How To Handle A Common Pushback In Sales

How many times have you heard the phrase, “I’ll get back to you?” When you have been working on building a relationship with a prospect, it can feel like a punch in the gut. When a prospect says this, many sales reps take it to be the end of the conversation.

However, Marc Wayshak, a sales strategist and best-selling author, says that this common pushback does not mean it’s a lost deal. In fact, he says sales reps can maneuver around this objection and keep the sale on track.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Wayshak’s strategies for dealing with the dreaded statement, “I’ll get back to you.”

Switch the dynamic. Most prospects who say “I’ll get back to you” have no intention of reaching back out. They just want to get out of the situation politely. Wayshak says sales reps should never leave the responsibility of reaching back out to the prospect. End the conversation so that the ball is in your court.

Know what the statement means. It’s not usually a good thing when you hear “I’ll get back to you.” It typically means you have lost the sale and the prospect assumes you will acquiesce and end the conversation. When you recognize what these words mean, you can push back and do whatever you can to firmly set the conversation on a different and better path, says Wayshak.

Explore why the prospect used these words. After the prospect says, “I’ll get back to you,” don’t respond with your own statement. Instead, learn more by asking a question. Say something like, “Okay. I appreciate your saying that. Help me understand why you say that?” Wayshak says the goal is to get the prospect to clarify why they’re saying that they want to get back to you. When you have some clarification, you can be more strategic with your next move.

Schedule a next meeting. According to Wayshak, the best push back to “I’ll get back to you” is to book a meeting. Try saying something like, “I understand the timing isn’t right at the moment. Would it make sense to at least get something on the calendar so we can avoid all the back and forth of trying to schedule? Would sometime next week work?”

Call them out. Sometimes, the prospect continues to push back and doesn’t want to book a meeting. When this happens, Wayshak recommends respectfully calling them out. This will often throw the prospect off guard. You can respond with, “I’ve been doing this a long time, and I find that when people are unwilling to schedule a next step, they really don’t want to continue the conversation. I want to take all the pressure off. Is that what’s happening here?” If the prospect agrees it’s not a good fit, you can move on. And if they say they want to talk more, you can get a meeting on their calendar. This is the time to be firm, Wayshak adds.

Hold your ground. Ideally, you would land another meeting and go on to win the business. But if you keep hearing objection after objection, be willing to be bold and blow up the sale if necessary. Wayshak notes that when you hear “I’ll get back to you,” you have already effectively lost the sale since the prospect likely won’t ever get back to you. So, Wayshak recommends using assertive language. Consider saying, “You know what? I appreciate your saying that. It sounds like you’re really busy and I have a lot going on too. But what I find is that if we don’t schedule a next step, things tend to fall apart. Can we check your calendar right now and set a meeting?”

No one likes to hear the phrase, “I’ll get back to you.” It’s often a polite way of saying “no thanks.” The next time a prospect tries to brush you off with this statement, try one of the tips above to keep the conversation moving forward.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Marc Wayshak is a sales strategist and the author of three best-selling books. He created the Game Plan Selling System and contributes regularly to Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Reuters, and others.

filed under January 2021
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