This is pretty much something most of us have come across at some point in our sales career. In fact, about 80-90% of salespeople give up on the fourth “no.” But you definitely won’t achieve success by giving up.
So what do you do?
Give some time to understand your prospects, their needs, the industry, the company, and how that benefits your clients and articulate that message. This takes some time in the same way that you don’t expect your muscles to grow overnight after a one-time whole body workout.
Golf would be a good analogy here. Turning your club a tad bit in or out does make a big difference in the ball’s trajectory. You don’t just head out and whack the ball without any fundamentals in place. Without the proper stance, it’s useless!
Now how does this relate to sales?
For one, there needs to be better planning. Are you taking your focus off doing too many things that aren’t really beneficial to your success? For instance, do you work too much on a presentation when you need to focus on finding prospects? Doing so many things simultaneously doesn’t necessarily mean you’re working effectively or you’ll achieve success.
Other aspects of the fundamentals include:
Build relationships. Offer value. Show your client how your product/service is going to help the organization. Sometimes the prospect may say “no” but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s “no” forever. It may only mean “no” for right now. Now what do you do to stay on top of mind and keep going? Put out valuable content and be consistent.
Case in point: Starting this podcast was magnificent – Hallelujah! I was utterly blessed to begin this journey on a pretty fast track. It was an all-time high being featured on the New & Noteworthy on iTunes, which only lasted for 8 weeks. Following that, the downloads went downhill. I even doubted if someone was even listening to the podcast.
But I kept going and was putting valuable content out there until eventually the podcast experienced an uptake and it got mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine and another magazine… and another. Then opportunities were rolling down the road with more clients, more coaching, and doing speaking engagements. All of that through persistence and consistency.
Now it’s your turn to apply these to your own life and get those results!
Jill’s newest sales book, AGILE SELLING, was released earlier this year and was the target focus for this podcast interview. The main things that Jill does in her book is teaching salespeople how to succeed in a constantly changing sales world.
Jill is also a frequent speaker at sales conferences and kick-off meetings. Sharing her fresh sales strategies, she helps salespeople to speed up new customer acquisition and win bigger contracts. Jill has worked with companies such as IBM, GE, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Staples and numerous mid-market firms. She is an industry thought leader and sales expert.
Here are some of the major takeaways from our discussion:
Stay in touch with Jill:
Have you ever found yourself getting nervous while presenting or even speaking with a prospect? So for your nervousness, do you begin to speak REALLY FAST? Well, you are not the only one. What if I told you it’s something many sellers were (are) guilty of at one time or another? As a new seller I definitely was guilty of speaking very rapidly and lose the people I was speaking to along the way. I may have spent a long time trying to get the appointment and then I would jeopardize the meeting because I was speaking too fast. I wasn’t confident in what I was saying. It was a frustrating because I could not get past the introductory level to help prospects see the value I presented.
During this episode I share my experience and why new sellers tend to fall to the idea of speaking fast.
1. Not confident in what they are saying:
This tends to happen when you are new to a sales position/company and thrown out on the front line without training. You are given a brochure and a website and are expected to find new business.
When you get someone on the phone or standing in front of them, you don’t know what to say and start speaking really fast hoping to recall everything you read. Or you speak rapidly hoping that if you share everything you know, something will jump out and they will want to learn more.
2. Talking to C-levels or important decision makers:
Another time when I found myself speaking really fast, was when I spoke with people who were in the executive suite, i.e. Chief Executive Office (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Office (CIO) or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
Since I never had any experience talking to these “important people” before, I revert to what I knew. I used to think back to TV shows when the boss would give a sales person 5 minutes to persuade them to buy their product or service. The seller would then rush through his or her message talking about their product or service and then persuade the big wing to buy. This inadvertently caused me to become nervous, speak faster and quickly make a fool of myself.
A lot of this came from my insecurities that C-Levels were way too busy to listen to what I had to say. As a result of that I tried to get through my message as quickly as possible.
3. Received an objection & got defensive:
Another area where I frequently found myself getting nervous and speaking fast, was when I encountered objections or something I did not know the answer to. Since I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know what I was talking about, I would quickly ramble on, stuttering over myself trying to piece an answer together so that I could impress my prospect. Obviously this never impressed anyone, but it sure made me look stupid in the long run.