Handling Initial Call Rejection

When a prospect isn’t expecting your telephone call or you show up at his office unannounced, the natural tendency for him is to try to get rid of you – to close the door. While a good opening containing a real benefit to the prospect will minimize this tendency and help keep the door open, you still have to be prepared for the more common sales call rejections.

The three most common ones are:

• “I don’t have the time right now.”

• “I’m not interested.”

• “I’m happy with my current supplier.”

1. I don’t have the time right now.

Always assume the prospect is telling you the truth, that you’ve caught him at a bad time. If you’ve given him a strong benefit statement, be prepared to roll into your request for an appointment.


Prospect: I don’t have the time right now.

Jane: I understand. What I’d like to do is set up a time to call back and talk with you about your organizational efficiency. Maybe some of our innovative solutions can save you money, improve your overall HR processes and keep your employees satisfied. When is a good time for me to call back?

2. I’m not interested.

This is a difficult one to counter. It usually means you didn’t get the prospect’s interest and the benefit in your opening was weak or at least off the mark. It could also mean the prospect is having a bad day and you’ve gotten into the line of fire. You can either head for the door or have one last kick at the can. 


Prospect: I’m not interested.

Bill: I understand. I probably wouldn’t be interested either without additional information. Would there be an interest in improving your overall organizational efficiencies?


Look, I told you I’m not interested! (Probably a worst case response.)

Bill: Sorry to have been a bother.

(Hang up now!)

3. I’m happy with my current supplier.

Not an uncommon response and perfectly natural when you think of it. If they weren’t happy with their current supplier they’d be looking for another one and probably would have called you instead of you calling on them.

There’s no universal response to “I’m happy with my current supplier.” If you’re in the type of business where you get this often, you must prepare yourself with a reasonable answer or you’ll find yourself standing out on the street wondering what happened to you every time. Focus on the unique benefits and features of your products and services.

For more information on sales training and coaching, please refer to The Right Skills.

Salesforce Training & Consulting is a professional sales training firm and registered Salesforce.com Consulting Partner based in Toronto, with offices in Boston and Chicago, providing sales coaching, sales management consulting, salesforce implementation, sales training and sales personnel assessments.