you’ve probably heard that expression ‘Other people’s money,’ right? Well the good news with this is that you can use other people’s money to purchase it and begin enjoying the benefits right now! We have two ways for you to do that:

You can either put this on a credit card and make whatever payments you can until it’s paid off, or you can take advantage of our introductory offer where you can put no money down and make interest free payments for as long as 18 months!

In the meantime, you get to (start enjoying/the benefit/the protection) of this (service or product) from day one! Which of those two options do you like better?”

Response Four:
“Now _________, for this investment – as with every other – you always have to ask yourself: what is working for me now and what could be working harder? Like all of us, I’m sure you’ve got some stocks or funds that haven’t performed quite as you’d have wished, don’t you?

Well this is your chance to move those under performing investments around and put your money to work for you in a vehicle that can not only help you make up for lost time, but exceed some of your better producing investments.

What comes to mind now that wouldn’t mind putting to better use for you?”

Response Five:
“You know, you said something very important – you said that the price is too high. I’d really like to work with you on this, so help me to understand – what exactly are you comparing this price to?”

Business to business rebuttals:

“The price is too high – We don’t have the budget for it”

Response One:
“You’re right, and I know we’re not the cheapest out there – and it’s important that you heard that right – we’re not the “cheapest” service on the market. And there’s a very important reason for that: The quality that you get with us goes far beyond the few extra dollars you’ll invest today, and let me tell you the top three reasons why….”

Response Two:
“And that’s exactly why we offer our introductory package. Here’s the thing: we’re so convinced that you’ll come to appreciate the added services and value we offer that as soon as you begin using our service, you’ll forget all about the small initial cost.

In fact, you’ll find that in the long run our (product or service) is not only affordable, but it saves you time AND makes you money. And that’s something you’re interested in doing, isn’t it?”

Response Three:
“_________, if you really think about this from a business perspective, you’ll soon see that this is actually something that you can’t afford NOT to do, and let me tell you why: If you don’t put this (product or service) to work for you, while you may save a bit of money today, you’ll be losing money tomorrow in terms of (lost revenues, cost overruns, lost sales and opportunities, etc.). As a business, you just can’t afford to keep doing that.

So here’s what I recommend: Do what all businesses do: Finance this. Put it on your business credit card and make payments, write off the interest, and all the while, begin profiting from the extra business and market share this will bring you. When you’re ahead, just pay off the card and keep the profits from this! Let’s go ahead and do this….”

Response Four:
“You know, a lot of business owners (V.P.’s, etc.) at first think this is an expense, but think again: if it helps to bring you more business, and/or helps you keep the clients and customers you already have, then it becomes an investment in your success, doesn’t it? And that’s how all successful companies grow – they invest in their business.

And that’s what you have the opportunity to do right now. So let’s get you started…”

Response Five:
“I hear you _________, and let’s just say that I could wave a magic wand and get you the money (or reduce the price to where it would fit within your budget). Level with me: what other reasons would you have for not at least considering putting this to work for you today?”

[Now listen for the real objection and deal with it appropriately]

So now you have ten new ways of handling the price objection. Make sure and listen for what the real objection is and then use the right script to overcome it.

Five New Ways of Handling the “Just Email Me Something”

While the method of this stall has changed throughout the years: it went from, “Just put a brochure in the mail, and I’ll look at it,” to “Why don’t you fax something to me, and I’ll look it over,” to now it’s, “Just email me your information, and I’ll look it over,” unfortunately, it all still means the same thing: your prospect either doesn’t want to take the time to be pitched, or they don’t need what you’re selling.

Either way, this stall sets up one of the most frustrating parts of sales – the chase. Think about it: how many times have you sent off your information and, when you’ve been fortunate enough to “catch” the prospect again, you’ve heard: “I haven’t looked at it” or “We’re not interested at this time”? Probably a lot, right?

The way to avoid this is to earn the right to ask a few key qualifying (or disqualifying, as I like to call them) questions so you can save both of you a lot of time and effort later on (to say nothing of saving yourself a lot of disappointment as well).

The solution, as always, is to be prepared for this brush off with a good script that fits your personality and product or service. Take the time now to adapt and customize one or more of the responses below so you are prepared the next time your prospect uses this stall.

Response One:

“I’ll be happy to do that, but once you see the material, you’ll probably have more questions than answers…so let’s do this first: I’ll ask you just a couple of quick questions to see if this is even a fit for you at this time, and then, if it is, I’ll send you some targeted information – sound fair?

