Appointment setting B2B objection handling: Overcome buyer blow-offs

Let’s assume that you are an appointment setter and that your B2B appointment setting, set more discovery call efforts have some traction.

You are now seeking to improve upon your conversations to booked meeting ratio.

Your concern should not be how to overcome objections from those that have no needs and will never buy.

Your focus should be: When I engage with a buyer (someone that recognizes a need and is going to hire somebody to solve it within three to 15 months, how can I overcome that buyers blow-off or objection and book a discovery call?

The following will help you with that quest:

  • Six respond to sales objection concepts you must understand
  • “We are all set” objection response example
  • “Send some information” objection response example
  • “Call me back” objection response example
  • “I’ll meet with you but call me in a month” sales objection response example
  • “Tell me more” objection response example
  • “I get 20 calls like this a day” objection response

Table of Contents

You must understand and appreciate six concepts, not only to effectively craft the most effective responses to the most common things you hear on the phone, but also to muster the intestinal fortitude to use them.

Let’s quickly review the six concepts you must know to overcome cold call objections. Not only must you know them, you must have the intestinal fortitude to use them.

The biggest mistake you can make with B2B lead generation is to allow non-buyers to waste your time.

Appointment setters are fighting gravity

Concept #1: You are fighting gravity

The normal natural knee jerk reaction to a request to schedule an appointment is “no”. Your target’s immediate thought when they realize they are being prospected is “I am not going to do this’.

For you to achieve the purpose of your call, you must reverse gravity.

To break free from gravity, project a force that is stronger. You only do that if you use winning formulas, take calculated actions, are prepared and practice.

Sales objections you hear are not really objections

Concept #2 The forms of resistance you hear are not really objections

The people you speak to on the phone don’t know you, don’t comprehend or appreciate what you do, and at this early point of the sales relationship, don’t trust or respect you.

What they say is not based upon familiarity and knowledge of your offerings and abilities. They respond to you with words that sound like objections, but are substantively different, and must be treated that way.

When we seek to schedule discovery calls, our goal is not to close the deal, but rather to secure a sales appointment with the key decision-maker at a qualified company.

At this stage we don’t so much overcome objections as respond to resistance.

While in the process of closing a deal, nothing can be left unsaid which may help us. During the lead generation phase, what we intentionally leave unsaid is just as important to achieving our objective, scheduling an appointment, as what we choose to say.

They don’t meet with you if you don’t provide enough reasons

Concept #3: The #1 reason why prospects don’t meet with you is because you didn’t give them enough reason to meet with you.

The reasons prospects should meet with us have to be delivered at the first meeting.

Additional conversation is an opportunity for you to provide more benefits they will receive at your first meeting. No matter where they want to go with the conversation, you always want to steer it back to restating the benefits they get by spending time with you and asking for the meeting. Which brings us right into the next concept.

Concept #4: You must always maintain control of the conversation

Once you lose control of the conversation, “maybe land” is your destination. Once the conversation drifts away from your agenda, which is to book a meeting, you can only lose. Why? Because at best you will conclude with a send me info, call me back or put together a proposal or quote type result. That is a very low sales productivity place to be.

Most successful prospecting conversations last two ½ to three minutes. If you let the conversation last longer without accomplishing your aim, you will probably lose.
Talk too long and answer their questions and they don’t need to meet with you.

Remember also that gravity is working against you. Your target assumes they will decline your request. When you keep talking, you are bound to say something which rationalizes that result in their mind.

Always steer the conversation back to your agenda, re-affirm or provide additional benefits which will be provided at the meeting, and always ask for the meeting again. Always again ask for the meeting.

Every word counts in your objection response and rebuttals

Concept #5: Every word counts.

You must aggressively eliminate unnecessary or wishy washy words. Eliminate mean nothing, waste of breath, just fill up space when I can’t think of anything meaningful to say type phrases. Anything that is non-specific and not related to communicating a benefit they will receive at the first meeting must be eliminated.

