In the 21st century, Put Offs Are Your Friend

by | Nov 17, 2007

A “put off” is something a prospect says to “get rid of you”. To get you off the phone or out of his office. To end the meeting and move on with his/her day.


•”Send me your brochure and I’ll get back to you”

•”Can you send me your basic price schedule to review?”

•”Let me talk it over with my team and I’ll get back to you”

Countless pages in sales books and hours in sales meetings have been spent addressing techniques for responding to put offs – to prevent yourself from being “put off”. A typical response might be “If I agree to send you my catalog, will you commit to talking with me for 15 minutes next Thursday morning?”.

How about using a Judo approach? Wiki defines Judo as “the principle of using one’s opponent’s strength against him and adapting well to changing circumstances. For example, if the attacker was to push against his opponent he would find his opponent stepping to the side and allowing his momentum to throw him forwards”

So, here we are spending considerable time and money developing online methods for our customers to obtain the information they need to make a purchase decision and to make the purchase itself.

And the customer just wants to end the conversation with the sales rep. Many times its just because there are other pressing matters that need attention.

So when the customer asks for your price list, how about directing him to the online sign up page on your website? Now their only a credit card number away from a purchase, rather than just waiting to receive something from you.

If you design your site to include other actions that a prospect can take prior to purchase, such as sign up for a webinar, subscribe to your newsletter or blog or view an online demo or presentation, these things become measurable steps in your sales process.

So, when the client gives you the brush off, you move him to the appropriate step in your process and agree on next steps.

Go through this exercise – write down the top “put offs” you hear from prospects. Then identify a corresponding piece of information or action you can direct the prospect toward on your site for each put off. Now you’ve got them going to the store in order to move on with their day.