Call Me Back After Christmas! Are You Getting This Objection From Your Prospects?

By Andy Preston | General Sales Tips

Nov 15
Sales Tips - Objections During The Holiday Season
In this article, leading Sales Expert Andy Preston explains why it is that so many business owners and salespeople get the ‘call me back after Christmas’ objection…..only to find in January that they can’t get hold of the person ever again!…..

Now we’re heading into the festive period, many business owners and salespeople will get the ‘call me back after Christmas/call me back in the New Year’ objection – yet fail to deal with it well enough!

I’m sure you’ve had people say those words or something similar to you? They can even start to appear from the middle of November onwards!

How about when you ring those people back in the New Year?  The people you were trying to get a buying decision from? The people who needed to ‘run your proposal past a few people?’ Or maybe the people you were trying to get an appointment with?

Very often (those same people that gave you the ‘Christmas objection’) when you call those people back in the New Year, they either still haven’t made a decision, they give another ‘fob-off’, or even worse – you can’t seem to get hold of those people ever again! Has this ever happened to you? If you’re anything like the hordes of people that ask me what to do about the ‘Christmas‘ problem every year, you probably get it quite a lot!

So Why Do They Do It?

Business Selling PsychologySo why is it that the buyers and decision makers give us the ‘Christmas‘ objections? There are various reasons for this. Sometimes, there’s a genuine reason why they can’t proceed with the order (or appointment) until January – perhaps a colleague is away that needs to be involved, perhaps there isn’t a budget until next year, perhaps even that the person is so focused on delivering existing projects, they just can’t even think about another one!

However as mentioned above – in a number of cases, decision makers use ‘Christmas objections’ as a convenient way of getting salespeople and business owners to ‘go away‘. And they keep using them because they work! Far too many salespeople and business owners ‘fall‘ for these objections, take the decision makers at their word – only to be surprised come January when they can’t get hold of that person.

The challenge is – unless you learn to do something about these ‘Christmas‘ objections, you’re going to suffer the same problems year after year, after year! If you’d like to do something to tackle it now, here are some ideas for you….

Andy’s Sales Tip Number 1 – Prepare To Tackle Them

Sales Tips - Objections During The Holiday SeasonYou know you’re going to start getting these sorts of objections from November onwards, so you need to prepare for them!

I hear so many business owners and salespeople fall for these same objections year after year! Why not consider how you’re going to deal with them and practice your responses? Most people fail to do even those simple things!

This means working out your objection handles, then practicing them with friends, colleagues or even in meetings with the rest of the sales team! The better prepared you are for when the objections come up, the better you’ll deal with them! That goes for the other objections you face as well, but let’s focus on the ‘Christmas‘ ones for now!

And please, don’t leave this until the last few moments before your telephone call or client meeting (or even worse – until you’re waiting in reception), do this in ‘small chunks’ – a little bit at a time but done on a regular basis – that helps you remember and use the objection handles best.

Andy’s Sales Tip Number 2 – Think About What They Really Mean

Thinking BusinessmanOften when the buyer or decision maker says the words ‘call me back after Christmas’, that phrase might have a different meaning than the one you’ve accepted at face value!

Let’s face it – if everyone who said those to you either met with you or bought from you in January, then there wouldn’t be a problem, would there? So I’m talking here about the people that use that phrase, but then don’t seem to necessarily follow through come January.

Let’s think about this a little deeper – might some people use that phrase when actually what they really mean is ‘go away?’ Or perhaps ‘it’s not important enough for me to look at right now?’ As someone who originally trained as a professional buyer, I can guarantee you that’s the case!

Here’s a quick distinction – the more ‘new business’ your telephone call or appointment is, the less rapport you have – therefore the likelihood of them ‘fobbing you off’ is much higher! If you’re with an existing client you have personally a very good relationship with, it’s more likely that they’re telling the truth.

