Home > Resistance > Revisiting "Not Interested"

Revisiting "Not Interested"

In another thread, the topic of dealing with the "We're not interested" objection went down an all too familiar road. Much of the conversation centered on two opposing viewpoints. Simply put, one small camp says "Move on and find people who ARE interested", and the other suggests we probe deeper with that prospect.

I want to reopen the topic to make a point, unencumberd by the debate on that thread. My point is this: "We're not interested" is NOT an objection. It is a statement. It is a position. And--it is probably a fact. If the position was not factual, it would mean that the person IS interested, and has chosen to lie.

Why would an interested person choose to lie?

I'll treat that last question as un-rhetorical, and attempt to provide examples where an interested person might lie. If a person harbors an Underlying Commitment to another person, another cause, another relationship, another behavour, or another process, "disinterest" would often be a default lie used to make the hidden interest go away.

"I'm not interested.." is a statement of position.

"I'm not interested because my wife would never forgive me.." is an objection.

"I'm not interested because we are happy with our present supplier.." is an objection.

"I'm not interested because canteloupes upset my stomach.." is an objection and perhaps a condition.

The key to DEALING with "I'm not interested" is UNDERSTANDING "I'm not interested". So there are three questions on board. All of the question come under the general heading of "WHY?" And--they are questions which are strategic tools in nature, and can remain completely in the salesperson's mind. They can in many cases be tactfully vocalized, and the decision to do so, or not do so, is what separates the two opposing camps.

Those question, silent or not, are:
  • Is there an underlying commitment or belief that exists that would cause a statement of disinterest to surface prematurely?
  • Does the person really understand what he/she is "not interested" in?
  • Are there valid conditions that would make a person disinterested?
Those questions, when answered, must be the starting point for determining the salesperson's course of action or non-action. They are strategic--not tactical. Strategic questions seek knowledge. Tactical questions seek to change another's position. The former are inductive, and often silent. The latter are vocal and require tact and timing. - by Ace Coldiron
I think "Not Interested" can mean:
  1. Rejection - up front because of prejudice or ignorance.
  2. Objection - at any time because of perceived concern.
  3. Stall - towards end of call because of a desire to avoid making, stating and-or defending a decision.
- by Mikey
I think "Not Interested" can mean:
  1. Rejection - up front because of prejudice or ignorance.
  2. Objection - at any time because of perceived concern.
  3. Stall - towards end of call because of a desire to avoid making, stating and-or defending a decision.
#3 doesn't seem right. #1 is common. #2 in my opinion is still a statement of position that a salesperson would choose to probe or not probe for the underlying reasons. If the prospect would have voiced the "perceived concern" it would be an objection.

Doesn't stall generally mean delay? Why would someone say "not interested" at the end of a call, having heard the offer, unless they truly are not interested? Why would that be a stall? Stalling what? Stalling a yes? Wouldn't they say they want to think it over if that were the case? Stalling a "no"? "Not interested" IS a no. - by Ace Coldiron
#2 in my opinion is still a statement of position that a salesperson would choose to probe or not probe for the underlying reasons. If the prospect would have voiced the "perceived concern" it would be an objection.
In your opinion is voicing a perceived concern the difference between a position and an objection?

Doesn't stall generally mean delay? Why would someone say "not interested" at the end of a call, having heard the offer, unless they truly are not interested? Why would that be a stall? Stalling what? Stalling a yes? Wouldn't they say they want to think it over if that were the case? Stalling a "no"? "Not interested" IS a no.
I through out my standard reply... sloppy I know. :bl You are right, it would be a "no" not a "stall". - by Mikey
In your opinion is voicing a perceived concern the difference between a position and an objection?

I through out my standard reply... sloppy I know. :bl You are right, it would be a "no" not a "stall".
As a working model for understanding, Mikey, my answer would be yes. In sales, we can ask "Why?" of a position. But in many cases we can't ask "Why?" of an objection simply because the objection is the Why.

It's true though that there are some grey areas surrounding what I have posted on this thread. For instance you and I agreed that "Not interested.." is NO rather than a stall. That is much more true in selling situations than it is in various areas of seduction. - by Ace Coldiron
"Not Interested"

To properly contribute, I'd need to understand where in the sales process this objection comes up.

- If it is towards the end, I've got to assume you've bullied your way into a presentation by talking most of the time and you haven't asked enough questions. You are showing FEATURES and not BENEFIT.

