Sales techniques & confidence - how to bounce back from hearing "NO"
Sales is a numbers game. A certain percentage of leads will become customers, and the others won’t. They will say no, and when you get enough no’s in a row, you will start to feel small. It takes a very resilient person to not let the accumulated knocks to self esteem get to him or her.
If you are the kind of person who is discouraged by repeated rejection - that’s most of us - there are some things you can do to buoy up your optimism. Some go to one of two extremes: the calming effects of zen meditation on one hand, and fiery, psyched up, go-get-’em pep talks on the other. If you have seen The Wolf of Wall Street, you know how effective such a call to arms can be. In this article, I’m going to offer a tempered middle ground that can improve your lead conversion and save your sanity.
Don’t take it personally.
Even if you are the owner of the company, you can’t afford to take it personally. Rejections are not a reliable reflection of your ability or your offering. And interpreting them as such will only foster feelings of inadequacy. You need to remember that there are a million reasons why someone might not want your product or service. They might not have the budget, they might not have the need, or they might have a close friend or acquaintance who offers the same product or service. Also, it probably has nothing to do your sales techniques. Accept that your offering might not be right for them and that they have the right to say no.
Create an atmosphere of support.
It’s always easier to suffer together than alone. There is just something about knowing that someone else shares your difficulty. If you sat in a closed office by yourself, the repeated rejection might make you want to jump out the window, but, in a group, you and your colleagues might rally together and face your task with greater zeal. With the right attitude and energy you can achieve the atmosphere of an upbeat call centre. After a particularly bad run, share your experiences, review your sales techniques, and get back out there with a shared goal in mind.
Make your sales calls first thing in the morning.
Steve Covey tells us that you should do your most difficult and important things first, and then only pay any attention to the less productive tasks. To a marketing agency or department, this would mean making sales calls first thing in the morning. Putting them off will only heighten any undue sense of foreboding or pessimism. Also, many people are at their most perky after their first cuppa. A mid-morning call is most likely to catch your contacts in a good mood.
Call again in six weeks.
We find that very often someone who initially said no is much more receptive six weeks later. It’s possible that your first call caught them at a bad time, or that they have realised a need for your offering since then. Your odds will be particularly good if you have nurtured your lead and they know more about your company and its product or service. This does not mean a string of pushy emails; today’s consumers put up resistance at the first whiff of forceful sales technique. Instead, send just enough communication to tell a prospect more about your business and your offering.
Try a different approach.
Times have changed. People don’t want to be sold to anymore, and sales people are finding it increasingly difficult to get a positive response from people who have had no previous experience with a brand or business. No sales technique can convince someone to buy something that they just don’t want. This is where inbound marketing works its magic. It gives consumers the information they need to convince themselves that your offering is the solution to their problem. In such instances, salespeople don’t even have to sell, only facilitate. You waste less time and lead conversion rates soar.
If you’d like to learn more about inbound marketing and how to align your sales techniques with this approach, download our Inbound Marketing Guide.
Author: Graeme Wilson