One of the biggest and most-used blow-off tactics of all time.
The prospect might as well say, “Instead of being upfront and saving us both a lot of time by telling you I’m not interested, I feel like having some fun. I’m going to tell you to send me your sales information and then bet with colleagues how many follow-up calls and emails you’re going to send me in the next 60 days. The over/under is 20, and I’m taking the over.” Seriously, sometimes I think they actually do this. If they don’t, it would be pretty funny to try.
Anyway, how do we deal with this? Usually we fall right into their trap and say “ok, I’ll send it right over” without getting any firm commitment on a follow up or next steps. Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years on how to deal with “send me information:”
This is the approach I use almost every time and it helps flush out who is interested and who is just being polite.
What information would you like to see? When would you like to see it? and why? For someone who is genuinely interested, these are relatively easy questions to answer: Information on (specific product X), by Friday because we are collecting information from different vendors and will be setting up meetings next week.
For someone who is just being polite and really isn’t interested, these are very hard questions to answer.
2. Scheduled callback on calendar
Ideally, this is what you get in return for sending them information and the ask goes something like this: “I’m happy to send you information. When can we schedule a follow-up call to review your feedback and see if it makes sense to take the next steps?”
If they tell you to call sometime next week, don’t let them off the hook that easy because they will never be there. Ask for a specific time and then tell them you will send them a meeting invitation so it’s on both your calendars. This doesn’t always guarantee they will be there but it helps.
3. Direct extension or cell phone
These are also good things to get in return for you sending them information.
4. A ‘package’ of information
I actually just heard this one the other day and it cracked me up.
Here’s the dialogue:
Client: “Why don’t you send me information?”
Salesperson (me in this case): “I’m happy to send you a package of information. It’s going to be about 6’1” with a bald head and goatee and should show up on Friday at 2:00. Is that good with you?”
I haven’t used it yet but I’m dying to because I think it’s hysterical and would definitely get someone laughing. And, in my opinion, if you can get someone laughing your chances of getting a meeting go up exponentially.
5. 2 Reasons
Being from Boston and a little more direct than the rest of the world gave me the ability to use this one.
When they say “send me information,” you say, “I’m happy to send you information. In my experience, most people ask for information for two reasons: 1) they are actually interested and are in the market for our services, which will lead to a follow-up meeting and 2) they’re just trying to be polite and get me off the phone. Which one are you?”
I usually get a long pause and one of three things happen: 1) they hang up on me immediately; 2) they say they’re interested and then I try to just schedule the meeting instead of sending them info; 3) they admit they were just trying to be nice, which is fine with me and it usually strikes up a nice conversation where I can ask for a referral or something.
At the end of the day, just make sure you never send information without getting something tangible in return. Make it happen!