"I'm booked solid for the next year"

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This question is to the folks who have been around tele sales for a while.

I'm confident in handling most all objections - but this one seems to stump me.

"I have enough customers" or "I'm not taking on any new clients" or "I'm booked solid for the next year"

What have you found is a good handler to this objection. Can you even sell to this person? I'm confident in handling most objections but this one throws me for a loop most times and I'm looking for some new objection handling ideas... What are your thoughts?

I'm finding a lot of times, even after I redirect the conversation that in my experience, if they say this objection, they're pretty much a lost lead.

I know some will say It's just a smokescreen because I haven't provided enough curiosity or value. I have not found a solid workout to this objection yet.

Ideas?
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    Originally Posted by MitchHoward View Post

    Ideas?
    Hang up and call someone that might say, "Yes." Were you formally trained in telemarketing?

    There are two schools of thought.

    1. Battle every objection as if it's a death match

    2. Take the path of least resistance. Hang up and call someone else.

    Do you really believe there is anything you can say that will make that person change their mind? Good luck with that. Just remember - that time you waste - it's gone forever!
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by MitchHoward View Post


    I know some will say It's just a smokescreen because I haven't provided enough curiosity or value. I have not found a solid workout to this objection yet.

    Ideas?

    What Optin said.

    When you get that as an objection up front, take it to mean one of two things;

    "I truly am booked up for the next year" or
    "I always start out my sales relationships with a complete lie to get you off the phone"

    Either way, the best thing to do is call the next person.

    This is one real difference between selling in person, and selling over the phone....

    When I used to get a deal killer objection like this up front, it was worth taking a few minutes to try to get past it.....because it took some time to get in front of my next prospect. And it paid off.

    But over the phone? When your next prospect is only a few seconds away? Just call a better prospect.

    The only exception would be if you have a very limited list to call (let's say under 100 names) and you can't call anyone else . I have no idea why that would be the case.

    When I was selling my local online marketing service. I'd hear "We only use word of mouth and we are booked solid"..I would ask "Would you like to attract the most profitable customers, so you can be more selective?"

    How often did this allow me to keep going in the presentation? Not often. Maybe 10% of the time. But it was certainly worth the 10 seconds it took.

    I was selling in person, not over the phone. It may be worth a try for a week, to see if any of them come around.
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  • Profile picture of the author MitchHoward
    Thanks for the quick response guys - I will try what you said Claude, to see what happens.

    I've said similar things and usually they get irritated at that point lol. Idc though. Like you said, it's worth the 10 seconds.

    I have really been focusing on my tonality and objection handling lately - But this is almost more like them qualifying themselves out.

    Personally, now that I think about it. I don't want to work with someone who either A) lies up front or B) Is not interested in growing as a business anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    As you said. "pretty much a lost lead."

    However, to some it's sport to test you
    when in fact what was said may not be true.

    There could be other reasons for that statement
    to get you off the phone too.

    They could be doing something urgent, their mind
    is on something else so they use it as a canned response...

    Like "No thank you" when asked if they would like help
    when in a store.

    So one way to test the validity of the statement is to repeat
    it back in a quizical tone.

    Two things will either happen...

    1 They will soften on thei stance

    or...

    2 They will stay the same.

    If there is no softening then move on.

    Best,
    Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    I agree with all the expert answers you've had...however.

    Am I right in assuming that this 'objection' is in response to a question you've asked very early on about whether they'd be 'interested in getting more customers?'

    If it is then, as others have said, they're using it to get you off the phone maybe. To stop you continuing to 'sell'

    Try this......Call and make the first words out of your mouth be

    'Hello, are you able to take on a new client?'

    They don't know who you are at this stage and you are therefore much more likely to get an instant [and therefore truthful] response rather than the sales resistance considered response.

    Assuming they answer in the positive, you can go from there.

    You just need to adapt that opening to your market/product.

    It works. ;0)
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      'Hello, are you able to take on a new client?'
      Oh, my. That just might be one of the worst tactics I've ever heard.

      If someone calls me with that question, my immediate response is they are inquiring if I can handle their account and do the work they require. I'm giddy. lol

      Then they inform me that they want to sell me a way to obtain a new client? Really?

      What - and how many terrible things will I say about their mother before I hang-up on them?

      It's devious, deceptive and desperate. So much for building trust.
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      • Profile picture of the author helisell
        Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

        Oh, my. That just might be one of the worst tactics I've ever heard.

        If someone calls me with that question, my immediate response is they are inquiring if I can handle their account and do the work they require. I'm giddy. lol

        Then they inform me that they want to sell me a way to obtain a new client? Really?

        What - and how many terrible things will I say about their mother before I hang-up on them?

        It's devious, deceptive and desperate. So much for building trust.
        Devious? maybe
        Desperate? Definitely not.
        Deceptive? I'm asking if they can handle a new client.
        No point talking to them if they can't.

        Takes skill of course, to transition into what your offer is...but it works just fine.

