Even with a great sales script, you can still come across an objection during a cold call.
Don’t panic! It happens even to the best salespeople. Besides you can always still offer a rebuttal and bounce back from the “cold.”
Here are the seven most common cold call objections—and how you can refute them:
1. “Just email me the information.”
It’s not an outright dismissal. They just want to review your proposal “quietly”—without having a salesperson pressuring them. However, it could also be a nice way of turning you down. Either way, here’s what you can say to pursue a conversation:
“No problem, I can send that to you right away. But to make sure I send the information you need, may I ask: (follow-up question here)?”
Once prospect replies, you can follow up with another question. The idea is to get them talking. And be sure to really listen so your follow-up questions are engaging. Your follow-up question(s) can also be your qualifying questions.
After the conversation, ask: “How much time would you need to review and make a decision?” After prospect replies, say, “That’s great. I’ll be in touch then.” Now you’ve created the opportunity to do a follow-up call.
2. “Now is not a good time.”
It’s one of the most common objections. After all, you are calling without a heads-up. But you can still try to squeeze your call in for another minute or two.
“I understand. But in just 30 seconds, I can explain what we do and you can decide if it makes sense for your business. Then we can discuss it in detail when it’s most convenient for you.”
Unless they’re running a race, everyone has 30 seconds to spare. Now you understand the importance of a concise value proposition. And if you can hang on to them for even just less than a minute, you can get an answer for your qualification. The last line of this response is also important because you want it known that you are considerate of their time—and that you won’t just be badgering them throughout the sale process.
If the prospect is in fact busy, try to reschedule by giving two options for the time and date.
“I understand. Is Tuesday 2pm or Thursday 11am better for you?”
3. “I’m not interested.”
It’s true that they may not be interested… for now. But isn’t your goal to make them interested? So don’t take that for an answer. Instead, reply:
“I see. Some of my clients initially thought that too until they heard that (state the value proposition unique to the prospect’s business).”
“I see. But I do know that you’re looking for/to (state the current need of the prospect’s company). I’ve been successful in helping current clients in that area and maybe I can do the same for (prospect’s company name).”
For both responses, you’ll need to know what the prospect needs to keep him hooked. This is why it’s important to do research on your prospects prior to making any form of contact. You want to come in prepared with a valuable offer.
4. “We already have someone/something for that.”
Whether they’re telling the truth or not, you want to assume that they are. That’s not to say that you back down. Clients change suppliers when they see a compelling reason to, and it’s your task to provide them with one (or two).
And to do that, you basically need to say that what you offer is better—and there’s really no modest way of saying that. In fact, you have to sound very confident that what you’re selling is better. No need to sound arrogant, just self-assured.
“I understand. And it’s great that you appreciate the value of the product/service. We’ve actually had clients switch to us as their provider, and I’d love the opportunity to show why. Would you be open to seeing how we’re different from your current provider?”
It’s confident without sounding arrogant. And it also comes across as helpful.
5. “I’ll get back to you.”
When you hear this towards the end of the conversation, you know that it’s a non-committal response. You cannot leave the conversation at that. Reinforce what you’re offering and get more information before hanging up.
“It seems I didn’t do an adequate job in explaining the great value our service provides for (prospect’s company name). Is there information I may have missed out on that’s stopping you from considering our proposal?”
“I understand. I can send relevant case studies for you to look at while you’re thinking about it. What would you like to see?/What else would you like to know?”
With this, the conversation is not left hanging. And you still have the ball in your court.
6. “I need to discuss this with our (position here) first.”
One of the things you need to remember when closing a deal is to talk to the decision maker. This way you’re not wasting any time or effort. If what the prospect is saying is true, ask to be connected to the decision maker immediately.
“Thanks for the advice. May I know who your (position) is?”
Prospect: “Mr. John Smith.”
“Thanks. And is Mr. Smith the person who will decide on this matter?”
Prospect: “Yes, he is.”
“Great! Perhaps I can discuss this with him and spare you the trouble of explaining everything. Can I be connected to him right now?”
If you’re lucky, you get connected. But if prospect says Mr. Smith is not available to talk, ask for his extension or direct number so you may get in touch with him directly. If the gatekeeper refuses to give his contact details, at least now you have the name of the decision maker. Make sure to follow up with him.
7. “Call me back in a few months.”
Now this could just be an excuse to get you off the prospect’s back, or it could be a legitimate reason. Most companies work with timelines, and it’s possible you’re calling at a time when there’s no urgent need for your product or service. It could also mean they don’t have the budget for now.
True or not, you can still counter that statement and keep them on the phone. First, make them see the value of planning ahead. And also make it known to them that they don’t need to decide right now.
“I’ve learned from clients’ experience that it’s always better to be planning in advance. What is the timeline you’re looking at?”
Prospect: “I’m not sure. Maybe the next quarter.”
“Oh that’s okay. That’s closer than we think. And anyway, you don’t have to decide right now. Why don’t I still give you the information you’ll need so you can make a decision when the time comes? It will only take a few minutes.”
If the reason seems legitimate, ask for the prospect’s email address and send him your value-driven pitch. And make sure to consider his timeline when you make the proposal.
Prospects will really try to get themselves out of cold calls. But you have to be smarter so you don’t fall for the ruse. Get them to stay on the phone and talking. Who knows? With the right proposition, a sale can happen in under a minute.
Photos by bruce mars from Pexels