- If it is at the start of your presentation, I question three things;
1. How You Look
2. What You Say
3. How You Said It

I'll await your response. - by MrCharisma
"The key to DEALING with "I'm not interested" is UNDERSTANDING "I'm not interested". So there are three questions on board. All of the question come under the general heading of "WHY?" And--they are questions which are strategic tools in nature, and can remain completely in the salesperson's mind. They can in many cases be tactfully vocalized, and the decision to do so, or not do so, is what separates the two opposing camps.

Those question, silent or not, are:
  • Is there an underlying commitment or belief that exists that would cause a statement of disinterest to surface prematurely?
  • Does the person really understand what he/she is "not interested" in?
  • Are there valid conditions that would make a person disinterested?"
I think that there might be other "distractions" from a sale that mean I'm not interested right now, but see me tomorrow and I'll sit down with you ... sorta thing too. I think this is different than your first bullet point somewhat but at the same time could also be the same.

Aloha... tom :cool: - by rattus58
I think that there might be other "distractions" from a sale that mean I'm not interested right now, but see me tomorrow and I'll sit down with you ... sorta thing too. I think this is different than your first bullet point somewhat but at the same time could also be the same.

Aloha... tom :cool:
I think "underlying commitment" is a deeper study that would bear more fruit in the long run, but certainly the word "distraction" is not out of place. - by Ace Coldiron
I was thinking of a specific scenario when I wrote that, but you have to remember that YOUR command of the english language is far superior to mine, one, and two, I haven't, or have trouble "assimilating" all of the nuances of things such as that "underlying commitment" statement.

The more I think of "underlying commitment" the more I can relate that.

Much Aloha,

Tom shds; ;bg - by rattus58
This is a wonderful (if somewhat esoteric and theoretical) thread.

However, it struck me that the people who might get the most benefit from learning how to handle 'not interested' i.e. people who don't know how to handle it right now, might be better served by one of us giving a simple scenario of where and how it might happen in a sales interaction.

I'm all for absorbing the underlying principles but wouldn't we better serve the sales community by just giving some down home practical 'try this.....' examples?

Just before someone replies 'you first helisell' I'd rather some of the more long serving members here have a go, if you think it is appropriate.

I think visitors to the forum looking for advice/solutions/answers will be better served this way....? - by helisell
I'm all for absorbing the underlying principles but wouldn't we better serve the sales community by just giving some down home practical 'try this.....' examples?

Just before someone replies 'you first helisell' I'd rather some of the more long serving members here have a go, if you think it is appropriate.

I think visitors to the forum looking for advice/solutions/answers will be better served this way....?
Helisell, in spirit I agree with you, but from a practical standpoint, it's not that easy.

For example, my posts have a common theme in that I encourage understanding. I value that because I believe it has to precede applications if a learner is to get full benefit. I came from a system of training that taught What To Do juxtaposed with Why You're Doing It. Sometimes I look at some of the scripts newcomers bring to this forum for critique and I am saddened because I have witnessed what poor indictrination in sales does to well-intended individuals and their families. Sometimes I am more saddened by the advice they are given. Wordology.

Helisell, I'm a seasoned pro who doesn't struggle like those novices. But I don't have a short memory--I was once one of them. I found the key to learning to be in understanding. When a person truly understands what "Not Interested" means as I have tried to present above, then they will find the words that fit themselves every bit as much as my words fit myself. Grabbing the words of some well-meaning advice givers is a mere band aid that has to be changed every day. Read the threads. - by Ace Coldiron
I do read the threads.

OK so why not give an example and then explain the underlying reasoning behind it?

Would this not both give practical advice and....understanding? - by helisell
Hi Helisell..... :)

That is another sneaky attempt of yours aint it..... *grin* come up wit a good idear and tell someone else to start.... sorta a Tom Sawyer - Huckleberry Finn moment... dang... I love to paint these fence boards there is nothing much more fun you could do on a summer day....

I'm not interested for me comes from someone not engaged with me or when I'm cold calling. If I get a "I'm not interested" I think it is prudent to ask, "Ok... Clarify that for me if you don't mind... you mean today is the wrong time not interested, your circumstances are wrong, not interested or I should just go stand in the street wrong time!?"

If I can get someone to respond to me, then possibly we can explore this further.

