As a sales professional it strikes me as strange that most sales training sessions give little or no attention to teaching methods to deal with rejection. While I have written much about the emotional reaction that often follows rejection, I also feel it is important to develop a logical reaction to the word no. In sales situations, when a rejection comes as a surprise or without explanation, it can, for lack of a better term, simply bug you. A rational, logic analysis of why that no came about can go a long way towards getting a yes in the future.
In my sales experiences, I have found that when people say no the reason almost always falls into one of three categories. I could always attribute the rejection to either thinking, positioning or just gut feelings. Whenever my analysis led me to believe the prospect declined because of a gut feeling, one of two things would prove true: either the prospect did not like or trust the sales person or the prospect did not like or trust the company.
Take the following example: Ann decides to approach a friend and neighbor with a network marketing opportunity. Her prospect has talked a great deal about needing extra income and has even mentioned being interested in the direct selling business model. However, when Ann uses the sales script she has been given by the company, she notices as abrupt lack of interest from her prospect.
When he refuses to join, Ann asks him why. “I just don’t believe that what you’re telling me is true,” he answers. Ann’s script begins by telling her prospects that the product compensation plan is very complicated so “I won’t bother to go into that now, let’s just talk about the recruitment compensation plan.” Another part of the script, which tries to explain how the company’s binary recruiting plan works has Ann saying “All you have to do is sign up two people and you will probably never have to work again.” The script ends with a pressure technique. “I would encourage you to sign up now, if you leave that door to think about it, you’ll never follow through.”
Her good friend has quite honestly told her that he does not trust the company she has presented to him. When she began lessening the importance of the sale of product, he worried that she might be in a scheme that relies on revenue from recruits rather than products or services. When she claimed that after bringing on two new people, he would be able to kick his feet up and relax, he was not impressed, after all, she had seven recruits and was still working her full time job. When she ended with a pressure tactic that encouraged him to abandon logic and reason, he recoiled, sure that she must realize that more thought would probably lead to a no. A script that assumes your prospect is not smart enough to see giant holes within its claims will have the negative effect of creating mistrust within your prospects.
With the intense competition sales professionals face in almost every industry, it can be very difficult to make a sale with a prospect who simply does not trust you or your company. While it is necessary to create positive energy and excitement about what can be accomplished in a true opportunity, exaggerated claims will only convince a few. Should your sales meetings leave your prospects with the feeling that they have been given unrealistic promises, it will be difficult to retain any interest. Commit to developing trust with your prospects, even while you create enthusiasm for your opportunity. In most cases, the approach will be duly noted and may increase your powers of persuasion and influence.