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How to proceed when prospects say they are not interested

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Gabbe18

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Prospecting is rejection-dense work, whether it's cold calling, cold emailing, or any other form. Most of the time I get something along the lines of "I am not interested". However many times I feel like these prospects would really benefit from my product/service (web design) or at least explore more to see whether they are a good fit or not.

I feel like I waste a lot of great opportunities by just moving on because a business said that they are not interested. It seems to me many businesses say no because there is no trust.

So my question is, how do you nurture prospects or proceed after prospects say they are not interested? Also, how do you determine when it's enough, this prospect is clearly not interested, and move on?
 
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Paul David

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Prospecting is rejection-dense work, whether it's cold calling, cold emailing, or any other form. Most of the time I get something along the lines of "I am not interested". However many times I feel like these prospects would really benefit from my product/service (web design) or at least explore more to see whether they are a good fit or not.

I feel like I waste a lot of great opportunities by just moving on because a business said that they are not interested. It seems to me many businesses say no because there is no trust.

So my question is, how do you nurture prospects or proceed after prospects say they are not interested? Also, how do you determine when it's enough, this prospect is clearly not interested, and move on?
When doing "sales" prospecting they'll say no when your offer isn't good enough usually. Also these people are getting hit up by lots of people every single day mostly all saying the same thing.

Take a step back, as you said these prospects may really benefit from your service if you could just speak to them. Try asking for advice, and offer to pay them for their time instead. Speak to them and find out what issues they may have with their website.

If you're going to go down the sales outreach method, you need a better offer. Here's one I seen recently.

Our websites are guaranteed to bring in 10% more sales - or it's free.
 

Move the chains

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Prospecting is rejection-dense work, whether it's cold calling, cold emailing, or any other form. Most of the time I get something along the lines of "I am not interested". However many times I feel like these prospects would really benefit from my product/service (web design) or at least explore more to see whether they are a good fit or not.

I feel like I waste a lot of great opportunities by just moving on because a business said that they are not interested. It seems to me many businesses say no because there is no trust.

So my question is, how do you nurture prospects or proceed after prospects say they are not interested? Also, how do you determine when it's enough, this prospect is clearly not interested, and move on?
If you know you can help them, perhaps viewing it as not being ready to invest would help with the rejection part?

There's another thread on here recently about cold email and need need to nurture prospects. Very few will ever be ready to say yes on the first contact. What can you help with for now that is zero risk on their part and allows them to learn to trust you?

Sabre's Sell Like Crazy book talks about the different stages of the sales journey and how to move them along the path. Only a very small % are ready to buy when you first make contact.
 

Johnny boy

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Get used to saying “NEXT” in your head when it comes to anything in life in which there’s another person you are dealing with.

Dating
Friends
Customers
Employees
Business partners
Etc.

There’s billions of people, so for almost every single one you meet, there’s a ton more out there who are a better fit.

Stop latching onto the first thing or person that you get in front of and if it’s not a good fit go onto the next one.

1E92D9DE-0718-46F4-84D7-667682BCA90C.gif
 

Gabbe18

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When doing "sales" prospecting they'll say no when your offer isn't good enough usually. Also these people are getting hit up by lots of people every single day mostly all saying the same thing.

Take a step back, as you said these prospects may really benefit from your service if you could just speak to them. Try asking for advice, and offer to pay them for their time instead. Speak to them and find out what issues they may have with their website.

If you're going to go down the sales outreach method, you need a better offer. Here's one I seen recently.

Our websites are guaranteed to bring in 10% more sales - or it's free.
Thanks for the feedback!

If you know you can help them, perhaps viewing it as not being ready to invest would help with the rejection part?

There's another thread on here recently about cold email and need need to nurture prospects. Very few will ever be ready to say yes on the first contact. What can you help with for now that is zero risk on their part and allows them to learn to trust you?

Sabre's Sell Like Crazy book talks about the different stages of the sales journey and how to move them along the path. Only a very small % are ready to buy when you first make contact.
Thanks for the tip. Yeah, I think so too that many people are not ready to buy on the first contact and might say they are not interested because there is no trust.
 

Kak

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For hard rejections, like someone who is mad that you even contacted them, have enough prospects that haven’t rejected you in the pipeline that you don’t spend one more second on the one that rejected.

