50 Shades of “Not Interested.” A Sales Rebuttal Objection Strategy.

Funny story. Newbie in training relates a call in which the decision-maker replied, “not interested.” Get this. The newbie thought that meant they were “not interested.” Hilarious.

Newbie reps, they are so innocent.

When your prospect says, “not interested.” The least likely reality of this blow off is that your decision-maker is actually “not interested.”

Do you wish to improve B2B appointment setting? Here are some examples of how to deal with this common sales objection. They work  better than begging and appearing desperate.

Table of Contents

The “Not Interested” sales objection: What is really going on?

First consideration: Your sales prospecting scripts invited that response. What you said and how you said it are the reasons why you hear this common sales objection repeatedly.

   B2B appointment setting: Qualified sales leads metrics to set your expectations.

Sad but true. If you are hearing the “not interested” sales objection too often and want to craft a more effective responses, the first place you need to look is your mirror. Why? The words you spoke prior to hearing the “I’m not interested” objection probably caused the sales objection blow off you now feel a need to overcome.

Your first step is not to focus on overcoming this sales objection blow-off, and most of the time it is a blow-off, not an actual statement of truth. Your first focus is within.

Effective “not interested” rebuttals: This is what they are really saying

  • “I don’t understand what they do so “I’m not interested.””
  • “Sounds like another dime a dozen service provider requesting a demo and not worth my time, even though I need what they offer so “I’m not interested.””
  • “This person sounds like the other idiot sales reps who call me and waste my time with a weak sales message so “I’m not interested.””
  • “I need this but I’m going to select the salespeople I talk to so “I’m not interested.””

Your sales objection and rebuttal script strategy in overcoming the “I’m not interested” objection starts before your prospects even say it.

How to write a sales objection script for “not interested”

Second consideration: Human compulsion to fill silence in conversation with something. When calling, blather will do. Please, rid yourself of “say anything” syndrome.

When it comes to cold calling many inside sales teams suffer from neurological auto verbiage impulse compulsion. When callers don’t know what to say they say something anyway.

When precision crafting your “not interested” sales rebuttal better salespeople appreciate that many times “not interested” is the equivalent of “I don’t get it,” “I’m buying but this person isn’t worth my time,” “I’m buying but this company sounds pretty run of the mill, I’ll pick someone more credible,” “We are making this decision sometime in the future, not now,” or “I need more time to grasp what is being said.”

It is key that your response assumes that what was expressed was not literally true. It is not because “buyers are liars.” It would be convenient for us if that was true because we then would not have to accept responsibility for causing that objection with our confusing, bland, non-credible, benefit-light sales scripts. But buyers are not liars. They may not understand what we offer, get our value, why we are more worthy than the rest or how they will benefit from meeting with us. That is on us, not them.

You hear “not interested.” 7 Things they really mean.

So your sales objection handling strategy for the “not interested” blow-off starts by understanding that when you hear “I’m not interested” over the phone, what is really going on is…

  1. They don’t understand what you do.
  2. They need more time to grasp what you are saying.
  3. They don’t think you are worth their time even though they have a need.
  4. They will have a need in the future but don’t see the value in meeting now.
  5. They will have a need in the future but don’t feel it is worth mentioning to you.
  6. They have a need but have already or will pick their own providers to speak to. You don’t seem worthy.
  7. They have no need now or in the future.

The least likely reality is #7.

Worst Response to the “I’m not interested” Sales Objection…

… assumes it is true.

Third consideration: You need techniques to double-check what the potential customer is really thinking.

So, if you don’t know what the decision maker really means( frankly, most of the time the decision-maker doesn’t know what they mean or is still processing what you said) you have to give them more time to process what you say and reinforce the clarity of what you do, your credibility and value, and what they will get if they commit to a next step with you.

Your objection handling response to “not interested” assumes that what you are hearing is not literally true. Your response gives the decision-maker more time to process what is being said and absorb what’s in it for them.

Your rebuttal to “not interested” must restate and reinforce what you do, your credibility, your benefits and specifically what they will get if they spend more time with you. [Shameless plug: Sample rebuttal scripts and examples can be found in my books available on Amazon.]

If their response is still something other than “yes,” you need to do one more thing. Check for future business needs.

A must do thing when you hear “not interested.”

Remember, when you hear the common “I’m not interested” sales objection it probably means “We will have a need in the near future, but not now.”

Your rebuttal to this, the response script that you write, must be sufficient to find out when you should be back in touch. Assume they currently recognize a future need.

In my world most of my training and coaching clients sell longer sales cycle offerings. Their sales process acknowledges and reflects that reality. It is far more likely they interact with a decision-maker at a time when they are not in active buying mode. Many of those decision-makers will buy within the next 3 – 18 months. They will buy from a competitor if you are not there.

When you hear the “not interested” objection they may really be saying “not now.” You have to enable them to tell you how to sell them.

After starting with your impactful benefit and credibility laden “set the appointment” pitch,” and responding to the “I’m not interested” objection by repeating and reinforcing what you do, your credibility, the benefits clients get from you and what they will learn at a meeting… end with this.

“Not an issue, don’t want to be on your back, but obviously we do a lot of this. Could you suggest a time for me to be back in touch with you?” Then say nothing. Nothing. Read more about this not interested sales objection response here

You will be surprised at how many times after hearing the “I’m not interested” objection and hearing it again after delivering your response, that you hear “Call me in two weeks, call me in a month or call me in 3 months.”

Your simple response when you do. “Happy to do that, is there a particular reason why that is a good time to call?” Be quiet. They tell you.

You promise to call, say thanks and then hang up.

Your “not interested” decision-maker just turned into a qualified opportunity. Ka-ching.

The next time you hear “not interested,” be ready.

Would you like your team to have a better response to “not interested?” Contact us.