“Call me later” How Do You Respond?

Pop quiz.

You make a cold call.

Ten seconds into the call, your prospect says, “Call me later.”

How do you respond?

Most salespeople try to overcome this “objection” by saying things like:

“To make sure it’s worth your time, the reason for my call is ….” (AKA The Steamroller.)

“Sure. I’ll send you a calendar invite. What time works best 3 or 4 on Thursday?” (AKA The Assumptive Close. You’re assuming the prospect wants to meet. Even if they agree it’s often a fake yes to get you off the phone which results in a no show.)

Each of these statements sends a clear message to prospects: that the salesperson is putting their best interests first.

Whenever prospects feel the push, they enter the Zone of Resistance (ZOR). So do you. So does everyone.

The ZOR is a reflex reaction to sales pressure. Pressure is perceived as a threat, so it triggers the fight or flight response. It’s biological.

So let’s try another approach.

Step 1: Detach from the outcome. Let go of assumptions.

When your intent is to talk everyone into a meeting, you behave in ways they feel pushy.

Same intent.
Same behavior.
Same results.

Step 2: Seek to understand, not to overcome.

Objections carry one of two meanings:

  1. They’re true. You caught the prospect at a bad time.
  2. They’re not true. It’s a brush off to end the call without hurting your feelings.

Your job is to understsnd the truth.

Truths have “oomph” or reasons behind them.

For example:

“I can’t talk right now because I’m going to the hospital” isn’t an objection. It’s specific. The response has “oomph.”

So you piss the prospect off if you try to overcome the “objection” by saying:

“Sorry, you’re going to the hospital. Let’s put some time on the calendar. How’s next Wednesday at 3 pm.”

When you treat a truth like an objection, prospects enter the ZOR.

Here’s how to uncover the truth:

Prospect: “Call me later.”

Salesperson: “I’m sorry. It sounds like I caught you at the worst possible time.”

Prospect: “You did. I’m at my kid’s soccer game.”

Salesperson: “What’s the score?”

Prospect: “We’re up 4-3.”

Salesperson: “Nailbiter. I’ll try back later this week.”

Later that week:

Salesperson: “Hi Bob, it’s Mandy. I caught you in the middle of your kid’s soccer game. They were up 4-3. Is now a better time, or are you in overtime?”

Prospect: “Ha! We pulled off a win. 5-3. What’s up?”

Opening created.

Overcoming closed doors.
Understanding opens doors

Different intent.
Different behavior.
Different results.

Don’t fight the resistance.

Join the resistance.