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How to Handle the "Now Is Not a Good Time" Response

“How should I handle the “Now is not a good time” response? One of my colleagues suggested I reply with “What will be different in a week/month from now?” But is that the best rebuttal to use?”

The number one reason a prospect will say “Now is not a good time” is because the salesperson’s opener (what they said after “Hello, my name is…”) invoked this type of response. In short, the salespersons opening value statement was anything but and failed to accomplish its first objective, which is to pique interest in those precious first few seconds of a sales call.

Hot or Cold

And this response isn’t just a product of cold calling either. I’ve seen plenty of salespeople get the same blow-off/stall on warm calls as well (Warm calls = when a prospect raises their hand)
An example of a warm call would be when a salesperson is calling a lead that was generated via their website after a prospect requested information or a proposal and the salesperson calls and says something like:
“I’m calling to see if you had any questions” or “I’m following up on your proposal request,” and they still hear “now is not a good time.”
No matter the type of sales call, the “Now is not a good time” blow-off/stall has EVERYTHING to do with how the salesperson approached the prospect and very LITTLE to do with the temperature of the sales lead.

The Solution

The “What will be different in a week/month?” rebuttal is argumentative in my book and all though it is better than saying “ok” and hanging up, its a flawed solution because it doesn’t address/fix the real problem that caused the “now’s not a good time” response.
If you want to drastically reduce the number of times your prospects use this stall tactic on you, you’ll need to re-word the opening value statement so that they will want to hear what it is that you have to offer by piquing their interest in the first few seconds of the call.
Do that and watch how the “now’s not a good time” stall becomes a thing of the past.
Example: Which call would pique your interest more:

“I’m following up on your request for _______.”


“I understand you’re curious about what type of results you could expect from our _________ as well as what the initial investment might be…”

If you want to get better results, you have to stop using old, flawed sales tactics and start using new sales techniques that make logical sense.
– 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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