The "Preemptive Strike"

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in The 60-Second Sales Seminar

While making prospecting calls, you may often find you are receiving the same "put-offs" time and again – the pre-programmed responses prospects use to fend off salespeople who sell what you’re selling. After just a few calls, you can prepare better by developing your own “preemptive strike.”

Suppose, for example, that you sell employee benefits packages. Rather than start the conversation with a business owner with a request to review the current program, or with statements about the advantages your company can provide, both of which will probably lead to a put-off, you might try the following:

“If you are like most business owners, as soon as I mention employee benefits programs, you’re going to tell me, “We’re already working with someone” or “We’re covered.”  Would you be willing to put those on the shelf for 60 seconds while I explain why I called – and then decide if there is a reason to talk further?”

By bringing up the put-off first, you diminish its impact and let the prospect know that it isn’t going to work with you – you’re not afraid of it. This approach distinguishes you from all the other salespeople who found themselves trying to “overcome” the put-off.

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