If you are a veteran in the world of sales, you will have heard the ‘N’ word more times than you can care to admit.
‘No’ is such a powerful word in the English Language. ‘No’ is used by all of us hundreds of times a day (please note that this is not an official statistic – I haven’t had a chance to count the true amount however if you do know, please email me) and can put an end to many a good idea. Not only do we face No in conversations, we also deny ourselves opportunities by saying No over and over in our heads without even knowing it.
It is the one word that as a sales professional you truly need to get used to. Rejection, and dealing with rejection are two of the most common things that happen during the sales process and can make or break the best of us. I truly believe that how we deal with rejection determines how successful our careers are going to be. I have worked along side and had the chance to learn from some of the greatest sales people and I can tell you now that those who succeed are those who take rejection in their stride.
Luckily for me, I have been rejected so many times in my personal life that rejection within business comes as second nature to me! Practice makes perfect as they say!
The issue is that sometimes when dealing with rejection we can sometimes close a relationship either knowingly or not. What I train sales staff is that a No normally means “not right now”. The prospect may be thinking “you haven’t answered some questions I have quite right – I need more information” and misinterpreting this rejection and reacting badly to it can lead you to lose the sale completely if you are not careful.
Let me share with you a recent example that happened to me. I have been networking a lot recently and I have met some wonderful people; one of whom is the owner of a very popular local website. I was approached with the offer to advertise on the website for what I thought was a very good offer! The price was very reasonable for the amount of people I could target and it was something I did think deeply about. However after much thought I decided against it. I just felt that the audience the website was bringing in was not right for me and my business just yet; my intention was to use the advertising at a later date as the price was really good, however like I mentioned above it was just not right for me in that moment. I explained this to the website owner and he did not take the news very well. In fact, I was faced with rudeness;
“Hey – I have been putting some thought in to it (the banner deal) and for now I won’t be going ahead with the banner deal – sorry if I have been keeping you waiting, I just feel that more targeted marketing will work better to target the market I need to speak with!”
“Surprise Surprise” was the response I received. I will be honest with you, this really took me back. It felt like a bit of a personal attack on me and it did trouble me a little bit. I did not want to lose the relationship I had with this man as I did feel like we could work well together in the future. It took me five minutes to decide to reply;
“Sorry to have kept you waiting on an answer” I typed back.
The response; “What will be will be” Once again this really made me take a step back. Why was he being so blunt and negative towards me? I don’t like to see a business relationship break down especially when I felt we could help each other in future projects. To try to appease the relationship, I messaged him back with a lead of a local company who would be interested in his service. This company not only had the budget to buy the advertising but also was targeting the market that this website attracted. After this massive lead I handed to him on a plate, do you want to know what message I got back?
“Not relevant to the website so I am not really interested But thanks anyway”
And that was that.
You see, what I am trying to illustrate with this example is that a good sales person will never destroy a relationship no matter what the outcome of a sales pitch. If the above gentleman had takent the rejection well and kept the door open I would have been more than willing to use his services in the future and to also recommend him to other companies looking for advertising space however as it has been left I have no reason to do any business with the website any more and that is a shame for us both.
A NO normally means NO FOR NOW.
Keep the relationship OPEN! Be ready to pitch your product or service again in the future.
Don’t be afraid to ask the reason for the rejection. This will sometimes give you the chance to readjust your pitch and address the objections the prospect is feeding to you.