Even for the best sales professionals, not all sales calls end well. Sometimes, they end with significant pushback from the person on the other end of the line. According to many leading sales coaches, losing prospects and sales is not an easy thing to deal with, but how you deal with that rejection may completely change your attitude and make you a better salesperson in the long run.
Sometimes, you encounter pushback because your prospect doesn’t see the value of your product or it doesn’t meet their needs or fit within their budget. While it is natural to down after this kind of rejection, great sales professionals actually condition themselves to embrace the word NO and use it as motivation to sharpen their axe and avoid running into similar difficulties in the future.
Let’s be clear, nobody likes hearing a NO, but in sales, it goes with the territory. You have to accept that it is going to happen no matter how many hours you spent preparing your presentation or how certain you were that the prospect was going to be excited about your product or service.
However, by learning to love hearing the word NO and by using the right techniques, you can easily reduce the numbers of times you actually hear the word NO. Recommended by top virtual sales trainers, here are seven ways you can overcome prospect pushback and come out the other end a better saleperson:
No matter how frustrated you feel or what you think about your prospect’s negativity, you must maintain an air of calmness, stay profressional and unaggressive. At this stage of the call, it is critical you remember a NO today doesn’t mean a NO forever. The last thing you want to do is burn that bridge!
They’ll be back
Many leading digital sales coaches teach that a NO might actually be your prospect’s way of asking for more information or more time to think about what you’ve told them without the pressure of scheduled follow-up calls. It could also mean they just don’t have a use for your product or service at that time. Who knows? They may already be considering doing business with you in the future.
Regardless of how unprofessionally (or even aggressively) the NO was delivered, you should always try to maintain your composure and ask WHY? By doing this, you may learn where you went wrong with your pitch or even get another opportunity discuss the reasons for the rejection. It will certainly give you a chance to clarify things if your prospect misunderstood something in addition to helping you learn a valuable lesson.
Instead of hanging up the phone and muttering (or yelling) words like ‘jerk’ and ‘idiot,’ make it a habit to go right back to the drawing board. Get out a piece of paper or open a Word doc and start going back over the call the a football coach watching game film. This practice is recommended by many industry-leading certified sales trainers as they believe it is a surefire way to eliminate weaknesses and improve your pitches.
Just because they said NO this time doesn’t mean they’ll say NO forever. Give it a couple of months and follow up with them to see if their situation (or their mood) has changed. Keep an eye on how they are doing and you might just find the perfect reason to reach back out. Perhaps they’ve launched a new service or their business has grown to the point that your product or service makes more sense. Sign up for their newsletter or visit their website periodically. One good way back in is to send a congratulatory note if you notice they’ve been doing well. Persistence pays off!
Be prepared for pushbacks
Part of being well prepared for any sales call is considering everything that can go wrong during your that conversation. Expecting everything to go smoothly is naive and may end up costing you a sale if you start stuttering and stammering as soon as your prospect starts pushing back. Try prepping with someone on your team like a defense attorney getting a client ready for a hostile prosecutor. Get them to really hammer you so there is literally nothing your prospect can say that will get you flustered.
Forget about it
Getting rejected is not the end of the world and there has never been a salesperson who hasn’t it heard the word NO more than they’ve heard YES. Use the techniques listed above as a way to get over it quickly, learn from it and move on to future successes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Natasa Tomic is a journalist and content producer who specializes in writing about business and sales.