Andy’s Sales Tip Number 3 – Try Asking Better Questions

Most salespeople and decision makers I meet struggle with asking ‘good‘ questions. Questions that get them the information that other people don’t get. Questions that elevate the decision maker’s perception of you. Questions that make the decision maker think….

Most salespeople and business owners seem to think that the other person says ‘call me after Christmas’ or something similar, that means end of conversation/meeting! Who said that it did?!! Before the end of this conversation or meeting you need to ask some more questions to get the information you need!

The most important thing to find out here is if they’re trying to ‘fob you off’, without asking or accusing them directly! There are a number of ways you can do this, but the important thing to find out here is the motivation or urgency behind the project (if you haven’t already of course).

If you can establish there are genuine reasons to put the order/project/appointment on hold until the New Year, you’ve lessened your chances of being ‘fobbed-off’ and it should be relatively easy to pick things up from when you left off come January.

If on the other hand, the decision maker doesn’t appear to give specific reasons for the delay, they don’t seem as interested/motivated as they were, or they seem to want to get rid of you as fast as possible, that’s a pretty big sign they’re trying to fob you off!

Andy’s Sales Tip Number 4 – Have The Right Attitude

Sales Tip No. 4 - Have The Right AttitudeThe attitude of the salesperson or business owner is also vital in getting the results that you want here. I’ve seen far too many people trudge round on appointment after appointment, or from phone call to phone call looking and sounding like they’re terminally depressed! Not many people are going to buy from you in that state, are they?!!

If you pick up the phone or walk into a meeting expecting the other person to say ‘call me back after Christmas’ then guess what you’re probably going to get in most cases? You guessed it!….

If you’re in a competitive market you can bet that the buyer or decision maker is talking to other suppliers. And all it takes is for the salesperson at one of those companies to be better at dealing with the ‘Christmas‘ objections than you are…..then when you ring back in January they’ve bought! But off someone else….

The decision maker might say ‘oh we went with xyz firm because they had a better proposal’ or ‘we went with abc because they have us a cheaper price’……but in most cases what they mean is ‘we went with xyz because they dealt with the ‘Christmas’ objections better than you did….and that won them the business’.

Now that you’re aware that’s often the case, you’re not going to let that happen to you in future…are you?

Follow the tips above and watch your sales soar! I look forward to hearing how you get on……..

This article is copyright Andy Preston 2004-2017. To copy or syndicate this or any part of this article contact Andy Preston for guidelines.

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Andy Preston

Sales Motivational Speaker and Sales Trainer at Andy Preston
Andy Preston is a top International Sales Motivational Speaker, Sales Influencer and Master Sales Trainer.

Named as one of the World's Top Sales Gurus, Andy creates 'Stand Out Salespeople' worldwide, with his revolutionary 'Stand Out Selling' Sales System. 'Stand Out Selling' helps salespeople stand out from their competition, win more business, and do so at higher prices!

Previously a trained Professional Buyer, then the Top Salesperson in the UK, Andy Preston has now trained more than 120,000 Salespeople, in more than 30 countries, on 6 continents, since 2004!

Andy is best known for his work in 5 specific areas...

1) Prospecting/Cold Calling/Business Development
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3) Consultative Selling and Pipeline Management
4) Standing Out From The Competition
5) Helping Salespeople Close More Deals!

With more testimonials than any other Sales Expert online (320+ on LinkedIn alone), Andy's work is recognised worldwide.

You can contact Andy here for more information, and how he may be able to help you!

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  • @ Jamie – I think you may have ‘mis-read’ this article.  At no point do I say objections are buying signals – in some cases they are exactly the opposite!

    They are often ‘excuses’ for the DM to get rid of you and your call – so you have to do something about them – fast – in order to stay on the call and continue the conversation.

    If this objection really was true, or was a ‘buying signal’ as you mention, and it was only ‘timing’ that was the issue, then everyone you called back in January would simply buy, wouldn’t they!

    Every time you call someone back in January (that gave you this objection) and they DON’T buy from you, you know you’ve fallen for it!