Or have a second plan for them. A last ditch pitch. In my business, this is an interesting one. Our chemicals are used heavily in the steel industry. So let’s say you contact someone in the steel industry and they let you know they don’t actually use chemicals. (Nice of them honestly) They are on a different stage in the supply chain…


Sometimes, it poses a new opportunity, particularly if you’re dealing with a medium sized business and not a megacorp-

“My apologies! You must be very well connected with companies that are using these chemicals. The market is extremely tight right now, if you just shoot an email around to your industry partners and let them know that we have what they need, we will cut your company in on any thing that comes of it.”

Not only that, you can always keep the door open by asking about their ideal lead and explain that you meet a lot of people in the same industry. Ask about their competitive advantage.

If there’s something you can do to make easy money with them… boom, you may have created another solid supply line of something.

The soft rejections carry more opportunity than a total non response, and often times more than a yes. Now a known entity is contacting known users of my chemicals on my behalf, that’s way better than one cold lead.

It’s shockingly almost easier than directly selling. Like who cares if they don’t use it, or if we don’t know, they go on the list anyway hoping that we ultimately recruit advocates and customers simultaneously.

Of course they may say no to that too. So again, have more prospects and move on quickly.
 
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Kung Fu Steve

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  • It takes an average of 7 NO's to get to a yes.
  • As a reminder, they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting your offer.
When I first started seriously cold-calling, I was doing 200 calls a day. Every day.

But it was kind of dumb because I was just calling for calling's sake hoping somebody would say yes.

When I got a little more intelligent I figured out I could make 20 calls in a day and produce 2x, 3x, or even 5x the results -- how? I really knew who I was calling. I did my research. Funny enough "research" these days is a few google searches, looking at their social profiles.

Everyone on this forum talks about one of the best strategies, I don't see anyone actually doing it: do work for them first and then call them/email them reach out to them with your report.

If web designers did a review of my website, picked out the 5 or 6 things that are wrong with it, and showed me what they made instead? It'd be a done deal.
 

Black_Dragon43

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Prospecting is rejection-dense work, whether it's cold calling, cold emailing, or any other form.
A lot of people say this. I don’t look on it like this though. Prospecting is only “rejection-dense” if you think everyone you call on should buy from you.

But the truth is that you have very little idea if someone could benefit from what you have, AND even less of an idea if they actually WANT to benefit. So the job of prospecting is to FILTER or QUALIFY those who may be a good fit from those who clearly are not. As such, prospecting should go fast. Call, in 5min you should know if they may benefit or not and finish the call. If they can benefit, schedule another time to discuss your solution more fully.

Also, if you are cold calling people with the expectation that they’ll buy right then and there… that’s a very long shot. Again, you should qualify, NOT close on cold calls.

However many times I feel like these prospects would really benefit from my product/service (web design) or at least explore more to see whether they are a good fit or not.
And you’re wrong. It’s not your business to think they will benefit or not. Maybe I think you, running a web design agency, would benefit from hiring me and paying me thousands of dollars so that I can guarantee that you’ll reach $10K/mo in sales. You’ll get more clients. But clearly you don’t think that. And this is actually real, I can guarantee you that likelihood is that you’re not interested. But I know that you may very likely benefit because I’ve done what you’re doing, I have systems, and they can get results that I am happy to guarantee. So what?

What YOU think as the seller is worth shit. What matters is what your client thinks.

If you call me with web design in mind, I won’t even talk to you. It doesn’t matter that you think you can help me. I don’t care! I don’t currently perceive I have a problem that web design can solve. So I’m not interested.

Most people who cold call are disrespectful, annoying, and a pest.

Compare:

“Hi Michael, I’m Tom with XYZ Web Consulting, I’m calling because I’ve had a look over your website and I think you’re in the perfect position to benefit from our new client aquisition strategy to acquire, 3, 5 even 10 new clients every month. Would you be interested?”

VS

“Hi Michael, I’m sorry to interrupt your day, truth be told I don’t know if this is of interest to you but I promise to be very short. I just came across your website, and I was wondering if you’d have 5 minutes to see if you could benefit from a new client acquisition strategy? [If no] That’s perfectly OK Michael, would it perhaps be better for me to call another time, or would this be of no interest to you?”

