And other common excuses!
I’ll think it over is only an excuse.
Ashley, a sales representative for a regional software company, makes several calls a week to new potential prospects to request a meeting to demonstrate her product. She gets lots of voice mails, speaks to lots of gatekeepers and sends a lot of emails with no response.
Every once in a while, (statically 5 out of 100) she will reach a potential prospect live. When she does she is so excited that she doesn’t even recognize the excuse.
There is an array of excuses that a prospect will give a salesperson. What is most interesting is that the sales person will likely not see them as excuses and believe them.
Here are some common examples that are almost always an excuse and not the truth;
Why don’t you send me something
I’m in a meeting
We don’t have any budget/money this year
Call me in the 3rd quarter
We’re good right now but you can check back
I’ll think it over and let you know
Let’s take these one at a time;
“Why don’t you send me/email me something”
-Translation- “It’s easier to ignore you through email”
If this prospect were truly interested they would take at least a few minutes and talk to right then, even just a few minutes to determine if there is a need.
“I’m in a meeting”
-Translation- “I have no time to talk and I’m hoping this illusion of interruption will get you off of the phone quickly”.
I love this one! So, you are in an actual meeting in your office, you don’t know who’s calling but you pick up the phone anyway? Seriously? Salespeople fall for this one all of the time! At this point the salesperson keeps calling but the prospect now knows the phone number through caller I D and will just avoid the call.
“We don’t have a budget/ money at this time”
-Translation- “I just don’t see the benefit and having no money will make you go away, at least for a while”.
Money is an interesting thing. People will find money for what they determine will bring them value, what\whatever THEY deem value is. We often blow this one by trying to quickly show how our product will save them/make them money. Yeah right! It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, you can’t shove your idea of value down their throat on a phone call.
“Call me after the 3rd quarter”. – Translation- “Wow I just put you off for at least a few months.” Salespeople like this one because it gives them something they can follow up on…at least in their mind. This is where following up in my opinion becomes stalking. The salesperson keeps calling when this date arrives and the propect will not even remember they told you to call, let alone meant it when they said it.
“We’re good right now but you can check back”
–Translation- see the previous translation.
I say Gee, thank you so much for allowing me to check back! You must really like me/be interested etc. Yeah…
“I’ll Think it over and let you know”
–Translation- “I have no intention of reaching back out to you but I asked for the next move be done by me”, which is no move, but salespeople happily agree and wait, and wait. What’s funny is they would rather take any of these excuses than hear the real truth is, most commonly a NO.
If we as salespeople could get comfortable with asking right up front for a no as an option, we wouldn’t be wasting so much time, energy and our control of the sales process.