You have a prospect who’s genuinely interested. They’re asking all the right questions, and you’re responding perfectly. All seems to be going well, and it looks like you’re about to close the deal.
All of a sudden they say, “I’ve got some other pressing things that are going on right now, so I have to go… but I have all your information, and I’ll call you back later.”
ARGGH! What happened?
Most, if not all, conversations that end abruptly like this are out of our control. We can do our very best job and not be able to make the deal happen. But what more can we do to assure a positive outcome (a sale) without sounding pushy, overbearing, or insensitive to their other obligations?
Here are a few responses that I teach in my “Sales Dominance” Program for sports ticket sales executives to overcome this situation and move it to a positive end at that moment:
– “Well, as hard as it is to reach people by phone today, if we can just get it done right now, it would only take a few moments, and we won’t have to go back and forth with phone tag. We’ll probably SAVE ourselves some time in the end!”
– “I’ve got a lot going on too, but if we can just get it done right now, it won’t take but a few moments, and I’m LIGHTNING FAST on the computer! Would that be OK with you?”
– “We can do that, but I can’t guarantee that these same seats will be here when we get a chance to talk again. There are 10 other people on the phones selling the very same area we’re talking about right now. All I need is a deposit so I can put your name on them, and we can work out the rest later. How does that sound?”
– “OK… but if where you sit is important to you, I should make sure you know that I can’t hold the seats we’ve been talking about unless I have a deposit… and the longer we wait, the less attractive the seats become. Can I get your credit card information for the deposit, so we can hold these seats now, and take care of the rest of the details later?”
– “Well, this IS where you want to sit, right? The thing is, I can’t hold any seats unless there’s at least a small deposit on them, and we’re selling seats here every day. Do you have just another moment or two to wrap this up so that you’re sure to have these seats we’re looking at right now?”
[These are the TAME responses… for three more bold, out-there, how-could-you-ask-that sorts of answers to the “Call Me Back Later” stall, just E-mail me with the word “BOLD” in the subject line, and I’ll send those to you right away.]
For the person that simply HAS to end the call now, here are some tips to make sure the end result is as positive as possible:
– Make sure that you set a date and time for you to return your call. Simply saying “I’ll call you back later” or “Let’s talk next week” isn’t specific enough, and may lead to weeks of phone tag.
– Ask for their e-mail address, so you can send them a reminder for your follow-up call. Those who are busy will truly appreciate that you’re sending them an e-mail reminder, and by seeing that message, you’ll have far more people who will remember that they’ve agreed to talk to you on that date and time.
– Do what you promised you’d do. You would be amazed at how many people SAY things they’ll do, and never follow up! Be sure to actually CALL on the date and time you arrange. By being punctual and keeping your word, you’re earning their trust and showing how much you respect them, their time, and their potential business.