I’ve been meaning to write this for a while but because I’ve been very busy re-starting the business after Christmas…

Does that resonate with you? I found myself writing a variant of that email a dozen times last week.

When you get back to your desk after a break, it can be daunting to find that the list of open sales dialogues is long and un-changed during your absence.

So what are the best ways to get those conversations moving forward?

Overcome objections and become a priority

A lovely PR lady from Salesforce sent me this link to their top tips on how to get past the “We’re too busy” objection to new business proposals.

Timeliness: “We’re too busy right now.”

You’ve likely heard this, or something to the tune of “Contact me in a few months when we have more budget.”

This objection happens particularly around the holiday season. In this scenario, you must make it so compelling for them to buy—right now—that they feel as if they’ll truly regret passing up the opportunity. Simplify the buying process in some way, and lay out attractive terms that are only available in a very specific window of time. Make it clear that “waiting until the first of the year” will mean missing out on a great opportunity.

Before jumping into the conversation, however, be sure to follow up with the customer to find out if you are simply calling at a bad time or if there is an actual business problem overloading the customer.

If its a bad time, find out a better time to call. If it’s a business problem, that gives you the information you need to show how your product will make the customer’s life easier.

They don’t owe you the business

Remember also that no customer prospect owes you their business. You have to earn it.

BUT they do owe you an answer… so whether that’s a yes, a no or a maybe – put the pressure on to get your opportunities moving again and build that pipeline.

Read other blog posts about Enabling business development processes to make your new business HAPPEN.