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Bill Farquharson

The Sales Challenge

By Bill Farquharson

About Bill

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."


Countering the ‘Call Me After the Holidays’ Objection

There is a sales objection that is unique to this time of year: “Call me after the holidays.” If ever there was a “check’s in the mail” client blow off, this is it. We hear prospects utter these words all the time. For them, it’s the perfect response to a request for an appointment: It gives the rep hope and does not appear to be the dead end that it is.

I can almost hear them laughing in delight at their clever attempts to get rid of us, for they know that once the holidays come and go and we try to get them on the phone, the result will be that electronic stiff-arm called voice mail. <<sigh>>

So, try this instead...

Step One: Attempt to overcome the objection. Try saying, “This might actually be a perfect time to meet. Since it’s quiet, you and I can talk about your needs and you can investigate a new vendor—me!”

If that doesn’t work...

Step Two: Say something like, “That sounds fine. I tell you what, since the first business day of the new year is Jan. 2, I will give you that day to get your feet under you and will wait until Tuesday the third to call you. Does that work? [Likely an affirmative response follows.] Great! It’s a date. I will call you in the morning on Jan. 3, 2012. Enjoy your holidays!” Click!

Do you see what just happened? I just turned a blow off into a commitment. This prospect committed to speaking to me on Tuesday, Jan. 3. I now have an appointment to make an appointment. Sweet! But you’re not done!

Get a note in the mail (handwritten, of course), thanking the prospect for his/her time, wishing them “Happy Holidays” and adding, “I am looking forward to speaking with you on the third of January.”

Next, you send the prospect another handwritten note a week before the “appointment” as a reminder: “Just a quick note to remind you that we are talking on the third. I will give you a call just before 10 a.m. I’m looking forward to speaking with you!”

It is unlikely the prospect will even remembers speaking to you in the first place, but he/she will be apt to keep this “appointment” out of sheer obligation, especially since you are reminding him/her of it. Is it foolproof? Hardly! But if the alternative is endless voice mail messages (and it is), I’ll take my chances!

A new sales tip is released each Monday. A new Short Attention Span Webinar comes out each Friday. The Sales Challenge starts new every month. More help and details can be found at or (781) 934-7036.

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