The Dreaded “We are Going to Hold Off” Email and How to Respond

Ken Varga

I’ve often been asked the question of how to respond to the objection “We are going to hold off”. When this situation happens, there are usually two reasons:

One, you are speaking with the ultimate decision maker and they are the ones that emailed you this bad news; or, two, you are speaking with the influencer and they delivered those words to you.

Of course, there could be a third platform where you think you are dealing with the decision maker but in reality, you aren’t. For this article, I’m assuming you are truly speaking with someone in position of power and decision making ability.

Here’s how to respond:

I’m a huge advocate of calling first and emailing second. This situation however, is the exception to my rule. If you call your prospect right after receiving their email, one of two things is going to happen. (1) They will ignore your call because they want to avoid conflict, or (2) if they answer your call, their guard will be up and it will be very hard to bring down. What I have found to be extremely helpful is to reply back to the email in a very particular way.

The goal is to do two things:

  1. Lower their guard
  2. Get them talking

So, in my reply I simply say something like, “OK. No problem. Thanks for letting me know.”

This will help lower their guard as they expected you to ream them about why they should be buying from you. It will also be a relief that you aren’t trying to strong arm them into buying.

Now you need to ask them the following question: “Ok. No problem. Thanks for letting me know, is it because the policy I showed you wouldn’t cover all of your needs?”

If you truly were following the right sales process and they were a highly qualified prospect that went off the tracks and you handle this situation the way I’ve just shared with you, you stand a good chance of having them respond to you.

Since my email reply lowered their guard and then asked them a THIS or THAT question, they were more willing to reply and that is all you need them to do.

If they decide to reply, they will explain what the delay is. They will either say it is THIS or THAT, or something totally different, which is what you need to know. In essence, you now have the real objection.

Now you can say, “Let me check on something first.”

Wait a few minutes, then call them back. When you call them back, they are going to be curious about what your solution is. Their guard will be down and their curiosity to hear your solution will be up.

You are now in a perfect position to handle the objection and close the sale. 

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