[If Yes – ask any appropriate of the questions below]

“First, would you be the right contact for handling (XYZ)?”

OR

“I know I called you out of the blue, but if you found that you could (give a benefit of your product or service), what might your timeframe be for considering making a decision on it?”

OR

“How are you currently handling (XYZ), and what might motivate you to consider making a change?”

OR

“How open are you to seriously considering making a change (or making a move on) XYZ in the next one or two months?”
Now note about this rebuttal I put in the question: “sound fair?” at the beginning. You can leave that out if your prospect is in a rush or if you can tell you’ve caught him/her at a bad time – you’ll need to decide on a case by case basis.

Response Two:

“You bet I can – what’s your email address?”

[Take it down and then email them your information!]

“O.K., I just sent it. Now while you open that up, let me ask you a quick question:

“How do you get involved in ordering/handling/working with the XYZ?”

OR

“From a needs standpoint, how motivated is (your company/department/are you) to change/fix/replace/buy XYZ right now?”

OR

“What would you need to see in the information I just sent you for you to become interested in learning more about what we do?”

Response Three:

“I’d be more than happy to do that – where would you like me to email that?”

[Take it down and then email them your brochure.]

“O.K., it’s on the way to you. What I’d like to do right now is take just two minutes to get an idea of what’s important to you, and then I can direct you to that part of the information when you get around to it. Let me ask you:

“How do you get involved in ordering/handling/working with the XYZ?”

OR

“From a needs standpoint, how motivated is (your company/department/are you) to change/fix/replace/buy XYZ right now?”

OR

“What would you need to see in the information I just sent you for you to become seriously interested in making a change in how you’re handling XYZ now?”

Response Four:

“I have a better idea: rather than send you something you may not be really interested in, I’ll save you the time of going through it – or deleting it! – by asking you just a couple of quick questions now to see if there’s really a need. If there is, then I’ll have my assistant email you something:

“Are you the best person to talk to about changing/replacing/ordering the (XYZ)?”

OR

“I know I called you out of the blue, but if you found that you could (give a benefit of your product or service), what might your timeframe be for considering making a decision on it?”

OR

“How are you currently handling (XYZ), and what might motivate you to consider making a change?”

OR

“How open are you to seriously considering making a change (or making a move on) XYZ in the next one to two months?”

Response Five:

“Be happy to do that – where do you want me to email that to?”

[Then]

“And while you have me on the phone, let me briefly ask you just a couple of quick questions which will determine whether or not it makes sense for me to follow up on information I’ll send you. For example:

“How likely are you (or your company/department) to be in the market to make a change in (the way you handle XYZ) if you found a better alternative?”

OR

“If you like what you see in the information, what would the next step for us be?”

OR

“What would realistically stand in the way of us doing business together in the next few weeks if you saw some value in the information?”
There you have it – five new ways to handle the age old brush off – “Just mail/fax/email me some information.” As will all new scripts, take some time to adapt them to fit your product or service, and to fit your personality and style. Once you do develop an effective way of delivering this information, then commit to practicing, drilling and rehearsing it until it becomes automatic for you.

Eighteen New Ways to Handle “I’m Not Interested”

Regardless of what kind of prospecting you’re doing – whether you’re calling back in-bound leads who have contacted you, or old accounts who haven’t purchased in a while, or just straight cold calls – you’re still going to get a good dose of the blow off objection: “I’m not interested.” While I’ve provided many different ways of handling this in the past, here are eighteen new, customized responses for each of the lead categories from above. Here they are:

For “warm” leads who have filled out an online form or reached out to you in some other way:

“I’m not interested”

Response one:

“That’s perfectly O.K., _________, you’ve probably forgotten that you (filled in a form, requested info, etc.) so I don’t expect you to be interested in what you must think is a cold call. But just to remind you – on (date/time) you (visited our website/dropped by our booth/filled out a form, etc.) do you remember that?”

[If Yes]

“What did you need at that time?”

Response two:

“No problem _________, I also forget half the things I request info on. Just to remind you, we (what you do), and on (date/time) you (visited our website/dropped by our booth/filled out a form, etc.) do you remember that?”

[If Yes]

“Do you remember what prompted you to reach out to us at that time?”

Response three:

“That’s fine, quick question though: When you filled out (our online form, etc.) has anyone else from our office contacted you about it yet?”

