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The “We’re Going to Hold Off” Email

How to Respond to The

“We’re Going to Hold Off” Email

“My sale was moving along and was on the verge of closing, but then I got an email that said, “We’re going to hold off” – What happened? And how do I respond in this situation?”

When this situation happens, usually, there are two platforms.

  1. You’re speaking with the Ultimate Decision Maker, and they are the ones that emailed you the seemingly lousy news, or
  2. You’re speaking with the Influencer, and they delivered those deflating words to you.

Of course, there’s also a third-platform where you think you are dealing with the decision-maker, but in reality, you aren’t, but for the sake of this article, let’s assume you are genuinely speaking with someone in a position of power or position of influence – and they just lowered the boom on you.


I’m a massive advocate of CALLING FIRST and EMAILING SECOND.

This situation, however, is one of the exceptions to the rule.

If you call your prospect right after receiving their email – one of two things will happen:

  1. They will ignore your call because they want to avoid conflict. Or
  2. If they answer your call, their guard will be up, and it will be tough to bring down.

I’ve found it extremely helpful to reply to the email in a very particular way.

Your Response’s Objective

My goal is to do two things:

  1. Lower their guard;
  2. Get them talking.

So in my reply, I say something such as “OK, no problem. Thanks for the heads up.”

Replying this way will help lower their guard as they expected you to ream them about why they should be buying from you.

It will be a relief that you aren’t trying to strong-arm them into buying.

The next step is to ask them a simple question. The question needs to have a “this” or “that.”

Email Reply Example:

“OK, no problem. Thanks for the heads up. Is the course outline not a good fit, or do you not need that many seats?”

Now, if you were following the right sales process and they were a qualified prospect that went off the tracks towards the close, and you handle this situation the way, you stand a good chance of having them reply.

(I had to run this play last week, and I ended up recovering the deal – so I know it works)

Since my email reply lowered their guard and then asked them a “this” or “that” question, they were more willing to reply. And that’s all we need them to do.

If the prospect decides to reply, they will explain what the delay is.

They will either say it is THIS, THAT, or SOMETHING ELSE – which is what you needed to know. In essence, you now have (or are a lot closer) to the real objection.


After you have a better understanding of their reason for the holdup, reply to their email with this:

“OK, I have an idea… Let me check on something first.”

Now wait a few minutes and then call them.

When you call them back, they’re going to be curious about what your solution is. Their guard will be down, and their curiosity to hear your new idea will be up.

You’re in the perfect position to handle the objection and close the sale.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.

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