"You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you." Dale Carnegie
We've all heard "I'm not interested" more times than we can count. Conventional wisdom says don't waste time with these people and move on to prospects who are inclined to say "I'm interested". People who are ready to buy what you have. That's Nice and Yes. Low hanging fruit or those who are ready and able to buy are the most productive prospects out there. They are the #1 category. But should we then ignore everyone who says "I'm not interested?" And don't the ones in that category also say "I'm not interested"sometimes? You bet they do. So what should we do when someone says "I'm not interested?" Well first let's look at the 4 categories of prospects in business. The categories are people who:
1. Have previously identified the need and it has a high priority.
2. Are aware of the need but it has a lower priority.
3. Are not aware of the need.
4. Deny or don't care about the need.
Naturally the gold rush is for #1 - this is where orders are taken. But don't kid yourself, even at this level "I'm not interested" is heard when the buyer has already made a choice of what they want and who they want to deal with. You may have a great offering, be the perfect option, and feel you are the best person, but still hear the dreaded words "I'm not interested". So what do you do, and more importantly NOT DO, when you hear those dastardly words? Well you don't talk about features, benefits, price, your company or why they should work with you. Just Don't Do It. First and foremost find out which stage the prospect is in (1-4). Where is their mindset? If they are in #1 great - you should certainly go after them -but at any stage the answer is the same. Become interested in them. Their business, their needs, what they care about. Listen and Learn about them. Ask Questions. Once you do this "I'm not interested" simply means "You don't know enough about what I want, need and care about. Doing business then becomes simply about a time-line. Not if but when. It becomes a listen and learn thing. It's all well and good to find lot's of people in stage one and differentiate your offering to be more valuable to them. That's good work and where orders are taken. That's productive and if you find enough of those to keep everyone happy the rest is irrelevant. But if you don't - Then discovering more, learning, listening and building relationships doesn't stop with "I'm not interested". That is when great salesmen start work and order takers go home. That is when real relationships begin. Remember "I'm not interested" simply means "You don't know enough about what I want and need. If "I'm not interested" beats us - well... It's not the prospect that's not qualified - it's us.