How to Handle Holiday Sales Objections Over the Phone
“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 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 the answer is, “Yes.”
Question 2: What happened when you did call those prospects after the holidays as they asked? Did they make a purchase or sign up?
I’m willing to bet that around 90% 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 to improve our results.
How to Handle Holiday Sales Objections Over the Phone: Step #1
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 understand their situation thoroughly, and you’ve concluded that the 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 sale. 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 Holiday Stall Objection Occur?
Two top reasons for getting the holiday stall:
1) 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 to convince you that they have decision-making power when they don’t.
2) You haven’t gotten a commitment that they want the problem that your solution solves, to go away.
How to Handle Holiday Sales Objections Over the Phone: Step #2
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 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 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. You skipped critical steps in the qualifying and or presentation phase and need to go back.
One way to handle this is to respond with:
“Mr. Prospect, I’m happy to call you back after the Holiday’s – here’s my concern for you – My concern is maybe I didn’t do a good enough job understanding your needs and showing you how we help (INDUSTRY/TARGET AUDIENCE) overcome/solve (PAIN POINT). So let’s do this, would it be OK if I can just ask you one or two quick questions just to confirm it would make sense for us to schedule a follow-up… would that be OK?”
You can get creative with the above response and change the wording to make it your own. The key is to be sincere in wanting to help them and admitting to yourself you messed up and take ownership of the fact that you failed to properly qualify the prospect.
It’s best to uncover and handle those issues now while you have them on the phone rather than waiting until after the holidays.
– 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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