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Cold calling strategies to respond to “I don’t have time”

How many times have you made a cold call and received “Sorry, I don’t have time” as a reply? 

More times than you can count, for sure!

Well, it’s disappointing when such calls get brushed off, right? Your product/service could be the best in the market, but how to convey that when the prospect isn’t ready to spare even a few minutes? You need a better strategy than the classic sales offer you make on every call.

Prospects don’t want to spend 10 minutes on a sales call, but they don’t know that those couple of minutes could save them from hours of manual work. Their tasks and assignments might be all over the place, and yet they’d act like everything is under control.

Now, you know that your service will be beneficial to your prospect. So, when you get that same ol’ brush off, you need to go a little offbeat and map out a different strategy. Let’s get started and find out how you can use various cold calling tricks according to your prospect’s response.

You must provide some value

If you’re not providing any value to the prospect, what’s the point of even making the call? Whenever you reach out to the prospect, ensure you have a solution to their problem.

For that, you’ll need to do research on the prospect and understand their needs. So, do a little background check and see which approach will be a deal-breaker and initiate with that! No need to beat around the bush; get straight to the point, and you’ll have more chances of getting the prospect interested in your call.

Smartly handle the objections

 “44% sales reps give up after their first follow-up.”

(source – Brevet )

Don’t be among them; stay resilient if you really want to close the deal with your prospect. Once you give up, you can’t go back, so alter your approach and you’ll surely find a better solution. Break that barrier and go ahead with confidence to impress the prospect.

You must be getting “I’m sorry, I don’t have time right now,” replies quite often.

Now, if you reply something like, “It’s okay, I understand you must be busy with your work. How about you give me three minutes from your busy schedule and I’ll tell you how you can finish your work in less time?” 

See, this reply directly points out you are aware of the prospect’s excuses and are trying to work around it. And secondly, the prospect is sure to get intrigued because everyone wants to work efficiently in less time.

Prospects value their time, yes, but when they’re getting something useful out of it, they won’t hesitate to stay on the call. So, before you make any cold call, ensure that you’ve got sassy comebacks that no prospect is ready for! And then see how you smoothly talk your way into getting an appointment with them.

Ask them to make a choice

Many times when you call a prospect, they might reply saying, “We already use xyz product or software,” and usually, that’s the dead-end for most salespeople. Well, you really can’t do anything about that, right? Here’s where you need to bring in those smart selling strategies.

They must be having an existing subscription, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, “Thank you, John. If you don’t mind, could you please share which service/product you’re using currently? I understand if you choose not to share, I just want to know better about your requirements.”

See what you did here? You not only asked them about their current work process, which you can use it to your advantage, and gave them an option to choose from. When you frame a question this way, most prospects will end up sharing because you sound genuinely interested in their company.

Set practical goals

At the end of the day, every salesperson wants to close deals. However, it’s not the first step in cold calling. When you go out to buy any product, do you just see the name and head out towards checkout? We’re assuming the answer to this is no.

You first want to grab their attention with the services/products you’re offering, schedule a meeting to reach a middle ground, and then close the deal. So, when you dial any call, your goal should be to get the next appointment so you can propose your offer. 

Have variations

Everyone is different and has their own traits. So, it’s not wise to assume that every prospect will respond positively to the same cold calling script. Before you get objections from your prospect and end up saying – 

have various scripts or ideas ready for different prospects. It’ll allow you to experiment and analyze which call works best with which client. Moreover, you can also practice cold calling with your colleagues to excel at it. Here are 15 on point cold calling scripts for your sales squad.


We’re sure that with these tricks, you’ll attract more leads in no time! You can utilize your time in working more efficiently with contact management feature where you can keep track of all your leads and follow up in a streamlined method. Moreover, power dialer lets you manage and schedule a series of calls, define the wait time in between and also send pre-recorded voicemails.

So, what are you waiting for? Get back to cold calling and this time, use the mentioned tricks to capture more leads.

Dhara Thakkar

Dhara Thakkar is a seasoned marketer at Salesmate. She thrives on trying new organic strategies to improve traffic & conversions, and has in-depth knowledge on how search works. When she's not working, you will find her travelling or binge watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S

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