Turning the "No Interest" Customer into "The Process Continues Sale"
Like pulling a rabbit from a top hat, converting “no-interest” customers into clients may seem like a magic trick that creates something out of nothing. I recommend gently coaxing the rabbit (or client), rather than using a hard tug on the ears!
If you approach a new customer and she responds, “Sorry, not interested,” try this method:
First, reject the concept of overcoming the customer’s objections. The customer has a right to express concern and your job is to first learn the reasons why they are not interested.
Ask instead, “Would you tell me about why you aren’t interested?” A true sales magician has to understand the reasons for the concern. They might respond:
- “I don’t need that!” (No perceived value).
- “My current supplier already takes care of that.” (Already has a similar product).
- “You want $1,000 for that?” (Price is too high).
- “I just recently purchased Product A from you, but I really have no interest in Product B!” (Cross-selling the customer too fast after a successful sale, or pitching an unrelated product).
No matter what reason the client gives, be prepared to hear the underlying concern and acknowledge that it is reasonable! e.g. “I can see why it would seem odd to purchase ABC, when you already have something that takes care of your problem.”
Next, ask permission to question the customer: “Before I leave, may I ask you a few questions?” Most customers allow you to ask a question or two after they have turned you down. Saying 'Before I leave' communicates that you will not take up too much time.
Here is where you will have to think on your feet as you dig deeper into possible other needs or issues the customer might have. Your objective here is to elevate the person’s interest in an area perhaps that you believe the customer may be experiencing an issue. The objective is NOT to make a sale, but to challenge the customer with an idea that may be of value to her. Depending on the question you ask, this may actually turn into an interest that you can respond to.
Finally, end your conversation by asking: “Mr. Customer, while there may not be an opportunity today, may I call you back in 60 to 90 days?” The point of this interaction is opening a door for the process to continue, not making a sale. This gentle prod may lead to sales magic later down the road.