Strictly Sales Episode 11: What to Do When Prospects Are “All Set”

In this episode of the Strictly Sales podcast, sales executive and educator Jeff Hoffman shares his tips for pushing through a cold call regardless of whether your prospect says they’re “all set.”

It’s the kiss of death on a cold call. Salespeople hear it all the time, “We’re all set.” So what do you do when you hear those three words?
No need to fumble awkwardly. In this episode of Strictly Sales, Jeff Hoffman explains how to turn that phrase into a “reverse close” that will leave even the most stubborn customers interested.

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Key Takeaways

  • Try a “reverse close.” Just say, “You’re probably right,” and keep talking.
  • Challenge them quickly. After you acknowledge they’re probably right, say it will only take 5 minutes to find out for sure and ask if they can stay on the phone with you for that amount of time.
  • 20 percent conversion: The majority probably won’t bite, but one out of five is pretty good in terms of converting an aggressive objection.

“With the reverse close…I basically took your objection and threw it away.”

— Jeff Hoffman, M. J. Hoffman and Associates

Transcript


Announcer: This is Strictly Sales with Jeff Hoffman and CeCe Bazar. For more information go to OpenView Labs or MJHoffman.com.
CeCe: Thanks for joining Strictly Sales Library, your go-to place for all of your sales questions. This is CeCe Bazar and I’m joined by Jeff Hoffman. Jeff, today we want to talk about the kiss of death on a sales call. The thing that people hear all the time, “We’re all set”.
Jeff: Yes. We’re all set.
CeCe: We’re all set. How do we handle that, Jeff?
Jeff: Well that, I enjoy that one because there’s a really good technique for it. But realize that this is not the same as going through a sales process when they’ve given you 30 minutes and said, “I’m all set.” I mean I just want to be clear on that. A lot of the objections we’re talking about can fall in different places in a sales cycle. So we’ll deal with “I’m all set” on that cold call, when you’re just trying to get kind of get in the account, and they’re like, “Oh, we’re all set with that.” It’s kind of like brushing you off.
I’ve seen a lot of reps kind of struggle with that. I mean, CeCe, you’ve hear a lot of sales people?
CeCe: Of course.
Jeff: When they hear that, what are you hearing sales reps say to the “Oh, I’m all set.” What does the rep typically say?
CeCe: They typically fumble. Start throwing up all over themselves with their words. Its like, “Oh, okay. Well, um, you know, here’s what I’m going to do. Maybe I’ll send you over some information, and, uh, if you have any questions you can reach back out.”
Jeff: Yeah. So that’s just a mess. Just an absolute mess. And I’ve heard other reps that do like, they challenge the customer.
CeCe: Okay.
Jeff:  “What do you mean all set? Are you sure?” It’s like ugh… What are you going to do? Challenge the guy? Or challenge the person that think that they’re . . . That all said, I think that these are really weak attempts. The only effective way to handle what I call, you know, highly aggressive, you know let’s call it early objection, which this would be.Because this is saying, unlike the “I’ll send the information” or “It’s a bad time” which is more passive/aggressive and leaves an opening for future conversation, this is an absolute go away.
CeCe: Totally.
Jeff: And by the way, “Go away” is the only objection I don’t handle.
CeCe: Right.
Jeff: The customer says, “Go away” I hang up. That’s easy.
CeCe: Absolutely.
Jeff: Been there, nothing to see here.
CeCe: No chasing them down.
Jeff: But if they say, ‘We’re all set,” the only thing that’s effective is a reverse or negative close. So CeCe, why don’t you hit me with one of them the way a prospect might say it.
CeCe: All right, Jeff, well thanks. But you know, right now we’re all set
Jeff: You know, you might be. That’s probably accurate. You can definitely be all set. I talk to lots of people in your space all day, and a lot of them are all set. They don’t need our services and they don’t need to meet with me. I talk to a lot of other folks, though, that do need us. But the curious thing is sometimes a customer thinks they’re all set and it turns out they’re not. The good news is though, CeCe, I think we’ll know in five minutes. You have five minutes right now? Time out.
That’s probably the best I can do. I’d say you can convert one out of five of those to give you five minutes. One out of five means four out of five, 80% are saying, “I’m still all set.” And that’s the end.
CeCe: Yeah.
Jeff: But if you were to flip one out of five to give you five minutes of runway, it’s decent.
CeCe: Absolutely.
Jeff: But the reverse close is, “You’re right” Or actually, “You’re probably right.” Because I basically took your objection and threw it away. “Yeah, yeah, you’re right.” It’s like, well what are you going to say now? Say “You’re probably right.” You know why you’re probably right? Because I’ve never talked to you before. I don’t know anything about you.
CeCe: Absolutely.
Jeff: But I’m going to let you know through social proofing, that I do this all the time, and once in a while people are wrong. The good news is in five minutes we’ll know if you’re wrong or not.
CeCe: That’s fantastic.
Jeff: Reverse or negative closes is the only way to handle very, very strong objections.
CeCe: And I think, for those of you who are out there, maybe managers or marketing sales ops, have a list of questions ready for those people so that they can begin to qualify your leads. If you don’t have that in place, you’re kind of putting them in a sticky situation.
Jeff: Yeah, that’s true. I mean I was working with a client the other day and we were dealing with that objection and this person, this company, was selling to organizations that drop in a variety of storage in their infrastructure. They’re calling on smaller accounts. We did a role play that ultimately happened almost verbatim on a call.
The customer says, “We’re all set. We looked at you guys last year.” And the rep who went through the training with me said, “Well, you know, you might be right. I mean I don’t know. I didn’t speak to you last year, so you could very well be right. But you know, I talked to a lot of clients a year ago that thought they were all set and it turns out they’re not. The good news is we’ll all know in five minutes. You have five minutes right now?
The person was a little put off but said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve got a couple minutes.” Then the rep said, “How many clients did you sign up last year?” He said, “Twelve.” Then the rep said, “Do you anticipate signing up more than 12 this year?” The customer said, “Yeah.” He goes, “All right, we’re done. You need us.”
CeCe: Wow.
Jeff: And it was really cool. It was like the prospect was put off a little, but he was like, “Well what do you mean?” And he goes, “Well if you’re scaling from 12 to 20 clients, whatever current infrastructure you’re using is probably going to be outdated.”
CeCe: It’s not enough. Well for all of you reps out there, the next time someone says, “We’re all set.” You have your answer. Reverse close them. Thanks so much for tuning in.
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Photo by: Andrew Wippler

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