No! No! No! “But how about” the anxious salesperson chirps. No says the merchant-buyer one final time! The beleaguered salesperson crawls back out the customers front door rejected, neglected and brand de-selected but slightly protected by a sturdy ego. “Just what did I do right and what did I do wrong that caused my prospect to say no?” Time for a personal sales post-mortem, a percipient checkup from the neck up from this tough sales loss.
All sales people skill sets vary
Vary just like pro-sports players on big and small playing fields. Just like good, better and urbane CMO’s, CEO’s and CTO’s. The issue is not the onetime loss. Although consistency clearly is the refuge of the unsure, breaking the cycle of consistent sales failures is not an easy task. The alternative of course, sales success may be even harder to achieve. To be selling a clear rejection, the dreaded negative no from a viable prospect or current customer is simply a request for more information. A “no” is our fault not the potential buyers fault, not the prospects fault. A no is an honest report card, assessment of our selling skills with respect to earning the right to ask for the order. And yes your company brand, product and price positioning counts, but should never be blamed for a lost sales opportunity. Professional selling is the guardian and profit arbiter of every brand and product within any business.
Rejection becomes your company brand protection
Only if you are determined and able to turn prior sales losses into smart selling assets. Learning from rejection is as important as learning from success. Your smartest, most savvy competitive weapon of choice is viceroy selling. Determination coupled to selling failure is any organizations beacon that something must change. What must change is learning just how to earn the right to ask for the order to win. What must change is ensuring the following key principles, just 4 of 10 sales principles from my book Green Reign Leadership evoked to turn rejection into reflection, reflection into new found market equity in the language of profitable sales:
- Conscript Thy Heroes: Hire only the finest proven sales performers. Finest is defined as those who have superior business judgment, critical thinking, sales motivation, sales comprehension, personal determination and passion to listen, learn and market lead. In turn, you will be righteously challenged, postured and expected to lead and exceed your forecast quota. You must also be prepared to lead, train and breed these substantial heroes into exceptional revenue and profit generating champions.
- The 30 Second Sale: Think about it. Every 30 second TV commercial is expensively orchestrated to sell you something. Sell you on the brand, product or opportunity. Imagine as a sales person you are granted 30 minutes as opposed to 30 seconds. What are the steps to the perfect presentation to avoid rejection, to build agreement and forecast projections? The perfect presentation and measurement steps to ensure the sale, avoid rejection are gaining prospects: 1. Attention 2. Interest 3. Conviction 4. Desire 5. Close. When your sales people can gain a customer’s attention, interest, conviction, desire and close them in 30 seconds or 30 minutes you are on the way to market dominance. The umbrella formula to earn the right to ask for the order, to close the order more often, is to service a prospects imagination for mutual business success as follows: Servicing Imagination = Creativity + Relevancy. If you are highly relevant in your presentation but not creative you cannot earn the right for the order. If you are highly creative and not relevant you already lost the opportunity. The smart fueling union of creativity and relevancy will gain attention, interest, conviction, desire and earn you thee right to ask for the order.
- Questions Are The Answers: Relevancy is any sales calls greatest competitive advantage. To gain relevancy your salesperson must first hunt knowledge, understand competitive threats, study the prospect’s model and ask pertinent product questions across various departments within your company. Armed with a ken of advantages your salesperson is now equipped to listen, exchange and orchestrate the conversation to lead the prospect to the logical conclusion, a sale. Remember, “a sale will be made today, either you will sell me or I will sell you.” Don’t allow your sales people to be convinced by a prospect’s justification of why they have not earned the right to do business. Convince them to ask smart questions inside and outside of your building. Ensure they are armed with the relevancy they need to create a union between opportunity and your goods and services.
- Threads of Steel: Highly successful selling leadership is based upon knowledge, practice and the august of superior selling threads. All presentations (whether in 30 seconds or 30 minutes) will achieve greatness by gathering and delivering key knowledge in presentation to prospects through this selling thread: 1. Market conditions 2. Targeted buyers 3. Competitive threats and opportunities 4. Summary of market approach 5. Your brand and product competitive advantages 6. Closing the sale by actually asking for the order. When your sales people follow this informational selling thread perfectly, combined with relevancy and creativity they will indeed have earned the right to ask for the order.
Professional selling is not about tricks or treats
Not about beating your prospect in negotiations, not about having delicious lunches or suave luck. Professional, refulgent selling is first and foremost about respect. When buyers or prospects respect your product presentation, your market opinion, your competitive knowledge and your auger for success it means you are well on the way to gain your sale. It also means your customers’ win is your company’s win smartly for many years to come. Rejection is your greatest brand and personal protection only if you learn from it, only if you capitalize on it by muscling up and fueling the principles of professional selling in the language of respect, relevancy and creativity to service the imagination of your prospect.