Once you have given it your best shot, be silent. Filling silence with weak or wishy washy words works against you. Leverage silence to your benefit and make the prospect respond so that you know what they are thinking.

Concept #6: How you say it matters

You are calling from a company capable of providing high-quality goods and services. It is the most normal natural thing in the world for you to be calling companies and seeking a meeting. It would be the most normal natural thing in the world for them to agree.

Planning and delivering your words assertively, without hesitations or unnecessary filler words, increases the chances of people finding it worthwhile to meet with you.

When you are searching for words, hesitating and not sure of yourself on the phone, what do you think is going through your prospect’s mind? “Well, if this person isn’t sure of what they want to say on the phone, how worthwhile would it be for me to meet with them”?

Cold call objection response examples

Keep in mind that you should be working a process, not making random calls rapidly in the mistaken belief that more call activity alone will lead to better results.

What you are really trying to do with your objection response scripts and the way you handle blow offs is to re-shuffle the cold calling deck in order of selling priority.

You call to identify your best opportunities and set appointments with those that you have a reasonable shot at closing a deal with. You identify your lack of opportunity or low opportunity targets and eliminate them mercilessly.

In the middle, you have various shades of gray and must prioritize your prospecting and appointment setting time. You seek to close on the highest possible sales step with every sales conversation.

The following objection and rebuttal scripts will help you to book more discovery calls.

“We are all set” objection response example

This objection is sometimes expressed as “we have a vendor we love”, “we already have five vendors”, “we have a contract with 22 years left to run, which is unbreakable”.

Reply: “That’s fine. Does that mean you will never look at new options, or could you suggest a time to call you in the future.”

Or try this, “That’s fine. Look, we wouldn’t expect anything to happen quickly anyway, that’s not the way it typically works in this industry. We do an awful lot of work with companies like Mega Corporation, International Amalgamated and Acme Intergalactic, and there are reasons why companies like that decided to work with us. We would just be looking to introduce ourselves, give you some information on programs and service strategies that others have found valuable, and if in the future you are looking for options or a back-up vendor, we hope you think of us. Would that be worth 30 minutes of your time in the next few weeks?”

With the first phone script response you have virtually no chance of scoring a meeting as you have not provided additional benefits or asked to set an appointment. This short script response is best with someone who is gruff or appears rushed.

With the second sales script, what you have done is lower their expectations and reassure them you are not asking them to change.

You have established credibility by dropping names. Your resistance response kept control of the conversation and you again asked for the meeting.

“Send some information” objection response example

Allow me to speak frankly and directly. If your objection handling response to “send me some info” is “um, OK”, you are a wimpy sales rep and have doomed yourself to sales prospecting frustration. You are wasting your time and company sales team resources.

Many times, this request is a cold call objection blow off in disguise. Most of the time, nine times out of 10 at least, your prospect is not interested in you or has no need.

Do you want to get on this treadmill of calling back 15 times to maybe – maybe – talking again to someone who barely remembers you and can’t recall what you sent them.

If you get on this treadmill with your objection scripts, it is your fault and you have no right to complain about a lack of results later. The purpose of prospecting is to re-shuffle the deck and sort your prospects in accordance with their sales potential and worth. Your objection responses should help identify potential high-value prospects. If your sales scripts’ paths and prepared responses to common phone objections don’t do that, how will you separate the great opportunity sales calls from the time wasters?

The next time you get the “send me some info” or “just send your material” blow off, try this objection response example. Remember, you must enable your prospect to reveal their needs and what they want.

“You know, I don’t send out general information. The corporate stuff I would send you is generic and going to tell you what I just told you. We do A, B and C. Get results like 1, 2 and 3, and, have clients like E, F and G. If there is something specific that would be helpful to you, if you have a purchase coming up, or a project you need help with, I would be happy to put something together and send it out. Do you have anything specific in mind that I might help you with?” At this point do the most difficult thing.. say nothing and wait for your prospect to speak.

If the prospect can’t respond with something specific, your cold calling script plan should go right into determining if there is a time you should be back in touch.
What if they do come up with something specific? Do you agree to put it together and send it right out. OHHHHHH.. NOOOOOOOO.