        You might not think it's a good tactic [but then you've never tried it have you?]
        I've never [not even once] had the phone put down on me but then.....I've been
        doing this sort of thing for years and years...actually, done right, the customers
        kind of join in the fun of it.
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        • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
          Originally Posted by helisell View Post

          Devious? maybe
          No. Definitely. :-)

          Desperate? Definitely not.
          If that what you need to resort to, I feel it is.

          Deceptive? I'm asking if they can handle a new client. No point talking to them if they can't.
          I guess depending on your tone of voice, I would interpret it as I want you to handle my account.

          Takes skill of course, to transition into what your offer is...but it works just fine.
          Well, the OP has indicated that he's still learning the ropes. I would not recommend this technique to anyone, but if I were forced to, it would only be to a very well-seasoned professional.

          You might not think it's a good tactic [but then you've never tried it have you?]
          Nope. I'd be ashamed to add that arrow to my quiver. lol

          I've never [not even once] had the phone put down on me but then.....I've been
          doing this sort of thing for years and years...actually, done right, the customers
          kind of join in the fun of it.
          Well, I've done it for decades. I don't see where "fun" enters that scenario. Different strokes. :-)

          Cheers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      I agree with all the expert answers you've had...however.

      Am I right in assuming that this 'objection' is in response to a question you've asked very early on about whether they'd be 'interested in getting more customers?'

      If it is then, as others have said, they're using it to get you off the phone maybe. To stop you continuing to 'sell'

      Try this......Call and make the first words out of your mouth be

      'Hello, are you able to take on a new client?'
      I get it. I immediately see how it works, and I see why Big Frank doesn't like it at all. It's all in what you are comfortable with.

      If the very next thing you said was "Well, I may be able to help you do that"....it would change their perception that you are calling as a client. ...and they are already in the "I want a new client" mindset. Again, I see why it works.

      To me, it would take a skill most don't have, and cannot develop, to overcome the eventual inevitable complaints.

      I thought about...what would I do if someone called me and said "Hello, would you like to sell an extra 3 vacuum cleaners this week?"...and then immediately transitioned to explain that they could help me do that...I probably wouldn't get mad. And I'd already be in the right frame of mind. In fact, it would be a different enough approach that I just might listen to them.

      Personally, I'd be interested in hearing the next couple of things you say in your sequence.


      That approach (the short part I've just read) reminds me of "Bait and switch" ads I used to run a few decades ago.....Highly profitable. Far more profitable than straight ads. But every time a prospect walked through the door, there was a period of "explaining" that had to happen. A skill almost nobody has. I had to talk to those people myself.

      I stopped doing it......frankly it just wore me out....pretending like I didn't understand their confusion. And explaining what I meant in the ad.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Owsley
    Thanks for this question MitchHoward, as well as thanks to everyone that offered great replies. It's a good a good reminder that you have to know when to cut your losses which in this case is your time and move on to something or someone who is a better prospect that can give you results. Some people may look at this as giving up but there comes a time when you have to know when to move on and use your time wisely, thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    "Takes skill of course, to transition into what your offer is...but it works just fine."

    OK I admit...it takes huge skill and I wouldn't recommend it unless you have learned to
    'bob-and-weave' and have some experience under your belt but if I was getting more than a few 'we have all the clients we need' then this approach is worth a try.

    As for the next step?

    How about something along these lines.

    "I've potentially got a handful of left-over clients from some lead generation work I've been doing in (your field of expertise.....)

    ......and I'm having a call round to see who might be able to handle some new clients? [hopefully you can guess what comes next]

    JUST ADDED

    I am currently working with a client who is selling into a market that has been absolutely hammered by tele-marketers. The customers they are calling keep trying to tell them that they have 'all the business they can handle' [we know that this is just their way of ending the call]

    I quickly implemented a new approach and strangely we are getting a great reception on the phone and we are getting great conversions too.

    The approach I devised for them is totally different to the competitors approach and we start by asking a similar question to the one I suggested in my initial response to this post. We don't get the phone put down on us. My client is over the moon and can't believe how well things are working.

    I thank you ;0)
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by MitchHoward View Post

    "I'm booked solid for the next year"
    The minute I hear this one... I KNOW im wasting time on the call... so I throw out " What about the year after? how is that looking? " I do it more to amuze myself.. but have found it does open up discussion every once in a while. LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author LWalsh
    Hello Howard,
    It's really a great a fantastic reminder you need to understand when to cut back your losses that in this circumstance can be your own period and continue on into something or somebody who's really just a better possibility that may provide you results. Have a nice day.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Mitch I know this is a TOTAL change up LOL....but I say, "OK."

    Then another client ready to work with me finds me, or I make another sale, or a business partner brings an idea to me.

    My take; if someone makes an objection to me, if I try to convince them out of their objection, I fear losing the individual. Since I am not afraid to lose any human business-wise, I let go the person and like clockwork, something or someone real cool shows up.

    Maintaining this level of posture feels very uncomfortable for most folks. Sure as hell did for me. But the upside rocks; things and folks and success keep flowing to you from all directions, super easily.

