Every seller hears about dreaded stalls and objections that they’ll need to overcome; and, the request for information is one of the most often-used stall tactics. Prospects use the tactic because it works! Sellers are usually more than willing to send out materials because they think the prospect is likely to buy. In fact, they have no intention of making a purchase; they feign interest to end the conversation.
The conundrum: The better your marketing materials look, the greater the chance that your sellers will be more than willing to send them out. Once they’re sent, the game of cat and mouse has begun, and may never end because, in reality, the ‘prospect’ is still a ‘suspect’.
So, what should you do? Here are three responses that might work for you, along with one point for consideration.
Use humor – “May I ask you something about that? I’ve always been curious: You’re busy, right? So, what do you really do with stuff companies send you? Fold it into paper airplanes and use it for stress relief? Put it in your recycling bin?”
This takes them by surprise so let them answer, then say “May I make a suggestion? Why don’t we get together for 30 minutes to figure out whether what you need is a fit with what we offer – no pressure?”
Make a direct statement – “I’m happy to send you some information, but it really won’t answer all of your questions or help you determine whether we should work together. So, you’ll have a nice brochure and a salesperson that will continue to follow up with you. Why don’t we meet for 30 minutes and figure out whether we’re even a fit?
Ask a direct question – Being that I’m a service provider, this is one that I use most often. I ask: “Is this a test? If you were considering hiring me to work with your sales team and I told you that I planned to teach them to send out materials, you’d never hire me, would you?” (Well, no.) Okay, so may I make a suggestion? Why don’t we meet for 30 minutes……”
Something to consider: cutting back on or not producing one-sheets and marketing materials at all. Scary thought? Take a few minutes and discern how your materials are really being used. While everyone likes to have slick and pretty brochures at their disposal, are yours really effective in helping you develop business?