In the top scenario the client thinks “Oh yeah, this F*cking bozo who doesn’t even know me thinks I can benefit, WTF?! He knows nothing about me”

So my question is, how do you nurture prospects or proceed after prospects say they are not interested? Also, how do you determine when it's enough, this prospect is clearly not interested, and move on?
Stop assuming they’re interested. If they told you they’re not interested, they aren’t. Stop trying to force people, sales doesn’t work like that.

You CREATE the REJECTION by assuming they are interested or they should be interested. No they shouldn’t. You’re interrupting their day and annoying them, with no idea if they actually care about improving that area of their business.
 
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Black_Dragon43

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With all due respect Paul, if you were to come to me with this offer, I’ll tell you I don’t care. The offer isn’t that important at the stage of a cold call that the OP is talking about. What matters is if I have a problem you can solve. That’s what you should be trying to find out.

I’m sorry for pitching this here, but I spent quite some time covering the buying cycle of a prospect recently: Here’s Why Using Benefits May Actually Lose You Sales - TANDA Digital

Untold numbers of sellers think that if they just string together enough benefits, or they have a great offer, they can just push those and sales will come.

That’s not how it works. Yes, that will work for a very small segment of your market… 3-5%, who already know they have a problem, want to solve it, and are looking for solutions like yours. But for the rest of them, they’re not even conscious they have a problem. So your offer is worth shit to them and they’re not interested. First you have to make them conscious of a problem, and the way you do that is by asking questions. A lot of sellers would benefit greatly if they take a step back, put themselves in the shoes of their customer (and not just superficially), and ask themselves honestly if that person really really thinks about the problem they’re solving during the day or not? If you do that, you’ll realise most people don’t care. Yes, not even about more clients.
 
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Andy Black

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how do you nurture prospects or proceed after prospects say they are not interested?
I don’t.

I move on. I’m only interested in working with people who are interested in working with me.

“Your job is to find out as soon as possible if the person in front of you sees the value in what you do, or just the cost.” (Blaise Brosnan)
 

Kung Fu Steve

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I don’t.

I move on. I’m only interested in working with people who are interested in working with me.

“Your job is to find out as soon as possible if the person in front of you sees the value in what you do, or just the cost.” (Blaise Brosnan)

I agree but I'd argue that we all let our emotions get the best of us at times.

"They said no... F*ck that guy!"

But in reality, it might've been your perfect client, they just don't know you or trust you yet. You're a stranger coming into their world and interrupting it. Approaching someone at a bar is the same thing. You might get an instant rejection. Not because you're not good-looking or bad or whatever but simply because they were weirded out in that moment.

99% of people will not buy from you the first time you approach them which is why it is so important to have a follow-up campaign that might win them over.

So yes, you might move on, but send them some sort of goodwill campaign that would give them value without expecting anything in return and I guarantee that karma will come back to you one way or the other.
 

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I agree but I'd argue that we all let our emotions get the best of us at times.

"They said no... F*ck that guy!"

But in reality, it might've been your perfect client, they just don't know you or trust you yet. You're a stranger coming into their world and interrupting it. Approaching someone at a bar is the same thing. You might get an instant rejection. Not because you're not good-looking or bad or whatever but simply because they were weirded out in that moment.

99% of people will not buy from you the first time you approach them which is why it is so important to have a follow-up campaign that might win them over.

So yes, you might move on, but send them some sort of goodwill campaign that would give them value without expecting anything in return and I guarantee that karma will come back to you one way or the other.
Ah. I don’t do outbound. I just get referrals.
 

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Get used to saying “NEXT” in your head when it comes to anything in life in which there’s another person you are dealing with.

Dating
Friends
Customers
Employees
Business partners
Etc.

There’s billions of people, so for almost every single one you meet, there’s a ton more out there who are a better fit.

Stop latching onto the first thing or person that you get in front of and if it’s not a good fit go onto the next one.

View attachment 43450
True that. My first sales manager taught me, "some will, some won't, so what, NEXT!" I still keep it mind now 20 years on when I get a knock-back.
 
