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Getting Past 'No': How to Move a Cold Call Forward
 

These are the seven most common objections that cold callers hear from customers--and a few smart ways to respond to each.
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The purpose of cold calling is to begin a dialog with a customer.  Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, customers are often reluctant to have that conversation.

This does not mean that customers shouldn't actually have that talk. In fact, one of the major reasons that customers don't want to speak to a solution provider is that they're in denial about the problem.

That denial often takes the form of an "objection" to having a conversation.  So these objections do not mean that the customer is uninterested or does not need or want what you're offering. Quite the contrary.

If your product really were of no interest, the customer would merely hang up.  The fact that he or she bothers to surface an objection is a sign that the subject matter is important enough to get on their radar.

7 Objections (& How to Respond)

With that in mind, here are the seven most common objections, each with a list of possible responses that will keep the conversation going long enough so that the two of you can determine if there's really a good match.

Bear in mind that you shouldn't use all of them: Just pick the one that makes the most sense for your conversation.

Note: These lists come one of world's top sales trainers, uber-guru Barry Rhein.

1. 'Send me some information.'
Possible responses:

  • I'd love to. Of what I just said, what caught your interest?
  • I'd love to. Let's say you like the information; where do we go from there?
  • I'd love to. What information would you like me to send?
  • I'd love to. What are some of your priorities in this area?
  • I'd love to. What are some of the challenges that you face in this area?
  • I'd love to. How are you currently handling this kind of problem/opportunity?

2. 'We have no budget for that.'
Possible responses:

  • I'm sorry. When you say you have no budget, that's a budget for ...?
  • I understand. Let's say budget wasn't an issue. What are your priorities around ...?
  • I understand. Let's say budget wasn't an issue. What are your challenges around ...?
  • I understand. Let's say budget wasn't an issue. How satisfied are you with ...?
  • I understand. Let's say budget wasn't an issue. What do you find frustrating about ...?
  • What if it turned out that we could [major solution benefit]?
  • What if it turned out that we could [major cost savings]?
  • What if there were an immediate and measurable ROI?

3. 'That's not my priority right now.'
Possible responses:

  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what are some of your priorities in this area?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what are some of your challenges in this area?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what is at the top of your priority list that we might help you with?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what if turned out we could ...[compelling solution benefit]?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what if turned out we could ...[major cost savings]?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what are some of your frustrations in this area?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what if we could give you a big competitive advantage?

4. 'We already use [competitor's product].'
Possible responses:

  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what do you like about them?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what do you not like about them?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what would like to see them do better?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what prompted you to use them originally?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what complaints do you hear about them?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what are some of the challenges you face working with them?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, exactly how are you using them?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, around how much are you paying them?

5. 'It costs too much.'
Possible responses:

  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, when you say it costs too much, what do you mean?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what has been your past experience with solutions like ours?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what has been your past experience with companies like ours?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, how do you know it costs too much?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what are some of your priorities for saving money in this area?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, have you figured out the potential cost of not taking action?
  • No problem. Just out of curiosity, what are your priorities in this area?

6. 'Call me back in [some period of time].'
Possible responses:

  • It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. Just out of curiosity, why [period of time]?
  • It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. Just out of curiosity, where are your current priorities?
  • It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. Just out of curiosity, what are your current frustrations?
  • It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. Just out of curiosity, what if it turned out we could [major solution benefit]?
  • It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. Just out of curiosity, what if it turned out we could [major cost savings]?
  • It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. Just out of curiosity, what will be different in [period of time] that would make you want to speak with me?
  • It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. Just out of curiosity, what are some of your current challenges?

7. 'Someone else makes that buying decision.'
Possible responses:

  • Thanks for your help. Just out of curiosity, what can you tell me about them?
  • Thanks for your help. Just out of curiosity, what do you think their priorities will be around...?
  • Thanks for your help. Just out of curiosity, how do you suggest that I interact with them?
  • Thanks for your help. Just out of curiosity, what's your advice on the best way to get on their calendar?
  • Thanks for your help. Just out of curiosity, what's your advice on the best way to approach them?
  • Thanks for your help. Just out of curiosity, what's most likely to get their attention?

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Last updated: Jul 5, 2012

GEOFFREY JAMES did a lot of business stuff and wrote a slew of articles and books. Now he writes this column. Preorder his new book, Business Without the Bullsh*t, by May 12 and get an exclusive bonus chapter and a signed bookplate.
@Sales_Source




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