In part one of this post, we suggested 10 potential responses to use when a prospect says that now isn’t a good time to buy. Here are the next 10 options to consider using.
11. How are you performing against your end-of-year goals [as they relate to your product]?
This is a good way to remind a prospect of why they were talking to you in the first place and why they need your product or service. A prospect who saw absolutely no issue with their current business wouldn’t have taken your call in the first place — so remind them that delaying a deal could make those problems worse.
12. Here’s the timeline for ROI if we start in X months. Does that work for you?
Here’s that sense of urgency again. Remind your prospect that implementing a new product doesn’t produce overnight results. The question here is implicit — can they really afford to wait to buy or can they agree to come to a middle ground regarding the deal?
Say absolutely nothing!! It takes guts to carry this off, but try it!
A prospect with a real objection will ask, “Are you there?” or wait for you to follow up, says Tyre. But, if your prospect starts to waiver more or talk in a stream-of-consciousness, it’s a likely sign they’re trying to brush you off.
14. Do you understand [product’s] value?
I’ll almost guarantee that the answer to this will be “yes”….. Follow up with the next response to really drive this point home.
15. Which part of [product] do you think would help your company the most?
This question gets your prospect to reiterate their goals and forces them to tell you why your product is a good fit for them, instead of making them listen to you talk about it.
It can also trigger important red flags — for example, if you’ve been focusing on one area of your product but they bring up an entirely different area, it’s a sign you need to restart the conversation on different terms to reengage them.
16. Is it the timing, or is something else concerning you?
A timing objection may be a smokescreen. To find out what’s really holding your prospect back, ask this question.
The prospect will either say something along the lines of, “Well, I’m worried about [different issue] … ” or, “It’s not a good time to buy because [valid reason] … ”
In both cases, you’ll uncover the true issue, which you can focus on working to resolve.
Simple responses are sometimes the most effective responses. The prospect is probably expecting you to try and convince them it is a good time to buy, so this response will catch them off-guard (in a good way).
Once they’ve given you context, you can decide whether they’re in a position to move forward or not.
18. Thanks for your honesty — I don’t want to waste your time or mine until you’re ready to make a decision. In the meantime, can I send you any valuable content I find on [prospect’s industry, market, challenge, role]?
This can work well with prospects who can’t buy soon, no matter what you say. (They’ve already exhausted their budget for the year, the company’s strategy is in flux, new legislation will go into effect soon and they need to gauge the implications, and so on.) Pressuring them to buy will only make them screen your calls and emails. Instead, ask to periodically send them helpful, educational content to support them. You’ll stay top-of-mind while adding value and building up your status as a trusted advisor.
When they are ready to buy, you’ll be the first salesperson they contact.
19. Are there any large company events or initiatives coming up that would make this a priority?
If a prospect is unable to commit to your timeline, it might be because their budget is uncertain, a large company announcement is on the horizon, or an important industry event is looming that would make your timeline difficult to implement. Ask questions like, “The timeline seems to be a stumbling block for us. Is there a company/industry event coming up that might be causing you hesitation to pursue an aggressive timeline?” If the answer is, “Yes, I’m actually worried my budget might be cut next week.” you know what the objection is and how to proceed. If the answer is, “No, our company has a lot of red tape, and I’m worried this timeline doesn’t reflect that.” you’ve still gotten to the bottom of the real issue and can move forward.
20. Is there anything I can give you to make a stronger case to [decision maker]?
Sometimes, your prospect might be hesitant to move forward simply because they’ve received pushback from their manager or the ultimate decision maker. Ask if there’s anything you can do to support your prospect and help them make a stronger case to their boss. This might look like a one-sheet of talking points, a case study, or an informative blog post. A simple, “How can I help,” can be the difference between deal that’s closed and lost versus won.
Respond to Your Prospects Effectively and Empathetically
These days, there are an array of reasons why a prospect may try or decide to back out of a deal. Try experimenting with some of the responses above to support these prospects in a way that shows them you’re flexible, understanding, and empathetic — with this winning combination, your prospects will have an increasingly difficult time walking away from the value you provide.
If you’d like to discuss any of these approaches in more detail, then get in touch.
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