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Kevin88660

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Prospecting is rejection-dense work, whether it's cold calling, cold emailing, or any other form. Most of the time I get something along the lines of "I am not interested". However many times I feel like these prospects would really benefit from my product/service (web design) or at least explore more to see whether they are a good fit or not.

I feel like I waste a lot of great opportunities by just moving on because a business said that they are not interested. It seems to me many businesses say no because there is no trust.

So my question is, how do you nurture prospects or proceed after prospects say they are not interested? Also, how do you determine when it's enough, this prospect is clearly not interested, and move on?
Keep them in your prospect book and recontact them again.

Just because someone is not interested now, it does not mean there is zero chance they are going to be interested again.

Rejection is usually due to 1) They don’t believe in the kind service 2) They don’t have the budget or urgency now 3) They don’t really trust you, they have their own designer or they probably want the job done by someone they are familiar with.

The above situation can change in the future, so if you keep a large number of such prospect in your pipeline, as time passes magic will happen.

The trick is how to you engage contact with them to remember you. Do you have like a email list and whatsapp list to work on. Soft selling like content sharing is hot these days. It could be as easy as sharing an article on “Online traffic vs offline traffic for small business”.

People like to be engaged with no obligation to return a call or message or have to reject you. As much as rejection doesn’t make you feel good, it feels not good to reject someone else, as naturally we want others not to be sad as well. Regular non-sales engagement (soft selling) helps to get rid of the embarrassment.

It could be also be in a form of a “get in touch” message. “It has been a long time since we last spoke. I have done xyz for the clients recently and this is a link of the website. Do contact me if you want to know more about…”
 

Gabbe18

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Also, if you are cold calling people with the expectation that they’ll buy right then and there… that’s a very long shot. Again, you should qualify, NOT close on cold calls.
Hey, thanks for the thorough response! Really appreciate it. I want to clarify that I don't call with the hopes of making the sale on a quick cold call. Because I know that if some salesperson calls me and tries to sell me something right there on the phone I always say no. So I don't expect other people to say yes when I cold call.

My only goal with the cold call is to move the conversation forward, whether that is sending them some more info on email or having another quick call.

I agree but I'd argue that we all let our emotions get the best of us at times.

"They said no... F*ck that guy!"

But in reality, it might've been your perfect client, they just don't know you or trust you yet. You're a stranger coming into their world and interrupting it. Approaching someone at a bar is the same thing. You might get an instant rejection. Not because you're not good-looking or bad or whatever but simply because they were weirded out in that moment.

99% of people will not buy from you the first time you approach them which is why it is so important to have a follow-up campaign that might win them over.

So yes, you might move on, but send them some sort of goodwill campaign that would give them value without expecting anything in return and I guarantee that karma will come back to you one way or the other.
I agree! You don't know what situation the prospect is currently in. It could be that you called them at a bad time or they are currently not in a buying window, etc.

I also appreciate the advice with the goodwill!

Keep them in your prospect book and recontact them again.

Just because someone is not interested now, it does not mean there is zero chance they are going to be interested again.

Rejection is usually due to 1) They don’t believe in the kind service 2) They don’t have the budget or urgency now 3) They don’t really trust you, they have their own designer or they probably want the job done by someone they are familiar with.

The above situation can change in the future, so if you keep a large number of such prospect in your pipeline, as time passes magic will happen.

The trick is how to you engage contact with them to remember you. Do you have like a email list and whatsapp list to work on. Soft selling like content sharing is hot these days. It could be as easy as sharing an article on “Online traffic vs offline traffic for small business”.

People like to be engaged with no obligation to return a call or message or have to reject you. As much as rejection doesn’t make you feel good, it feels not good to reject someone else, as naturally we want others not to be sad as well. Regular non-sales engagement (soft selling) helps to get rid of the embarrassment.

It could be also be in a form of a “get in touch” message. “It has been a long time since we last spoke. I have done xyz for the clients recently and this is a link of the website. Do contact me if you want to know more about…”
Thanks for the advice man! Yeah, I take notes when I call and write down everything I can that can be useful for any future potential interaction. Then I just add it all to my CRM and set reminders. I believe that way I can slowly build a prospect database with some valuable info that can be useful in the future.
 

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