The holiday season is upon us and before we know it a new year will begin. A lot of people…and companies for that matter…tend to check out during this season. The all too familiar “Call me after the first of the year” becomes the objection of choice for prospects as well as current customers.
Being well prepared for this conversation, ready to overcome this objection, can be the key to giving yourself a competitive advantage throughout the November and December selling months.
Here are three approaches for turning around the holiday objection, “Call me after the first of the year.” These are designed for prospects but can be tailored to current customers, too.
1. Explain why it makes sense to meet now instead of later.
“I completely understand. My only intention in getting together is to provide an understanding of what we have to offer before the new year begins. How does your schedule look for Tuesday at 2:00?”
“You know, Mary, I get that response a lot this time of year from my (other) customers. But really, this is a great time to talk about your 2019 initiatives, so you can be better prepared since the new year is just around the corner.”
“Just curious, what are your training initiatives (or whatever their responsibilities are) for the first quarter of 2019?” (Whatever they answer is the reason to get together.)
We want to spark interest today so they don’t wait until it is too late. The key is to continue the conversation and have your prospect come to the conclusion that it DOES make sense to meet or talk before the first of the year!
2. Confirm a callback date in the new year.
If you are unsuccessful in setting an appointment sooner (based on your solid reasoning about why it makes sense to do that) tell the prospect you will call back on a specific date.
For example say, “Mary, how about we do this…I will call you on Monday, January 7th and we will schedule a time to meet then. Will that work for you?” (You are not confirming a time of day at this point. You are simply setting yourself up for an effective follow up call.)
On January 7th you will call and say, “Mary, the last time we spoke back on November 15th we agreed I would call you today to schedule a time to get together. How’s Tuesday at 2:00 pm?”
You will gain a competitive advantage using this approach and demonstrate that you have an impeccable follow up habit.
3. Set a specific appointment (date and time) for January and start 2019 with a month full of pre-scheduled meetings.
In November and early December, go ahead and set actual January appointments while you are on the phone.
“Mary, so we can avoid phone tag in January, how about we go ahead and plan to get together on January 7th? Would 2 pm work for you? I am happy to send a calendar invite so it appears on both of our calendars.”
I don’t normally advocate making an appointment more than three weeks in advance; however, during this time of year you are better off scheduling something because no one else is doing it. Remember, the rule of thumb is: It is always easier to reschedule an appointment that is there, than one that was never there!
Make your holiday selling season stronger by preparing in advance to turnaround this predictable objection from both prospects and customers.
Good luck and good selling to you!