17 April 2024 |

 take me off your list

By Gabrielle "GB" Blackwell

Objections Schmobjections

There are a set of objections prospects will use that can very quickly limit where the sales rep can take the conversation. 

The result? The prospect goes about their merry way while the sales rep feels defeated.

These objection can sound a lot like:

  • “I was just researching…”
  • “Take me off your list…”
  • “Not a priority…”
  • “I’m not the right person…”

So this week, I’m breaking each of these down and offering up some insights and tactics on the best ways to embrace, handle and reframe these objections. 

If reps can do that well, they can get more from the conversations and get closer to where quality pipeline lies.

I was just researching…

Anytime I hear this objection, I’d imagine there are 1 of 3 things happening here:

  1. The prospect has no recollection of engaging with marketing content, so they’re just saying “I was researching”
  2. The prospect is actually studying as part of their promotion and/or development plan
  3. There’s an initiative the prospect account may be launching and research is being done to build a business case

What to do then if you’re the rep?

Reps will want to make sure they’re aware of the marketing content’s subject matter and why a prospect may be interested in this topic. They’ll also want to know what developments, if any, are happening at the prospect account, i.e. growth, new leadership, etc.

That way, if they get this objection of “just researching”, they can have some relevant follow up questions, such as:

  • What motivated you to research [insert topic]?
  • Typically folks engage with this content because they’re experiencing [problem 1], [problem 2], or [problem 3]. Which, if any, of these resonate for you?
  • I noticed your company has been growing over the past few months and the content you downloaded relates to scaling up growth. Just curious, how are you going about this today?

Take me off your list…

I’ve got a lot of thoughts on this objection, but here are the main things I think of anytime I hear a prospect say “take me off your list”:

  1. They’re too low in the organization and therefore not the right person
  2. They’re not involved and have no influence, so they’re not the right person
  3. They’re not empowered, so they’re the right person, but maybe the company isn’t a great fit
  4. They’re the right person at the right company, but they’re just saying “take me off your list” because they don’t want to be bothered

Now, if a prospect falls into the first three categories…bummer. Although it is good to know since you don’t want your reps targeting prospects or accounts that’ll never be a good fit. 

But…you don’t want your reps to give up too easily just in case someone is in the fourth category. So here’s what I’d recommend your reps do…

Respond by saying, “What list?”.

LOL…I’m kidding…slightly.

Seriously though, your reps can try the following:

“More than happy to make a note letting folks know not to reach out to you. As I’m updating these notes, can you help me understand what’s driving this request? Is it because you’re not involved, not interested, or some other reason?”

Why I recommend this approach:

  • It encourages the rep to embrace the objection as a way to continue the conversation
  • It helps your rep get a better gauge on what’s driving the prospect to give the objection
  • The prospect still feels heard, and when people feel heard, they’re defenses come down more easily

Not a priority…

If someone says something is not a priority, here’s what might be going on:

  • They’re overwhelmed with work and likely don’t have the brain or emotional space to give attention to anything else
  • They’re too low in the organization and not the right person
  • The company may have some impending changes and the prospect doesn’t have a clear line of sight of whether they’ll be able to take on any new initiatives

How I’d recommend approaching this objection:

“Sounds like this isn’t top of mind for you right now. Could you see something like this being of value in the future though?” 

Why I recommend:

  • Again, it embraces the objection and keeps the conversation going
  • It can help the rep qualify if there’s an opportunity to sell in the future
  • In asking “could something like this be of value in the future” opens up the door to further discovery and potentially reframing your solution as something that can align to their current priorities

I’m not the right person…

Sometimes people will say they’re not the right person even when they are *exactly* who you want your reps to talk to.

An easy way to suss this out is responding with:

“When you say you’re not the right person, is that because you’re not involved in [the process your solution would touch] or because someone else at the organization would be a better person to reach out to?”

If the prospect says they are NOT involved, ask for the referral to the person.

If the prospect says they ARE involved, but someone else would be a better person to talk to, keep the conversation going. “What’s your involvement with that process?” or “How are you involved in that process?” can be great follow up questions.

If it’s clear the prospect really isn’t the right person to talk to, that’s the invitation for the rep to ask for the referral. 💰Bonus: if your rep has kept the conversation going and done some level of discovery, they’ll be able to tailor the message to the referral and increase their chances of conversion.

Fast fire objection tips

  • Objections are simply requests for further information
  • Embrace the objection rather than simply dismissing them
  • Objections can also be invitations to reframe the conversation