What to Do When Your Prospect Utters Those 3 Awful Words: "I'm Not Interested"

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Art Sobczak
Art Sobczak



So you make a prospecting call, deliver your opening, and the prospect's response is a quick

"I’m not interested."


"We don’t need that."

or something similar.

What do you do?

Many reps say "Thankyouverymuch" and hang up.

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Granted, this is not a position where you are going to have your greatest shot at success, percentage-wise. This is like a football team starting from their own two-yard line, 30 seconds to go in the game, and down by eight points. It’s tough to pull this one out.

However, it’s not impossible. It's worth running another play. After all, you are there anyway and there’s still time on the clock.

First, let’s assess the situation. Are those "not interested" responses real objections?

Of course not. They are attempts to get salespeople off the phone. And they usually work. So prospects keep using them.

I call these knee-jerk prospect reactions "Triple Rs:" Resistant Reflex Responses.

They are undoubtedly resistant -- prospects use these phrases when they want to resist your conversation. They are reflexive, just like most people typically flinch without thinking about it when startled. And in this case, people say these things in response to what they consider a typical sales call.

So what should we do?

Ignore the RRR.

That’s right. It’s not real anyway. So trying to address it with some goofy rebuttal won't work.

What’s goofy? Maybe you’ve seen this suggested tactic in some sales literature:

"Of course you are not interested yet. That’s because I have not yet told you about all the great things that we do … "

Ever try to argue with someone who is irrational? It’s hair-pulling and gets you nowhere, because there is no reasoning behind what they say. Same thing applies here.

So what's the best option to deal with an RRR? Get the prospect talking. Ask a question.

Get their mind off their response, and instead, prompt them to talk about something else, preferably a need or problem area you might be able to drill deeper into.

Ask a question about what they are doing, using, or buying in a certain area. Ask how they are now dealing with a problem that you know they are experiencing. Just be sure to deliver the question in a non-threatening, non-adversarial, non-smartypants kind of way.

Again, this strategy does not necessarily represent a high-percentage chance for success, but you might just start moving the ball downfield with information you can run with.

Now I'd like to know: What do you say when hit with the RRR? Share your stories in the comments.

Editor's note: This post originally appeared on Smart Calling Online and is republished here with permission.

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