    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    "I have enough customers" or "I'm not taking on any new clients" or "I'm booked solid for the next year"

    Have you tried this?

    What if you respond by sincerely asking, "ummm, could you help me out then and recommend another [same business] that may be interested in what I have?" -- just to see if they take a moment to reflect on what they're passing on.

    OR

    What if you respond by saying, "there's no charge" -- just to see if they're interested in getting leads or truly are filled up.

    Of course if they say yes to that then laugh at them, say, "Gotcha!" and hang up.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveTraffic
    Hi everyone and OP, I just wanted to add my 2 cents... I used to be a stockbroker in New York, from the late 90's to the late 2000's. I was trained directly under "JB".

    One example of something I would hear all of the time is " I already have 2 - 4 brokers " yada yada...

    I would quickly say, "oh now that's great, its not a bad thing to diversify, all brokers are different and some are better then others, I hope they are all treating you right and making ya lots of money, hehe... and Just so you know.. right out the gate here, I am not looking to step on anyone's toes or interfere with anyone you are currently working with..."

    I would follow this logic:
    1: address ( address what they said by saying it back to them, subconsciously it makes prospect understand that you are actually listening to him/her.. this works wonders!! try to repeat some of the stuff they say back to them in the form of your sentence...

    2: rebut ( you see how I just said to that person that it is ok to already be working with brokers and I am not looking to interfere ) ..potential client didn't expect me to say that.. they fall silent and listen.

    3: overcome or segue : I always have an ace up my sleeve / a back door offer sort of speak... One being offering a free service ( so I would always offer commission free trades to give me shot )
    Offer something free, or a test run, always have something free to offer... because if they like it, trust me, they got plenty of business friends they could and will recommend to you.

    so you can say something like this for example.. "oh that's great to hear, you probably make a lot of your competitors jealous haha, its a great feeling to be raking in the dough. you know something... I got a few clients working with me that just hired on some new employees to delegate and manage the additional business that we're sending them and they're really raking it in now. Why limit yourself to what it is only you can handle when you can hire on more staff to take care of the additional business, Rome was not built in a day. it expanded over time... Now I know ( persons name ) I'm sure you get a lot of these phone calls all of the time, and Quite Frankly... you simply do not have the time to hear everybody out.... ( i'd segue from here... )
    ( PS, the three dots ... after the sentence, those are important ' silent drops ' because pause is powerful )

    and like everyone else said; They are either lying to get you off the phone because they do not want to hear another sales call... or they are really, really booked out.

    My best ' address ' and 'rebut ' are always logic filled with just a touch of sarcasm. It gets people to listen, because as you address it, they come to realize they got a sharp tack on the other end of the line that just shot that rejection down with logic... it gets people to continue to listen.

    I'm not saying this is a 10 out of 10 win victory, but yes... I had a lot of people laugh and drop their defenses real quick and hear me out.

    It's always good to practice, and become real quick witted. Just be yourself, don't be a sales person. Just shoot it from the hip ;-)
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    • Originally Posted by SteveTraffic View Post

      Hi everyone and OP, I just wanted to add my 2 cents... I used to be a stockbroker in New York, from the late 90's to the late 2000's. I was trained directly under "JB".

      One example of something I would hear all of the time is " I already have 2 - 4 brokers " yada yada...

      I would quickly say, "oh now that's great, its not a bad thing to diversify, all brokers are different and some are better then others, I hope they are all treating you right and making ya lots of money, hehe... and Just so you know.. right out the gate here, I am not looking to step on anyone's toes or interfere with anyone you are currently working with..."
      You are purposely interpreting their objection as something less final. And you aren't giving them anything to say "No" to.

      For example, they say "I don't have the time" and you say "Who does nowadays? So I'll make this real short and sweet".

      What they of course meant was "I don't want to talk to you" but you pretend like they made a general statement about their busy life.

      I get it. There are two schools of thought with this kind of hard cold calling...
      1) Get to the easier prospect as soon as possible. Run through the names looking for lay downs. Next.

      2) Try to sell everyone you talk to. Engage everyone. Answer every objection. Wear them down.

      If you have a lost of people that have invested before, and it's a product with mass appeal......why not just plow through everyone you get on the phone?

      If your offer only has appeal to a small segment of those you call (leases on jets, hospital uniforms) You would want to qualify them before you started talking about your offer.
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  • Profile picture of the author saibat11
    Thanks for the quick response guys - I will try what you said Claude, to see what happens.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roland Hull
    Price increase then should have been made. If the demand is too high - the product quality and the price are the two changeable variables.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    When a client throws an objection at you...

    and you respond with, "That's not a problem", you usually throw them off guard.

    "I can't afford it".

    "That's not a problem", we have three easy payment options.

    "I'm working with someone else"

    "That's not a problem", this will supplement your ----

    "I don't have time".

    "That's not a problem", blah blah blah.

    The customer is usually trying to create their best problem scenario. When you inform them it isn't a problem...the game is on.

    As with anything, it doesn't always work, but it's always helped me.

    There's more training on this concept different places online.
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