What does it sound like?
“Call me after the first of the year.”
Where does it typically tend to show up?
Prospecting Call: making contact with a lead for the first time (around the holidays).
What do we do with it?
Turn around. Key Objective: to turn around the objection, engage the lead further, and continue to guide the lead through the sales process to ultimately close and fund!
How do we turn it around?
“Absolutely. What do you have planned for Q1?”
Why do we say it?
The holidays are a hectic time for everyone, especially merchants. Many industries record outsized revenues in the 4thquarter of every year, mostly due to the typical holiday consumer spending spree.
Many merchants, in the past, have been so busy operating their businesses and riding the end of the year wave, that setting up funding is something they will postpone till Q1 of the following year unless it is an absolute necessity in the moment.
This year, things are bit different. The pandemic’s effect on small businesses has led many merchants to close their doors. Of the ones remaining, many are in a wait and see mode. Many are waiting on the next stimulus bill and what that will be like.
Additional to the stimulus, after this contested election, many are also waiting to see what will happen with the Georgia run-offs and the new President’s inauguration.
How will small businesses be treated under a new administration?
How will the tax code change?
What policies will be passed and what effect will this have on SMBs?
These are some of the questions lingering in the minds of merchants all over the country.
Some others remain:
How quickly will the vaccines bring everything back to normal?
Is “back to normal” even possible?
How is forever-altered consumer behavior going to interact with my business offering?
For most businesses at present, it is extremely difficult to forecast what revenues are going to look like in 2021. A lot is still up in the air, and there are a lot of factors outside of merchants’ control.
Some prospects want to get you off the phone and brush you off with a “call me after New Year’s.” Others are truly observing the ever-changing landscape to judge what their next moves are.
Meet the merchant where they’re at but don’t take their word at face value and run away with it.
Some reps will set a call-back for January 2nd. Others will schedule a date and time with the merchant for the next follow-up call.
But before you get to these steps, capitalize on the moment while you have them on the phone and pick their brain. Start to qualify them while they let you.
Opening the merchant up with strategic questions will allow you to see into their world, how the pandemic has affected them up to this point, how it’s impacted their eligibility, and what is the best timeframe to revisit. Or maybe this is exactly the time to get started with you.
If you don’t ask, you may have missed out on a prospect who may be actively in someone else’s sales cycle and is brushing you off. Or it could be that the merchant does not believe your offering can help them – that is their assumption, and you won’t be able to overcome it if you don’t press and ask consultative questions.
Always Be Building Pipeline.
Hope everyone has a Happy an Healthy Holidays!