"I'm starting to get the "CALL ME BACK AFTER THE HOLIDAYS" Stall.
What should I do? Are these legitimate requests?"
OK let's start out by me asking you a question or two...
Question 1: Have you ever called a prospect back after the holidays?
I'm going to assume you've been in sales for a little while and also assume that your answer to my question is "Yes"
Question 2: What happened when you did call those prospects after the holidays like they asked? Did they buy?
I'm willing to bet that your answer is around 90% or so still did not buy from you. Fair assumption?
Sure maybe a few bought. But the majority did not. Are you happy with those odds? If not, we need to look at the situation a little closer in order to improve our results.
Here's where we start:
There are two primary buckets that your prospects will fit into when you hear the "Call Me Back After the Holidays" response.
The prospect has a legitimate reason for needing to wait. They are going to buy from you after the holidays but are not able to do it now. You've sought first to fully understand their situation and you've come to the conclusion that first quarter is when the deal will come in. Any further attempts to get them to move on "your time frame"
would only jeopardize your relationship with them and the deal. Time to move on.
It's a stall. A blow off. Something to get you off the phone now. They will not buy from you after the holidays because you missed a step or two in your sales process. This is the one we need to fix if you want to have a better shot of hitting your end of year quota.
Why Did the Stall Occur?
Two top reasons for getting the stall:
You are speaking to the wrong person. Sure, you may have them marked down as the "decision maker" but there's a strong possibility you allowed an information gatherer, end-user or an influencer convince you that they have decision-making power when they don't.
You haven't gotten commitment that they want the problem that your solution solves, to go away.
So What Do I Do?
The ultimate answer is to fine-tune your sales process (what sales questions you ask, when you ask them, how you ask them, why you ask them etc) so that you don't end up in this sales situation to begin with. But we all make mistakes so, one quick way to find out what bucket your prospect is in is to simply ask this question after they say "Call Me Back After the Holidays" and that is:
"Mr. Prospect, when I call you after the holidays, what happens next?"
Now if they say something along the lines of "We move forward / place the order" etc. this prospect is bucket #1.
But if they give you some type of bogus, non-committal or non-affirmative answer then you know you have not got them committed to solving their problem with your solution and or you are not speaking with the right person.
Best to uncover and handle those issues now while you have them on the phone rather than waiting till after the holidays.
CSS: Chief Sales Scientist
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