That's my story and I'm stickin too it.... :)

Much Aloha... tom... shds; ;bg


pssssssst.... helisell.... yer tern.... - by rattus58
I do read the threads.

OK so why not give an example and then explain the underlying reasoning behind it?

Would this not both give practical advice and....understanding?
Are you looking for a rebuttal of "not interested" or are you looking for how to deal with that subject in selling as part of the sales process? Which?

Then I'll decide if it is my toe that goes into the water first. - by Ace Coldiron
Real Life Experience (2007)

Scenario: Franchisee of major hotel chain location.

Project: Renovation including replacement of existing finishes.

At stake: Approximately $215,000 with 38% margin for my company.

My Proposition: Break the specs that came down from hotels head office architects, and go with my product as an alternate. (Favoring me because I gained cost advantage from spec'ing the products.)

Present in room: Me, and the two owners of the hotel.

Partner X: "We're not interested?"

Me: Tell me why.

Partner Y: We just want a proposal on what the designers advised. We need to get this done and at the right price.

Me: Would you be interested if I can get the designers to reconsider?

Partner X: Why do that?

Me: For your sake. For reducing replacement costs down the road. They may not care if my product is better suited, but we in this room have to. My guess is those designers haven't set foot here. I have. Also--this is my specialty--my expertise. The head office design department is handling multi-projects all over the world--all with just enough knowledge to get them by. It's not US IN THIS ROOM who are not interested. WE have to be.

Partner Y: If you want to do that, I'll give you the name of the person in the design department who makes the decisions.

Me: I already have her name. I did my homework. But I also did my homework on why my product is better. And I'm prepared to talk with her.

Partner X: We need to move on this. We have major events scheduled for Spring.

Me (to X): I have your blessing too?

Partner X: Yeah. But don't drag on this.

Result: My company was awarded the job with the products I specified in which I enjoyed a competitive advantage. The compliance issue was resolved when the alternate proposal was submitted to the design manager. I had enlisted the aid of the president of the manufacturer who had a good relationship with the hotel chain. The burden of accountabity for rejecting the offer of a superior product at a lower cost potential was something that I knew would not want to be shouldered by design management. It was rightfully passed to me and the actual owners of the hotel. - by Ace Coldiron
Super dinky duper Ace.

Great story with a great result. I know I'm playing devils advocate a bit (rattus grrrr) but I know that you'll agree that this is the kind of stuff that's needed here?

Would it be possible now for you to do the other bit?

The bit where you break down what happened in some detail.

Explaining the finer points of this 'particular' interaction will, I promise you, have salespeople here enthralled.

No irony...I MEAN it.

Anyone else reading this like to know and understand what went into this presentation. Pipe up then. - by helisell
OH p.s. to rattus....loved your response.
Obviously delivered with confidence and a little humour....hard to teach that stuff. - by helisell
Interesting Example. - by Gary A Boye
Super dinky duper Ace.

Great story with a great result. I know I'm playing devils advocate a bit (rattus grrrr) but I know that you'll agree that this is the kind of stuff that's needed here?

Would it be possible now for you to do the other bit?

The bit where you break down what happened in some detail.

Explaining the finer points of this 'particular' interaction will, I promise you, have salespeople here enthralled.

No irony...I MEAN it.

Anyone else reading this like to know and understand what went into this presentation. Pipe up then.
I'll be happy to. Right now I gotta run. Got this bad habit. It's called work. - by Ace Coldiron
It's people like you give idle folks like me a bad name. - by helisell
It's people like you give idle folks like me a bad name.
First off it's not called idle
And we're not suicidal
While Ace hustles off to work
The rest of us content to lurk - by rattus58
I used to lurk but.........sooooooo much effort these days. - by helisell
The key to DEALING with "I'm not interested" is UNDERSTANDING "I'm not interested". So there are three questions on board. All of the question come under the general heading of "WHY?" And--they are questions which are strategic tools in nature, and can remain completely in the salesperson's mind. They can in many cases be tactfully vocalized, and the decision to do so, or not do so, is what separates the two opposing camps.
Thank you very much for discussing this!

If you do not know why the customer is saying they are interested it is impossible to meet it with a good argument. As there are an unlimited amount of reasons they might not be interested, the odds that you will challange the right one is astronomical.

//Daniel - by LookingDaniel
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