Turn Brush-Offs Into Opportunities

Sometimes “I’m not interested” means “Please sell me something.”

“I’m not interested.”

“Send me some literature.”

“I’m too busy right now.”

“It’s not in our budget right now.”

If you’ve heard these brush-offs when you’re calling prospects, you probably gave up and ended the call. Or maybe you sent the prospect a brochure and then waited, and waited, and waited…

It needn’t be that way, according to sales blitz expert Andrea Sittig-Rolf. “In many cases, the prospect may actually be interested but too distracted by other things to take advantage of the fact that you–an expert–is available to talk,” she explains.

Sittig-Rolf recommends giving the prospects the opportunity to avail themselves of your expertise by treating the brush-offs as opportunities to make an appointment for a more substantive meeting:

Prospect: I’m not interested.
You: You know, that’s exactly what [current customer] said too when I first called them. They’ve since become a customer and as a result have [result statement.] Why don’t we schedule a call so I can learn more about your company and what results we might create for you? How does [day] at [time] work for you?
Prospect: Send me some literature.
You: I’d be happy to, but until I learn more about your company and its needs, I won’t know what to send. Why don’t I come by [day] at [time] and I’ll bring an assortment of literature with me?
Prospect: I’m too busy.
You: Okay, I won’t keep you. What I’d like to do is come by when you have more time to talk. How does[day] at [time] work for you?
Prospect: It’s not in our budget right now.
You: In that case, now is the perfect time to meet! We’ve found it very beneficial to discuss future needs in our solution early so that we can be of help during your decision making process. Why don’t we just get together [day] at [time]?
The responses above are intended to set up a face-to-face meeting, but can of course be easily adapted to set up telephone meetings.

It does take courage to execute this technique, but consider: if you’re selling something essential, you owe it to the prospect to be a bit aggressive.

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Geoffrey James writes “Sales Source on Inc.com,” the world’s most-read sales-oriented blog. His new book, Business Without the Bullsh*t, will be published in early 2014. To get weekly blog updates, sign up for his free “Insider” newsletter. @Sales_Source