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copyright 2018 The Help Desk Sales


  • Kalani Thomas

A Salespersons Guide to Blowing Past “Not Interested”

Every salesperson has to have a quick way of describing their services or products that both compel and educate a prospect. This is useful in many scenarios, however, today I want to focus on the biggest use of a quick pitch…getting past the dreaded “I’m not interested”.

First of all, I call it a quick pitch and not a 60 second pitch or an elevator pitch, because it’s not always fast. Whatever the timing of the script, you shouldn’t be held to a standard of 60 seconds to describe your product. If you use these best practices you will end up giving yourself as much time as you need, and the prospect will buy in.

Second, they are not interested in talking to you, not because of you, but because of all of those that have come before you. When I work with sales teams we practice this technique every day of training. I lovingly refer to this as the “sex panther” cologne from Anchorman the movie. 60% of the time, it works every time. In all seriousness, this is the best way I have found to disarm this objection.

Now, to set up the delivery of the quick pitch, let’s talk about the Pepsi Challenge. The “Pepsi Challenge” was a very successful marketing campaign that stole market share away from the major soft drink competitor at the time and still today, Coca-Cola. This was ran in 1975 but has been recreated by a team at business insider.

The Challenge was to give a consumer 2 blind taste test. One was coke, and the other Pepsi. They always concluded that over 50% of the people preferred the taste of Pepsi.

Nonetheless, the draw was huge. The draw was a challenge, to taste the product you think you love for something you may not. People are so stubborn to abandon their own beliefs they will almost always agree to challenge them for confirmation of their convictions.

The setup for the delivery goes like this;

“I usually only hear that someone is not interested at this point for one of two reasons. Either you don’t want to talk to a salesperson or you don’t think my product is of any value to you. Would you say you are guilty of this as well?”

Asking this in this manner almost always gets a yes. When asking someone to continue with their complicated truth or a simple lie, they will choose the simple lie 9 out of 10 times. Tee this up for them if you can.

Once they say yes, it’s time to queue up your quick pitch and call out the elephant in the room.

“I know that’s the case, so I have built something that tells you all about my product and whether or not you and I ever need to talk more in the future, and does it in less than (30 seconds, 60 seconds, whatever).”

Then tee up the Pepsi challenge, or I should say, the not interested challenge.

“If you can give me just 60 seconds to go over this, and at the end you still don’t feel you are interested, I will take you off my list and move on. If you feel you are, we can set up another time to talk about it so I can get you right back to work.”

This is both a polite request and a challenge of one’s own convictions. You are likely to hear a “sure”, simply because you are going to (in their mind), give them a simple lie they can use to get out of the call. Here is the secret, there are two types of people and two types of answers. There are people that will be rude and just don’t want to talk, and there are people that are afraid if they do they will end up buying something. When it comes to talking to a salesperson, there are the real answers to questions, and the answers that “trap” the salesperson, and the prospect knows which is which just as well as you do.

Now for the pitch. Again, it’s not about fitting it in the confines of 60 seconds, but I will say the shorter the better. However, once someone agrees to hearing you out, they rarely put you on a clock, so going a little over or under your time is not really noticed. Still, try to do what you say, that’s something most salespeople will benefit from alone.

Once you build this out and before you read it to a customer, you should practice it. During these practice runs, time yourself. Whatever you come up with is your time allotment you ask for in the above script. If it’s 60 seconds, say that, if it’s 90, say that. I prefer seconds and not minutes, people look to save every second, not every minute of time.

To build this you need one to two sentences on each of the following:

  1. A 10,000 foot view of what your company does

  2. How you do what you do

  3. Benefits of working together

  4. Value of working together

  5. How the relationship is maintained

  6. A strong meeting request

Here is one being read by a website and software company I do some work with.

“We are a technology partner providing services that supports small businesses with marketing and scaling efficiencies.”“We do this, for starters, through an amazing website focused on your story, with easy to use functionality that handles all your communication and payment needs.”“We also provide you with a dedicated account manager, which means you always work with the same person you can really build a relationship with.”“Unlike doing this for yourself, you can work with a company that knows all the best practices that make businesses like yours a success since we work with over 25,000 small businesses already.”“With us, all you do is run your business and we run all the logistics in the background. So there is virtually no work to you and even less cost. Our approach is free to set up, cost you little to maintain but saves you all the headaches of multiple systems telling you differnet stories.”“Now we know you get a lot of calls from a lot of different people, but….”“At this point all I am looking for is a time I can get you back on the phone for 15 minutes, to show you everything you need to know to make a decision about whether or not we need to talk more in the future.”

This script takes about 50 seconds to read, so I have them quoting that on the phone.

People don’t know about your product or service, and if you only have one way to get there attention, try this. After you build your own, don’t forget to practice it correctly using some great techniques we shared earlier in this piece on scripting.

Let us know how this worked for you and don’t forget you can call us anytime for support on building your own scripts and sales material. We are The Help Desk after all…