If someone was to ask me what are the attributes a good sales person needs to have to work in the industry, I would tell them they need a positive attitude, a friendly manner, an interest in others, combined with heaps of tenacity and a thick skin.
Sales can be a tough game as you are often rejected. Yet, it’s tremendously satisfying. Sales people tell me the sense of satisfaction they experience each time they close a sale is similar to the feeling when you reach the top of a summit. In that one instant you can forget the graft it took to get up the mountain.
And knowing what you are selling can help to satisfy a need or perhaps resolve an issue for a company or individual is the icing on the cake too.
Staying positive, focused and determined is ultimately the goal of a good salesperson. But, we will be rejected. So, what can help us deal with sales rejection on a daily basis?
Realistically, we need to accept we can’t win every sale, especially as it’s likely the buyer is talking to a number of people. Getting 'no' in sales is just part of the process. It’s a numbers game and if you keep going it will bring you closer to a 'yes'.
Sometimes "no doesn’t always mean no – it means no - not right now”. We can’t force people to buy from us when it suits us. We have to be patient and understand that sometimes people want to do the research first and buy later. At other times, priorities change for the buyer and they find they need to postpone the purchase for a while. So, hang in there – you might get the sale later.
We can’t expect people to have an allegiance to us when they don’t really know us. Just like some of our customers are loyal to us, others have favourites too. We have to be patient and respect this. It is only over time can we earn their respect and trust, when they may give us a chance too.
There are times when the sale is not right for us. Our offering may not be the exact fit for the customer, or perhaps they don’t see the benefit. It’s important we don’t take it personally, we just need to accept it and move on.
We need to remember rejection is not failure, so all is not lost when we don’t get the sale. We can turn the negative into a positive and learn from our mistakes.
We can also consider that “no is not rejection – it is redirection”. By developing a greater awareness of our own behaviour, we can identify customer needs more effectively. As a result, we can qualify and disqualify leads more proficiently, so we know where to focus our efforts and when to let go.
You can say the 'silver lining' of rejection is that it helps us develop into better sales people. It reminds us that we need to be open to continuously improve our skills, avoid complacency, listen to our customers and refine our approach every time. If we do this, we will stay sharp and ultimately win more sales.