5 Proven Ways to Respond When a Prospect is “Too Busy”

April 17, 2015

Of all the brush-offs you get while prospecting, the old standby: “I’m too busy to talk now,” is right up there with, “I’m not interested,” and “Just email me something.”

The reason this is such a popular response with prospects is that most salespeople don’t know how to handle it. They’re easily put off and happy to call back later. Of course, now that the prospect has your caller ID#, they’ll know to let the call go to voicemail the next time they see it!

The key to handling this stall — as well as all others — is to sidestep it and earn the right to ask a few quick qualifying questions to determine if you’re dealing with the right person in the first place. That’s exactly what the following rebuttals allow you to do.

5 proven responses to “I’m too busy to talk right now”

As with any brush-off, objection, or stall, this one is easy to handle if you can just take the time to learn some proven responses to it, and then practice using them with confidence. To help you deal with this more effectively, I urge you to pick any of the responses below that best suits your style, product, and service. Feel free to adapt them so they are comfortable for you to use, and then practice using them each and every time you get this objection.

Response #1

“I completely understand, and I know what it’s like to be interrupted. Tell you what, before I schedule a call back with you let’s take just a moment now to make sure this is something that’s even worth it for me to call you back on.

Quick question: How open are you to considering a new vendor to handle your (product or service) if you found you could realistically save your already limited time and money?”


“Quick question: We supply/have a solution for/provide (your product or service), and the clients who schedule a 10-minute call with us are really happy they learned about it. I’m willing to call you back later today or even tomorrow morning, but first — what would you say your level of interest would be in making a move to a more efficient way of (doing what your product or service does)?”

Response #2

“I’m with you, and let’s face it — we’re all too busy until we hear about something that can really benefit us. Let me tell you in a nutshell how this can help you, and then if you’d like to know more, we can schedule a time that’s better later. Fair enough?”

[If yes, then give a brief description and use a qualifying tie-down question.]

Response #3

“Got it, and I won’t keep you. Quick question: Are you the right person to speak with in regards to (your product or service)?”

[If yes]

“Great, then before I schedule a time to get back with you, let me just ask you two quick things:

Number one, if you found that you could increase (list a benefit or two), and reduce your (again, list a benefit or two), how open would you be to viewing a demo on it?”

And two, if you decided this was worthy enough to seriously consider, who, besides yourself, would weigh in on making that decision?”

“Great, then let’s go ahead and schedule that. I’ve got two times tomorrow…”

Response #4

“No worries. I can either call you back tomorrow or later this afternoon, or we can spend just two minutes now to see if this is a fit for you — if not, then I won’t have to bother you again. How does that sound?”

Response #5

“Hey, I know what it’s like to be busy, but the last thing I want to do is schedule a call back if you’re really not interested in what I’ve got. Let’s do this: I’ll ask you just a quick question or two and if there’s some interest on your end, then we’ll schedule some time later. Fair enough?

[If yes]

“Great. _________, are you open to purchasing/investing/learning about a new way to handle your (your product) if you were convinced it would save you time/make your job easier/be better at…?”


“Quickly, what would your timeline be for (changing/investing/trying) a new service for your (what your product or service does) if you found you could dramatically increase/save, etc.?”

Bottom Line

Remember, your job isn’t to close a deal right away. It’s to earn the right to ask a few qualifying questions to see if your prospect is even worth putting on your call-back list. By using the scripts above, you’ll be able to do just that.

Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Mike’s Inside Sales Training Blog.

Photo by: kylesteed


Mike Brooks “Mr. Inside Sales”<a href="">Mr. Inside Sales</a> is the recognized authority on inside sales. Voted one of the most Influential Inside Sales Professionals by The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals for the past five years in a row, Mike is the go-to inside sales trainer and phone script writer in the industry. Mike is the best-selling author of “The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts” which Brian Tracy calls “One of the best books on inside sales phone scripts I’ve seen.” Mike is hired by business owners to implement proven sales processes that help them immediately scale and grow Multi-Million Dollar Inside Sales Teams. For more information, you can visit his website <a href=""></a>.