Salespeople deal with rejection all day, Monday through Friday (and weekends, too). They hear “no” but they’re always listening for buying signs. Was the prospect hesitant? Was his reason for not buying wishy-washy? Was his mind not entirely on the deal at hand? The good salesperson will take note and follow up with these prospects-in-limbo in the near future, you can bet on it.
There is a lot of talk about rejection and how to handle it. We hear salespeople say, “I just make the next call,” or “I just move on.” That’s great. A salesperson should “move on,” and not get held back by a “no.” But what’s equally important is how you handle the rejection. How are you coming across to the prospect when he’s telling you he “doesn’t think it (your product) is a good fit,” or “doesn’t have the incremental dollars” — how do you respond to these cliches salespeople hear even in their sleep?
For starters, keep your voice even when you speak about a deal gone south. (This also applies to a “yes,” when the prospect wants to buy). Do not lower your voice or soften it. This is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you’re new to sales or have a lot riding on the deal. Be careful. Don’t let your feelings be transparent because the prospect will most immediately pick up on your disappointment. Always reply confidently with good follow up questions in a firm voice.
“I’m sorry you’re going to miss out on this opportunity, Bill. Why don’t I keep you in mind should something else open up.”
“That’s too bad, Bill. I thought this was a great way for you to see an ROI. Let me leave you my name and number should things change on your end.”
Another way of showing the prospect that his “no” is a mere bump in the sales highway is to ask him some open-ended questions. There’s no need to hang-up immediately. In fact, hanging up quickly is sure sign the prospect’s thinking, “This guy doesn’t really care about me. He just wants to make the sale.” Well, of course you care but the sale, but show the prospect that you care about him, too. Talk to him some more, try to bond with him, get him thinking about business—your business.
“So, Bill, how do you think things are going the rest of the year? Think we can explore this at a later date?”
Always stay optimistic. Optimism is an energy the prospect will feel coming off you and he’ll remember it the next time you call.
As Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”