[If No]

“I see. Well I do apologize for that. Just out of curiosity, did you get that handled yet or are you still looking?”

For inactive accounts or people you’ve not spoken to in a while:

“I’m not interested”

Response one:

“That’s fine _________, and I’m simply calling to update your account information for our records. Quick question: Are you still the right contact person who handles ordering the ________ for your company?”

Response two:

“Oh that’s O.K., I’m not calling to sell you anything today. Just want to make sure you still know we’re here in case you do need something down the road. By the way, do you guys still carry/use/order ________?”

Response three:

“I get that all the time, and just know that the only reason I’m calling is to introduce myself as your contact should you ever need to check pricing or availability on an item. Quick question: are you the right contact for _________?”

Response four:

“No problem _________. I’ll simply email you my contact information in case you ever do need anything, and then I’ll get out of your hair. By the way, would you be the best person to email this to, or is there someone else who is handling ________ now?”

Response five:

“That’s no problem at all – quick question: is it that you don’t need anything just now, or do you even order/carry/use ________ anymore at all?”

[“We do order, we just don’t need any now.”]

“Great. When you are in the market again, could I be one of the vendors/suppliers/sources you go to for a quote?”

For cold calling or prospecting calls:

“I’m not interested”

Response one:

“Quick question: Does that mean you’re not interested at this moment, but in a few months things could change, and I should keep in touch?”

Response two:

“Who else at your company do you think might have a need for something like this?”

Response three:

“I’m with you – quick question though: are you the right contact for this, or is there another department (or person) I should check with?”

Response four:

“When should I check back with you?”

[If given a date]

“Great. So I can be more prepared for that, quick question: are you the right contact for this?” (Then add other qualifying questions)

Response five:

“If you were to be interested, what is the typical (volume, amount, frequency, etc.) that you normally order/use/need?”

[If they tell you]

“And who do you normally get that from?”

Response six:

“When was the last time you were interested in something like this?”

Response seven:

“And what would have to change for you to be more open to something like this in the future?”

Response eight:

“Should I lose your number or put you on a 6-month follow up call?” (Say with a BIG smile!)

[If call back in 6 months]

“Great. What should I keep an eye out for in between then?”

Response nine:

“The next time you are interested in (your product), could I get back with you and see if we can help?”

[If yes]

“When should I follow back up with you?”

Response ten:

“Thanks for letting me know up front. If I were to get back with you in the future, what would I have to have to get you to be more open to something like this?

So there you have it. Eighteen more ways of handling the “I’m not interested” objection. Make sure to customize these to fit your product or service and to fit your personality. Once you find one that feels right, and that gets your prospects to open up, then stick with it and practice it over and over again. Remember: practice of the right responses will always make perfect.

The Key to Building Real Value

You hear it all the time – if your price is higher than your competition you’re told to “build value.” You’re instructed to stress the quality, the warranty, the features, etc. But your prospects have heard all that before, haven’t they? Want a better way?

Let’s face it – if services or products are more or less the same, then prospects will buy from the people they like, know or trust. Your enthusiasm and belief for your product or service is a big factor in getting your prospects to place an order with you over your competition. Knowing this, I’ve often used the following script to not only build value in my product or service, but also to build value in the most important part of my product – myself. Here’s what to say:

If your prospects says, “I can get cheaper,” or “Well the XYZ company has something similar for less money,” or anything like that, say:

“You know _________ I’m aware of all the other options for this (product or service) and I’ll tell you now, if I thought any of them were better for my clients, I’d be working there and selling that.

“When I got into this industry I did my own research, just like you’re doing, and I looked for the company that not only offered the best (product or service) but also delivered the best customer service and follow-up.

After all that, I chose (your company) because they give my clients the best overall value and the best experience. And that means they continue to do business with me and refer new business to me as well.

__________, if there was a better product or company for you to be doing business with I’d be there and we’d be talking about that. But there isn’t.

“Bottom line — if you want the best overall value, results and experience with this (your product or service) then do what I did – choose (your company) – You’ll be happy you did. Now, do you want to start with the X size order or would the Y size order be better?”

This technique builds value in the most important part of any sales transaction — you and your belief in your product or service. If you didn’t do research, then let the prospect know why you did choose your company and what you like so much about working there and offering that product.

Adapt it to fit your personality, product and company, and then get in the habit of using it whenever you feel the need to build more value.