Sales: Bah Humbug – Call me after the holidays

Since the holiday decorations have been up in some stores since before Halloween, I guess we have to concede that it is “that time of year” again, the time when many sales reps here that most feared annual objection of  “Call me after the holidays.”  Perhaps no one objection can be more frustrating to sales reps, even the best of ones competing for that rep of the year award during the final few weeks of the year.

Renowned sales expert Jeff Gitomer suggests that “Call me back after the holidays,” is not an objection, it’s a stall.  He provides 11.5 clever lines and tactics (click here) which are interesting, maybe even a little entertaining, but may not be right for our industry.  For example, #4 — Tell them about your resolutions. “I’ve made a New Year’s resolution that I’m not going to let people like you who need our service, delay until after the first of the year. You know you need it.”

But Gitomer does bring up a key point — when you get a stall, you have to somehow get around it and find the real objection before you can proceed.

We contacted some of the industries better known sales trainers/coaches and asked how they would suggest reps handle this objection.  Jacqui Ponkey, the President Genesis Publisher Services suggested that her best response is this:  

”Wouldn’t it be nice to head into the holidays with this behind you?  I know it’s a decision that you don’t like to make so let’s get it out of the way and enter the New Year with one more “unpleasant task” behind you.  And the added bonus is that you can then take the tax deduction on the advertising expense for the 2010 tax year!”

Tom Baldwin at Kuk, Baldwin, & Associates suggested the rep provide some sort of motivation for the customer to invest some time –NOW!  Here are two possible examples:

“Okay, Mr/Ms customer, it would be great to arrange a date in early January, but I wanted to share with you some really startling data I had on the size of the ______ market (insert customer’s business) right here in (Timbuktoo)…”

Or,  “That’s fine, but I was hoping to share with you a national survey of what  companies in your industry say in their ads and I’ve done an analysis of your ad so you can see how it compares.”

What’s your favorite tactic to battle this stall/objection??  Comment below or drop me a note at ken@yptalk.com.

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