    You’re right.  Securing a new client before Christmas is hard.  Just like it’s hard any other time.  But those times you don’t get the ‘Christmas’ objections.  You get the ‘Easter’ objections.  The ‘Summer Holiday’ objections.  The ‘we’re happy with our current supplier’ objections.

    If you want to secure those clients, your objection handling needs to be better than their objections.  Simple!

  • Guest

    I can’t say I have ever come across this objection in my line of sales but if I did my response would be simply, “Of course, I can certainly come back to you after Christmas but is there a reason this decision/conversation needs to wait until then?” I think the reaction to this question would be a great gauge as to whether someone is generally interested in your return call or not as well as perhaps unearth some additional information about the customer and their decision making process.

  • Hi ‘guest’

    That is indeed one option in handling it.  However, the problem occurs if the objection is designed to get rid of you, so your ‘challenge’ will likely result in the answer ‘yes because I’m too busy until then’ – leaving you no further forward, but the prospect is likely to be more irritated, annoyed and frustrated at you… yes, they’re more likely to remember you, but not in a good way!

    That’s not a call to look forward to in January!  

    Of course it depends on how much rapport you have with the prospect – what ‘history’ you and your company have with them, and what ‘relationship’ you have.  If it’s fairly ‘cold’, it’s likely it’s simply a technique designed to get you off the phone…..

  • @ Jamie – I think you may have ‘mis-read’ this article. At no point do I say objections are buying signals – in some cases they are exactly the opposite!

    They are often ‘excuses’ for the DM to get rid of you and your call – so you have to do something about them – fast – in order to stay on the call and continue the conversation.

    If this objection really was true, or was a ‘buying signal’ as you mention, and it was only ‘timing’ that was the issue, then everyone you called back in January would simply buy, wouldn’t they!

    Every time you call someone back in January (that gave you this objection) and they DON’T buy from you, you know you’ve fallen for it!

    You’re right. Securing a new client before Christmas is hard. Just like it’s hard any other time. But those times you don’t get the ‘Christmas’ objections. You get the ‘Easter’ objections. The ‘Summer Holiday’ objections. The ‘we’re happy with our current supplier’ objections.

    If you want to secure those clients, your objection handling needs to be better than their objections. Simple!

  • Kelly Donna

    I had a sales trainer mention the competitors name right after the objection and said that he was going to go see him! LOL :0)
    That was an actual…I’m following behind my trainer and he is on a SALES rampage.

    His background was that he was a meat market employee. Otherwise, his professional background is best put as a “butcher!” So, when he didn’t make a sale…He literally went back to the chopping block!

    He had a great service and the steaks were high! Each sale was $400.00 and worth every red penny!

  • Divia Ahuja

    Hey Andy,
    I have read through a few of your articles, and I always read a set of problems and what people do, not direct solutions. I like knowing sometimes the though process of a customer, but I also need to know how to counteract them.

    Take this objection handling issue, my reason for being here is to know HOW, not what the problem is. I know people are putting me off, but what are the words that should come to us when dealing with that customer. “Unfortunately this deal only lasts until the day before Christmas as we are also off?, would you like to know more?”
    If you have an article or something at addresses a HOW, to many of the sales issues it would be much appreciated.

    Thank you

  • Hi Divia

    Yes, that’s normally for 2 reasons.

    1) My articles are limited by word count, otherwise would go on forever listing all possible scenarios and solutions!

    2) Whilst the problems may be similar, my suggested solutions are TAILORED to each individual person and their style, their individual company and industry, as well as their individual marketplace. Beware of anyone giving ‘generic’ solutions as these rarely work, and often cause more harm than good.

    If you go here – http://www.andypreston.com/contact-us/ and send us a message, one of my team will be in touch about how we may be able to help you solve some of the challenges you’re currently having around this.

    Kind Regards

    Andy

  • Oh Kelly that sounds painful!

    High risk sales tactics can sometimes pay off, but often need high levels of rapport, and the fall-out from what may happen afterwards is often far worse!