“Call me back” objection response example

When you hear this, there is something you have to know. Is this a run me around the block, time wasting, no need, go nowhere, prospect who thinks that on their whim I am going to cold call and call and call, and who is going to suck every bit of motivation and energy out of my body by having me chase them?

Or, would this person actually appreciate a phone call from you for a valid purpose?

You can find out now or find out 10 phone calls later. Your choice.

Try this. “I would be happy to do that. When would you suggest I call you?” Once they give you a specific time period, say, “Is there a reason that is a good time to call you?”

If your initial phone script establishes credibility, they know who you are, what you do, and the value you provide. If they have a reason, they will tell you. We are going to buy one million dollars’ worth of stuff you sell and I won’t have the specs till then, that is when we are planning a review of our vendors, that is the quarter I will have the budget for a planned purchase …whatever.

Once you know they are viable, it’s “thankyouverymuchcallyouthen” Click.

If they can’t give you a viable reason, see if you have the guts to use this phone sales objection response. “You know, I would be happy to call you back, but look, we provided companies like A, B and C about a zillion dollars’ worth of this stuff (or these services) last year and get more than our share of business. I don’t want to be on your back. If you are not open to a new source of supply, just tell me and I won’t bother you.”

By anticipating this common scenarios, preparation, and proper handling of a common phone objection, you can find out whether this prospect is a waste of time now, or 10 phone calls from now. Your choice.

“I’ll meet with you but call me in a month” sales objection response example

Keep in mind that only half of those who promise a meeting in the future, will actually book a meeting. Half. And that half only books after you get them on the phone again. No small achievement. The best appointment setters ask for the meeting again now.

Try this. “Sure, I would be happy to call you then. We would probably be looking to get together a few weeks after that, which would put us into the week of July 20th.

You know, I am in your area regularly and would be scheduling other meetings along with this one. If you feel comfortable, could we pencil something in for that week? It would help me with my planning, and I would call the week before to make sure it still works for you. Would you feel comfortable penciling that in?”

About one-third will agree to the meeting. You have obtained their commitment.

“Tell me more” objection response example

This usually rears it’s ugly head with words like, “Who are you”, “What do you do?” Your best objection handling response is to tell them what you have already told them and again, ask to set the appointment. Just repeat a variation of your set the meeting script.

“We work with companies like A, B and C. They selected us to provide 1, 2 and 3 and use us because we save time, administrative headache, and costs. We want to introduce ourselves and tell you about some things we do differently that companies have found valuable. Our program X or method Y may have some benefits for you and I’m asking for 30 minutes to give you that information. Would you have some time in the next few weeks, say April 28th or 29th?”

Your phone objection response script should not delve into new areas or provide new information. If you give them too much to think about, they will start thinking, and if they are thinking about it, they can’t say yes.

“I get 20 calls like this a day” objection response

That sales objection only tells you that sales representatives lacking in your talents have called before you. It is a signal that your target has pre-conceived notions about you and is eager to say “no”. Your well-crafted sales script objection response is similar to the “tell me” response above.

“Look, I don’t want to be on your back. We are a $50 million company and companies like A, B and C have selected us to provide their widgets. I don’t know if we might help you, but we do a few things differently that companies find save them time, administrative headache and costs. If getting info on some ideas or options to improve your situation is worth 30 minutes of your time, that would be great. If not, that is fine also. Would you have some time in the next week or two”?

So, what you have done is re-establish your credibility and tell them about some powerful benefits they get when they meet with you. You also ignored their agenda, which was to moan about people calling them, a fact meaningless to you, and kept the conversation on your agenda.

Those are the most common cold calling phone objections and one form of response to each.

There are harder and softer forms of response. What works best for you will depend upon your strategic goals, your cost per meeting and cost per sale realities.

Use these sample objection handling scripts to challenge your thinking and improve your sales behaviors.

Study the structure of these responses to resistance and you can craft improved scripts to overcome sales objections.