Prospect objections when we follow up...

13 replies
We offer marketing solutions (both online and offline) to brick & mortar retail stores... Appliance/Furniture/Consumer Electronics

Here's a note I received from one of my telemarketers, whom I asked how could I make things easier for them to move prospects to the next step:

"It seems like a lot of people aren't really taking the time to read the report (the report we send them initially). I've been sending the article but haven't gotten any real feedback.

The refusals (to have a brief consult with us) fall in a few different categories:

1. Cannot afford to spend.
2. Business is awesome.
3. They only work with local companies.
4. Marketing is in the corporate office.
5. Even if we could help them, they are not willing to take the time to find out.

With the exception of #4, I don't think any of these are good excuses. I always look for angles, when people aren't giving me that polite thank you hang up."


I have my answers to how to handle the objections, but I'm interested in how others would reply to any of these.

Mike W.
#follow #objections #prospect
  • Profile picture of the author qu4rk
    All except 4 seem like there is no value presented up front. And, without knowledge of your process (I'm not asking, I'm just stating a fact), it's hard to say where you could be going wrong.

    I would suspect that there is a pitch of sorts making these objections come. I would guess, you could add qualification before you pitch & this will discover an "admitted" need.

    Also, you have some really good ammunition to handle the objection before it comes out of their mouth. This gives you a very good advantage in the conversation.
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
      Originally Posted by qu4rk View Post

      All except 4 seem like there is no value presented up front. And, without knowledge of your process (I'm not asking, I'm just stating a fact), it's hard to say where you could be going wrong.

      I would suspect that there is a pitch of sorts making these objections come. I would guess, you could add qualification before you pitch & this will discover an "admitted" need.

      Also, you have some really good ammunition to handle the objection before it comes out of their mouth. This gives you a very good advantage in the conversation.

      Agreed.

      We have to amp up the value up front.

      And I agree that we should ask a qualifying question early in order to find an admitted need.
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
      Originally Posted by qu4rk View Post

      All except 4 seem like there is no value presented up front. And, without knowledge of your process (I'm not asking, I'm just stating a fact), it's hard to say where you could be going wrong.

      I would suspect that there is a pitch of sorts making these objections come. I would guess, you could add qualification before you pitch & this will discover an "admitted" need.

      Also, you have some really good ammunition to handle the objection before it comes out of their mouth. This gives you a very good advantage in the conversation.

      This is the qualifying question the telemarketer is using:

      '"The retailers we work with are either disappointed in their volume of foot traffic, frustrated by their failed advertising campaigns, or they're concerned about their year end profits. Do any of these issues apply to you?"

      Not everyone allows me to get that far.'
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        The telemarketer is given a list. Have those on the list been pre-qualified at all?

        I'm sure you know a list of, say, doctors is not the same as a list of female
        pediatricians who specialize in obesity and asthma issues.

        Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

        This is the qualifying question the telemarketer is using:

        '"The retailers we work with are either disappointed in their volume of foot traffic, frustrated by their failed advertising campaigns, or they're concerned about their year end profits. Do any of these issues apply to you?"

        Not everyone allows me to get that far.'
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        • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
          Originally Posted by DABK View Post

          The telemarketer is given a list. Have those on the list been pre-qualified at all?

          I'm sure you know a list of, say, doctors is not the same as a list of female
          pediatricians who specialize in obesity and asthma issues.
          Great question!

          They've only been qualified to the point of $ volume and number of years in business.

          We had been qualifying in the initial contact by asking them if they would like a free business building report.

          We send the report and then follow up.

          In THIS case we are attempting to get the prospect to accept a brief consult WITHOUT going through the "Free Report" step.

          It seems that by trying to get the prospect to accept a brief consult from the initial phone call, we're asking for too much too soon- the prospect hasn't been romanced enough.
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

        This is the qualifying question the telemarketer is using:

        '"The retailers we work with are either disappointed in their volume of foot traffic, frustrated by their failed advertising campaigns, or they're concerned about their year end profits. Do any of these issues apply to you?"

        Not everyone allows me to get that far.'
        Well your taking three soft questions and asking for one reply.

        THAT is confusing to many people. they have to think a second to which they are replying
        ... so saying "no" is truly the easiest route for them.

        If you broke those three into three separate questions and received a reply
        for each ... now you have three chances to get a yes ... plus you made it easy
        for them to respond.

        The next thing for you to think about is the language you use.

        disappointed - concerned - year end profits.

        "year end" <- not a concern for them the moment you call.
        "profits" < - buzz word that can mean so many different things to
        so many different people it loses all meaning.

        disappointed < - weak word
        concerned < - weak word

        So as a qualifier - your qualifier is no good. I bet you a dollar if
        you strengthen just those three questions - then the leads would
        close at a higher % for you.

