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Andrea and her husband struck out on their own about 19 years ago. They did sales workshops and trainings for big companies, and they found that their rejection piece was the thing everyone loved.
This was a problem and a solution that affected everyone no matter what business they were in.
In this replay of a 2017 episode of The Sales Evangelist, Andrea offers the following advice to those dealing with rejection.
It’s not about you.
Although it’s true that the rejection isn’t personal, it’s hard to avoid internalizing that rejection. It’s normal to respond emotionally when someone tells you no.
If, however, you allow rejection to take control of your sales process, you end up with mediocre results because you’re little more than an order-taker.
Go for the no.
Eventually you’re going to have a conversation with someone, so rejection is always a possibility.
Andrea’s husband had an experience once selling menswear, and his manager asked him what the customer said no to. Her husband pointed out that the customer bought everything he recommended and didn’t say no to anything.
The manager then asked, “Well then how did you know he was done?”
As sellers, we tend to sell to our own wallets, but if we could get comfortable being told no, it’s possible that we’d be even more successful.
We must get used to hearing “no.”
Help struggling sellers.
“No” doesn’t mean never; it means not yet.
“No” is the beginning of a negotiation. If you call on someone who is happy with the current supplier, that won’t necessarily be true forever.
You must stay in touch and follow up even when people tell you “no.”
Encourage your sellers to continue the follow up. It’s easy to lose track if you don’t use your CRM.
There’s also an interesting phenomenon around getting a “yes.” Everyone celebrates that “yes.” Contrast that with the person who makes 20 phone calls and gets nothing but “no.”
Consider that a lot of those “no” answers can turn into “yes.”
Track your “no” answers. Set a “no” goal.
If you get permission to follow up, you absolutely must do it.
Sellers must learn to distinguish the different kinds of “no” answer. When you avoid hearing “no” you don’t get good at handling rejection emotionally.
When you get used to hearing “no” you learn to distinguish the “no” answers that could potentially turn into a “yes.”
Get permission to follow up with that qualified prospect. At worst, ask if you can check back in a few months to see if anything has changed.
You can also try to figure out what the “no” is by figuring out how you got to “no.”
You have nothing to lose at this point, so try to figure out why it wasn’t a good fit. Figure out why people are saying “no” and figure out how you can mitigate that in the future.
Talk to the right people.
If you’re getting a large number of “no” answers, determine whether you’re talking to the right people. Consider that maybe you aren’t contacting qualified leads.
Maybe your presentation needs a few tweaks.
If you’re only being proactive, you’re only dealing with the “yes” answers.
People usually have to be contacted multiple times before they say “yes.” They are often hesitant to change, so if you’re changing a service but the prospect doesn’t want to make a change, that’s why multiple contacts are necessary.
Add value. Get them accustomed to the idea.
Change your mindset.
Understand that you don’t just have to focus on “yes.” That mindset shift forces you to let go of being perfect.
People have been conditioned to believe that “no” and failure go together.
When you avoid “no,” you miss opportunities for some big “yes” answers. We want to give people permission to believe that it’s ok to get a “no.”
Create a “no” awareness.
“Just Go For No!” episode resources
Learn more about these concepts by visiting GoForNo.com. You can also grab a copy of their book Go For No!: Yes Is the Destination, No Is How You Get There.
This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.
The next semester begins in April.
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