Every salesperson sometimes needs to handle some negative replies. If you send cold emails you can be sure that not every prospect that you contact will be interested in your offer.
I a prospect has spent time answering your message you should not leave it without a response - there is always a possibility that you can reforge it into a business opportunity and the prospect may become your customer in the future. As a professional, you can respond to these messages and thank people for their time or ask for more feedback based on their response. This shows you are an actual person and not an automated bot, and it will also build your company reputation.
Here are some examples of messages that you can receive and a guide on how to respond to them:
1. Not interested now reply
Sometimes you might get an answer that tells you the prospect could be interested, it’s just not a right time for them. What you have to remember is that you should not waste your time unless you are completely sure that some opportunity will appear in the future. What you can do in a case like this is to ask to specify what time would be good to reach back out.
Thank you for the information! Could you tell me when the conference is taking place so I can contact you after it?
After you get a response with the exact date, remember to set up a task in your calendar reminder, or use an internal system like a customer relationship management tool, so you won’t forget to reach out.
2. Not responsible for that
There’s always a possibility that the person you have contacted is not the best fit for your campaign and is not the decision-maker in the company. That gives you a great opportunity to reach out and ask for the person that would be a better fit. We recommend doing some research before sending this email.
NOTE: The below response may happen, especially if you contacted middle- or low-level employees working in big companies - big structure may result in a worse flow of information.
Thank you for information! I’m trying to get in touch with a person responsible for web marketing in your company, could you maybe give me some clue on who that would be?
Thanks in advance!
What you can do instead of asking the prospect, is doing some research by yourself - check the company’s LinkedIn profile to find the right person and then ask to confirm if it is the right fit for you. In addition, be sure to ask for their email address.
NOTE: If you don't get the email address from the prospect, you can try using the same pattern as your previous contact had, e.g. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Using your competitor
As the market is competitive, you can email people that already have a solution similar to yours and are not interested in changing it. The recommendation here would be asking them about what they like and dislike about their current service or product. You can collect some valuable feedback this way.
Thank you for the information! Could you please answer me one quick question: what is the thing about the product XYZ that you value the most? Also, a quick info: in company Z we have just implemented a totally new, innovative tool that lets you do all your research without any human work. Maybe that would interest you?
4. Aggressive reply
This type of reply is the one that can destroy your day. A person that tells you to stop emailing them but uses negative expressions and often threatens you with different lawsuits. What can you do with it? The first thing you should remember is to not lose your temper. Even if the person uses inappropriate language, you should handle it professionally. Our recommendation here is answering them kindly that you are sorry and you won’t contact them again. Here’s an example of such case:
Thanks for reaching out to me. I have already deleted you from my contact list, so you won’t see any new messages.
Sorry for the hassle!
IMPORTANT: Remember to really remove this person or even the whole company from your mailing list. You can do this by unqualifying the prospect or the company. Also, remember to always comply with Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation and GDPR regulations in Europe.
5. Just not interested
Unfortunately, most of the cold replies that you get might look like this one - not giving you much information about the reason the prospect is not interested in your offer. The best way to deal with them is to ask a simple question: why are they not interested. This would give you some important insight for improving your campaigns. It is also a great technique to use when building a relationship with your prospects as people, in general, like to be asked about their opinions.
Thank you for information. Could you tell me what is the reason that you are not interested in our product? Are you maybe using some other product that provides you with this feature? Please let me know!
This response is great to AB test! Recommended reply:
Thank you for information. Could you please spend a few seconds to answer my one question? Do you think that our offer:
- Won’t give you any important advantages
- Needless because you are already using some similar products
- Is just not matching your business model?
Please do answer this question by simply writing a, b or c in the answer and that would give us a lot of insight
Thanks a lot!
You can also create the same answer with a simpler, YES/NO questions.
Having all that in mind - negative answer may be a great source of information about your competitors and about your own product. By using the suggestions above, you may work on your campaigns to create more business opportunities. Negative replies will always appear, so the best you can do is treat it as a feedback for your campaigns.
Also, if you see that the number of negative replies is definitely too high you can rethink your targeting: here you can find an article that explains it profoundly.