        Most of the people you call have there minds on other things then you.
        So you have to jar them into paying attention to you - and you have to do
        in simple sentences that make sense and make them pay attention
        to what your saying - not making them spin off into there own thoughts
        - which that "qualifier" that you posted above, does.
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        • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          Well your taking three soft questions and asking for one reply.

          THAT is confusing to many people. they have to think a second to which they are replying
          ... so saying "no" is truly the easiest route for them.

          If you broke those three into three separate questions and received a reply
          for each ... now you have three chances to get a yes ... plus you made it easy
          for them to respond.

          The next thing for you to think about is the language you use.

          disappointed - concerned - year end profits.

          "year end" <- not a concern for them the moment you call.
          "profits" < - buzz word that can mean so many different things to
          so many different people it loses all meaning.

          disappointed < - weak word
          concerned < - weak word

          So as a qualifier - your qualifier is no good. I bet you a dollar if
          you strengthen just those three questions - then the leads would
          close at a higher % for you.

          Most of the people you call have there minds on other things then you.
          So you have to jar them into paying attention to you - and you have to do
          in simple sentences that make sense and make them pay attention
          to what your saying - not making them spin off into there own thoughts
          - which that "qualifier" that you posted above, does.
          Thank you!

          Brilliant response!
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      • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
        Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

        This is the qualifying question the telemarketer is using:

        '"The retailers we work with are either disappointed in their volume of foot traffic, frustrated by their failed advertising campaigns, or they're concerned about their year end profits. Do any of these issues apply to you?"

        Not everyone allows me to get that far.'
        ? What business owner likes to admit their traffic is slow, has a failed ad campaign, or are concerned about profits ?

        I am guessing if I got a call from the blue asking that and trying to push a freebie review, it would be No, No and No in any order.

        I read you gave a free report and then got them coming to you / not sure why it is that maybe that angle could not be expanded out, as it is it looks like your chasing dead ends rather than catching those people who are looking for help.
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        .

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  • Profile picture of the author Vanquish
    What the objections are and what they really mean


    1. Cannot afford to spend: doesn't see value in your proposition/doesn't trust you/company enough/only a small % of people couldn't afford to spend but they are prob on the brink of bankruptcy the other 95% of businesses have money to spend. Businesses will always spend if you have a value proposition with a ROI for them that's presented in a proper manner. Also you have to build trust and rapport because people buy from people they like. Trust, rapport, value and a unique selling point will get them to spend


    2. Business is awesome: Tell them that's great they have more business and then follow up with how would you like to target area x,y,z or have you been gaining customers using method x? Figure out what they don't have or aren't doing right or aren't doing as optimally(there is always something, no business is perfect) then present your idea tailored to that problem and you will get much better results.


    3. They only work with local companies: Might be a deal breaker with some but it's a great way to build up trust and value about company. You can agree with him about how it's great to stay local but tell him your company is nationwide in order to keep costs down and pass on the savings to the customer, talk about how you have happy clients worldwide and you focus on providing x,y,z value (whatever your usp is)


    4. Marketing is in the corporate office: not much you can do

    5. Even if we could help them, they are not willing to take the time to find out: That's not an objection but a failure of your sales process. If I told you I could make you $5 for every $1 you spend wouldn't you listen? Likewise business owners would as well.
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    Nothing to sell, only value to give and new knowledge to learn.
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
      Originally Posted by Vanquish View Post

      What the objections are and what they really mean


      1. Cannot afford to spend: doesn't see value in your proposition/doesn't trust you/company enough/only a small % of people couldn't afford to spend but they are prob on the brink of bankruptcy the other 95% of businesses have money to spend. Businesses will always spend if you have a value proposition with a ROI for them that's presented in a proper manner. Also you have to build trust and rapport because people buy from people they like. Trust, rapport, value and a unique selling point will get them to spend


      2. Business is awesome: Tell them that's great they have more business and then follow up with how would you like to target area x,y,z or have you been gaining customers using method x? Figure out what they don't have or aren't doing right or aren't doing as optimally(there is always something, no business is perfect) then present your idea tailored to that problem and you will get much better results.


      3. They only work with local companies: Might be a deal breaker with some but it's a great way to build up trust and value about company. You can agree with him about how it's great to stay local but tell him your company is nationwide in order to keep costs down and pass on the savings to the customer, talk about how you have happy clients worldwide and you focus on providing x,y,z value (whatever your usp is)


      4. Marketing is in the corporate office: not much you can do

      5. Even if we could help them, they are not willing to take the time to find out: That's not an objection but a failure of your sales process. If I told you I could make you $5 for every $1 you spend wouldn't you listen? Likewise business owners would as well.
      Very nicely stated. I appreciate the breakdown of each objection.

      Definitely something we can use to improve our methods.
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  • Profile picture of the author smoor2012
    I am working on cold calling myself. I have a list of people to call that can be refreshed. It is not easy. I simply feel like being on the phone with people is a needed skill.

    I need to get better, myself.

