Dealing with Delay In The Art of Persuasion
Picking up from last week’s posts on objections, today we’re talking about time. Specifically, talking to people who tell you they don’t have time. Because when people tell you they don’t have time to talk, or that it’s the wrong time to talk, there are at least two reasons for their time objection. It’s either about delay or detail.
When you hear someone seeking to put off a conversation with you, using the objection, ‘I don’t have time for this right now,” the intent is either to keep from having to hear your proposition until you give up and go away (depending on who you are, how you talk and how often you ask others to listen, this could be quite common), or they realize that there are details missing that require more time and attention than they have at the moment and they want to be able to give you their full attention. In either case, it’s a good idea to assume the best and say that you understand the desire to delay hearing it. Let the person know that you appreciate that he recognizes the importance of giving your proposal the attention it deserves, even if you suspect he doesn’t.
Because the next step is to find a time. Ask, “When is a better time?”
They say, “I don’t have time right now.” You say, “Thank you for being honest. I appreciate that you recognize it is important enough to deserve your full attention.” Give them a moment to receive the appreciation, then say, “When is a good time?” If they say, “I don’t know right now,” it is in your interest to keep some control by making the first step towards the next contact instead of waiting for it to happen for you. Put it together and it sounds like this. Say, “No problem. When is a good time to get back to you about finding the right time?”
If the objection is that what you propose would take too much time to implement, find out how much time is wasted under the current system. If the objection is that there isn’t enough time to implement your idea that’s a signal that more detail is needed about how it can work.
In each case, you have the opportunity to take a next step in handling the objection. And in my case, I’m out of time! Your comments, as always, are welcome!