“I’m not interested” - handling the toughest sales objection

One of the most common mistakes salespeople make with objections is trying to overcome the objection. Take the popular “I’m not interested”, being said many times within a few seconds of their opening “pitch”. The salesperson will either give up by hanging up, try some pushy, aggressive way to get through the gatekeeper or call point--to eventually find out it doesn’t work and over-time this creates frustration, desperation and a cry for help to their manager.  

If the salesperson is not receiving the right support and obtaining a better way to respond to an objection they are left feeling hopeless and they will eventually lose confidence in their manager.

TAKEAWAY #1:

When you coach a salesperson you don’t try to overcome them. You don’t try to get through to them. You communicate in a way that gets “in with them.” Once you are in with them, then their guard starts to go down, they are more open, trusting and ready for the harder, more challenging questions—the questions that creates buy-in and moves them towards taking action.

You’ve earned the right to be their coach. Now let’s get to it.

This same coaching approach works with your prospective buyer who when right off the bat says “I’m not interested.”  If you hear this early in the conversation you must know how to respond. Notice I said, respond, and not react.

‍TAKEAWAY #2: ‍

You will not close them on this call.

Too often salespeople are swinging for the fences when they could be bunting to get on base and then have a better shot of stealing their way home.

When someone says “I’m not interested” they have both fists up, so it’s about making progress not closing them. It’s about responding in a way that gets them to put at least one fist down and you do this by validating.

 

What does ‘validate’ in sales mean?

To ‘validate’ means, you understand the person without saying you understand. It’s about getting the prospect to think or even say “you get me” or “you understand me and where I’m coming from.”

If you do not do this after they say “I am not interested’ you will come across dismissive and this will minimize and marginalize, not only what they said, but who they are.

Here is a great example of how this is done in a conversation:

“Jane, it’s absolutely reasonable to not be interested in my first call to you. I’d like to give us an opportunity to schedule a more formal time.  In the meantime, I’ll email you a few wonderful success cases that might gain your interest. If it does, and I think it will I’d love for us to keep our appointment, if not then you shouldn’t be interested.”

Or Jane, not being interested at this particular time in the conversation is not uncommon and makes perfect sense. 

TAKEAWAY #3:

Don’t ‘Fix’ it.

When you go right to Mr./Ms. fix it mode, you are assuming there is something broken and they are ready to fix it.  Now you made the conversation about your agenda, not theirs. 

Breakdown of Key Phrase in the above response:

✔ “Absolutely reasonable” (making them feel understood - Validating) 

✔ “Give us an opportunity” (it’s about us, not I) 

✔”If not...you shouldn’t be interested” (humanizes the call, its authentic)

‍…and most importantly you sound compelling.  You can be sure no other salesperson is going to be saying this, in this fashion.  I like those odds.


Ken Baldo

High-Powered, Entrepreneurial Sales Strategist combining coaching expertise with a deep understanding of the sales cycle honed through 18+ years of hands-on experience, Ken knows how to startup and scaleup a sales organization that consistently turns in top results.