Why I Like the Word No

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Managing sales call rejectionWhile waiting to see the premiere of Iron Man and struggling painfully through movie trailers for the Hulk 2 and Don’t Mess with the Zohan, I was inspired to compose this post (don’t ask why). I took out my trusty BlackBerry 8830 and began to write. Not being a natural salesperson, early in my entrepreneurial journey I had a visceral fear of hearing the word no.  Like me, I am sure some of you might also take rejection personally. Even if you are a great salesperson my experience still might be of use, so read on.

Rejection was so hard to handle in part because I did not have what I call a “minimum” strategy; simply put, an understanding of what I would like to get, at a minimum, out of each sales interaction.  Back then I would simply walk away if a prospect did not immediately bite.  A few years wiser now, my minimum strategy includes asking the people I pitch if I can add them to the distribution list for our email newsletter and let me tell you the practice has worked exceptionally well.

For the recipient our newsletter delivers immediately usable customer acquisition techniques and for us each monthly touch strengthens our position as business problem solvers.  Remember the rule of 8:16 states that it takes at least 8 contacts over a 16 month period before a prospect becomes a real customer.  Our newsletter guarantees 12 touches in 12 months.

I was literally turned down flat by the first 10 companies I approached but within a year of sending our monthly instructive newsletter; we ended up doing business with 8 of these firms in large part because the newsletter kept us top of mind as problem solvers and the publication showcased much of our best work.  It did not hurt that many of our prospects saw their competitor’s projects starting to appear in our client showcase listings.  Man do I smile now when someone tries to shoo me off. 

What is your minimum strategy (click to leave a comment)?

Related Topics:

  1. To Get More Customers Follow This Rule
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5 Responses to “Why I Like the Word No”

  1. Want to Repel Customers Sell Value! « The Eastonsweb Multimedia Blog Says:

    […] Why I Like the Word No […]

  2. Henry Thomas. Says:

    “No” is where selling begins. Finding the “objection behind the objection” and overcoming that objection is one of the best parts of selling for me.

    Its hard to establish the mindset that yes, most people do say no and that overcoming that initial response is the core of a salesman’s job.

    Every no can be learned from. Learning to anticipate rejection turns selling into a joy rather than a chore.

  3. John Easton Says:

    Thomas:

    Well, it appears you have found your sales rhythm. Are you a business owner or a sales person by trade? When you speaking of finding the objection behind the objection, can you tell us some of the ways you do that?

    John

  4. Henry Thomas Says:

    John, I would love to do a more in depth post on overcoming objections in sales. Ive got 18000 words I need to write on another topic first though. I put together some general phone solicitation notes on my fund raising blog a while back.***oops I guess that post isnt live yet.

    While this blog focuses on telephone fund raising, many of the strategies discussed are simply sales tactics reworked for that profession.

    http://onfundraising.blogspot.com/2007/08/10-best-fundraising-tips.html

    And heres a post relating to another common objection

    http://onfundraising.blogspot.com/2008/05/i-give-online.html

    What an experienced sales caller should find is that for the most part, you repeatedly hear the same kinds of objections. Take a sheet of paper and jot down the top five objections you hear most often. Then brainstorm some rebuttals for those objections. Test out your rebuttals on the phone, note what works and what doesn’t. Revise.

    After a while, a good salesman will reflexively rebut objections smoothly, and without fear of losing the sale.

    This leads to being able to think quickly “on your feet” during a call.

    Remember, most people say no reflexively, so no is only the beginning of the call not the end.

    Some of that should be relevant to the discussion here. There is also a book I’d like to recommend. “The Seven Triggers To Yes” it analyzes the emotional and psychological ingredients that constitute our decision making processes; good reading for sales work.

    I appreciate your blog, hope to see more great stuff from you.

  5. John Easton Says:

    Henry:

    I would like to have you as a guest blogger. I will reach out to you via email to discuss the opportunity in detail.

    John

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