If you’re a business owner, you’re also a salesperson.
Forget this at your peril. Even if you’re a Sam Walton and you end up owning a huge business you don’t run the day-to-day activities of, or interact with the “man on the street” customer of, you still have to sell…
You have to sell ideas to your management staff.
Now many people have this idea that selling is about shoving whatever it is you do down somebody’s throat. No. That is bad selling. Leads to buyer’s remorse, where they call you back at 6PM and leave the voicemail…”I made a mistake and want my money back.” We never want to hear that.
“I made a mistake and want my money back” is much, much worse than “No.”
It means we screwed up.
“No” merely means “Not right now.”
And “Not right now” is perfectly acceptable. All it means is that this person does not see a need for what we offer at this time. What’s the big deal about that? Tomorrow they could suddenly realize they do need us. Or in three months.
I don’t know why people call this “rejection”. They don’t know you. They have no idea who you are. When you call, all you are is a voice on the other end of the line. A friend or significant other telling you they no longer like you and don’t want to see you anymore: now that’s rejection!
A big mistake that leads to a lot of problems and emotional upset on the part of people doing the calling is trying to sell before you’ve qualified the prospect. Qualifying means finding out if they are a fit with you. Do they have a need for what you offer? That’s the big one, the first thing you have to find out.
If they don’t have a need for your product or service, why would you try to sell it to them? Where would that lead?
If they don’t have a need for what you offer, is it rejection?
Of course not. It’s just “Not right now.”
We can handle “Not right now.”
Another factor is at play when you call a new prospect up. They’ve never heard of you before. They don’t know you. So why should they trust you? Why should they tell you the truth about what’s going on in their world? Would you?!
Bad salespeople have made prospects skeptical. You and me, too. I’ll give you an example: if you tell a salesperson how much money you’ve got, what could happen to the price? Yup, it could magically rise to your budget. So we lie and we don’t say what our true budget is. Starting to get the picture?
You have to overcome this initial trust hurdle to start having real conversations with prospects. Then you can qualify. And after you qualify, then you can sell.
Can you see how you’ve been rushing into selling, and why that’s not a good idea?
So back to “rejection.” If someone says, “No” to you right away, are they rejecting you? Nope. Of course not. They don’t even know you! So they don’t trust you. So they aren’t going to share with you what’s really going on in their world. And that means we can’t qualify. Not right now.
Is this the end of the world?
Seems silly, now; doesn’t it? What’s the right move? To move on. Next dial. The beautiful thing about sales is that a prospect is sitting out there right now, head in their hands, wishing desperately that someone like you will call!
What did we learn so far?
That “No” as a quick response to our prospecting call is not rejection. It’s “Not right now”, and results from the prospect not knowing us—and giving the knee-jerk reaction. There’s nothing personal about it.
I can even give you selling techniques to get over the trust hurdle. People say sales is a numbers game, and this is incorrect. It is when done poorly, maybe. When done well, it’s nothing but straightforward conversations in which we learn the truth about what’s going on in our prospect’s world, and find out whether we’re a fit or not. If we are, great. If we aren’t, no big deal-I can show you how to find out in just a few minutes, so you don’t waste your time. And we know it’s not rejection, so we simply move on.
“No” is nothing but “Not right now.” And “Not right now” is not personal. This is how you make prospecting calls effectively: a fellow sales trainer described how I have people call “as easy as calling up the movie theater to find out what the showtimes are.” You can do this. “No” is not the end of the world.
Jason Kanigan is on a mission to transform 100,000 people from being perceived as slimy tricksters who will say anything to get an order into trusted advisors who are well rewarded for their expertise. He is a sales force developer, copywriter and operations management expert. To find out more about What’s Wrong With Selling today, no opt-in required, go to http://www.jasonkanigan.com/