    Everybody has made good points here, but kenmichaels hit the nail on the head I think. Asking a question, and wait for the response, then the next question. Thinking too about other factors:

    > time of day and what their mind is on, which means patience might be a little thin
    > being fully aware that nobody likes to be sold
    > they don't trust somebody they don't know

    As they answer each question, though, you get a feel for where they are and how you can help.

    Some people are going to say no regardless. That is inevitable.

    What I am doing currently is a little different than your goals for your business. There is a common thread though.

    When the responses are still negative, I wonder if it's a bad idea to acknowledge that the heavy skepticism exists and it's understandable, and ask what it would take to establish a basic level of trust?

    Since I am not a highly experienced guy on the phone, that may be a bad idea. That is just food for thought on my end. I have considered trying that question when I get a quick no on the phone.

    You are sending letters to begin with if I understood you right. That is a good idea.

    One more question I have is whether you have tried a site called Post Card Mania? I am not an affiliate or anything, but I intend to use them in the future. I have been researching them. I like them so far.

    I bring them up as a possible way to get your client's attention prior to calling them.
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    PM me and I will respond as soon as possible

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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
      Originally Posted by smoor2012 View Post

      I am working on cold calling myself. I have a list of people to call that can be refreshed. It is not easy. I simply feel like being on the phone with people is a needed skill.

      I need to get better, myself.

      Everybody has made good points here, but kenmichaels hit the nail on the head I think. Asking a question, and wait for the response, then the next question. Thinking too about other factors:

      > time of day and what their mind is on, which means patience might be a little thin
      > being fully aware that nobody likes to be sold
      > they don't trust somebody they don't know

      As they answer each question, though, you get a feel for where they are and how you can help.

      Some people are going to say no regardless. That is inevitable.

      What I am doing currently is a little different than your goals for your business. There is a common thread though.

      When the responses are still negative, I wonder if it's a bad idea to acknowledge that the heavy skepticism exists and it's understandable, and ask what it would take to establish a basic level of trust?

      Since I am not a highly experienced guy on the phone, that may be a bad idea. That is just food for thought on my end. I have considered trying that question when I get a quick no on the phone.

      You are sending letters to begin with if I understood you right. That is a good idea.

      One more question I have is whether you have tried a site called Post Card Mania? I am not an affiliate or anything, but I intend to use them in the future. I have been researching them. I like them so far.

      I bring them up as a possible way to get your client's attention prior to calling them.
      You make some good points!

      What I had forgotten when we elected to try this script was the whole idea of getting "micro agreements".

      We not getting any or we're confusing/hitting the prospect with too much too soon so there's virtually no chance of getting a micro agreement.

      We need that first before we go diving into more risky territory.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

    4. Marketing is in the corporate office.
    I'm addressing this one because everyone else *thinks* this is a lost cause.

    Firstly the micro commitment thing...

    ...if you are getting feedback like what you describe then you have already got a commitment or at the least an engagement.

    I'm going to come back to the head-office marketing in a minute....but...

    If some one has responded to the telemarketer you should ABSOLUTELY follow-up later.

    Follow up in a few days with:

    "You provided feedback about one of our consultants"

    "Can you please help me as I'm from a consultancy trying to help XYZ improve their customer contact relationships and you expressed "Whatever they said i.e. cannot afford to spend"

    You then clearly state you want to include them in a case study to be presented to their local business authority and their opinion will help secure funding for local business support in their area."

    Go on to discuss the situation...." Oh I didn't know it was so tough in XXX?"

    Tell me more as I know the people in power will want to hear about this"

    Engage them on these rejections and make them feel that it is important to guage their opinion.

    At the end of the survey just say " Is it ok if I get Michael to call you back and discuss what you've said personally as I know he'd be very happy to help...is that OK?"

    Then you call back and get on with the next stage of things.

    ...OK...

    back to the NUMBER 4.

    There are many ways to handle this rejection and it in fact is a good one to get.

    The telemarketer should ask nicely " where is head office?"

    "Do you have aspirations to get promoted through the company and do you know what the Senior management is looking for in an Employee, franchisee [insert role]?

    Ask...Can I tell you about Carol...she worked next to me and now she's living the dream.

    Here's The story (script)...

    "It was like that around here a few months back and one team member who was on the phone right next to me took the initiative one day and called a client back with an idea that they knew would revolutionise their business.....she's now working for head office and just took a junket at the company's expense at some highfaluting conference on Maui.

    You should see the pictures she posted....and all because she improved the business a measly 5% (or something like that)

    Don't you wish you had that kind of initiative?.....

    Some luck.

    ...anyway if you are ever thinking of climbing the corporate ladder and would like a leg-up here's my number...or better still I can get Michael to call you directly and he can organise the paperwork so head office won't know what;s going on until you've been recognised for your outstanding efforts...of course we won't let them in on our little secret to your success."

    Rejection...unless they've got a gun in your face...is engagement...you just got to know how to keep the conversation moving along...
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