For a sales pro, “No” is not only a word you hear frequently but it’s also one that carries the heavy weight of lost opportunities in a competitive environment. I hate to tell you this, but sales rejection is still a downer - no matter how many times you’ve been around the sales block. But to be a successful sales rep, resiliency is key. You can’t let rejection stop you in your tracks; you just have to keep going until you make your quota. Here’s some tips on how to take sales rejection in a professional manner and keep going to achieve your goals.
Always Leave the Door Open
When faced with the inevitable rejection that comes from cold calling, it’s sometimes easy to become disillusioned, jaded and potentially a little rude. NEVER stop being professional when interacting with a lead; no matter how hard the “No.” Remember, they were on your list for a reason and you don’t for one second want them to hang up the phone or walk away from the meeting feeling that you were anything less than professional and charming. Sales is all about relationships; so always be striving to leave doors open rather than slamming them shut. To do this, always stay polite and keep your tone light. Smile and thank them for their time - they can hear a smile on the other end of the line just as they can hear your gritted teeth. So stay positive. Have the attitude that maybe it’s a “No” for now, but in the future, who knows? You want the prospect to feel that they can get back in touch with you whenever they might be ready to buy.
Know the Numbers
So much of sales is a numbers game. You have tough quotas and targets to meet on a regular basis and the only way to get there is to double down and try and try again. That’s why it’s important to keep the numbers in your mind and know your ratios. First of all, know that it can take 7.5 hours of cold calling to get ONE qualified appointment. Yes, that’s a scary ratio, but keeping it in mind will help you keep going. Other numbers to take note of include that 80% of sales require five follow-ups after the initial interaction but 44% of reps give up after just one! In fact, only 8% of salespeople bother to do the five follow-ups it takes to get the sale… Remember these numbers and push yourself to be in the 8% of reps who get 80% of the sales.
Get into a Routine with Realistic Goals
Use the above numbers and the specific ones for your market, industry (and your personal success rates) to help you set up a realistic schedule and routine that will enable you to reach your goals. If you know that, for example, it’s going to take 7.5 hours to get one meeting but you only schedule in 5 hours per week, you’re not going to experience much success are you? Week after week of not meeting targets is going to do nothing for your mental health, not to mention quota, is it? Be realistic and get into a routine. Do the math and work out the number of calls you need to make per week to reach your goals and figure out how many hours a week this will require. Then plan your schedule accordingly to set yourself up for success.
Don’t Take it Personally
Another reason to bear those numbers in mind is that it helps you see that rejection is just a part of sales and it’s not personal. Sometimes, it’s hard not to blame yourself when you get that rejection but remembering that it’s just part of the process can help you stay positive and professional. Although you shouldn’t take sales rejection personally, do try to learn from it. Is there anything you could have done differently that might have changed the conversation? Are you following up in the right way, at the right time?
Handling sales rejection in a professional manner takes a great deal of self-control, but it’s vital in the competitive world of sales. If you’re having a hard time, focus on your accomplishments and remember that the more people you reach out to, the more success you will have. So never give up and stay positive.
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