No! No! No! “But how about” the anxious salesperson chirps. No says the merchant 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. Too be selling clear, a 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 merchants fault, not the prospects fault. A no is an honest report card, an honest 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 our industry.
Rejection becomes your company brand protection only if you are determined and able to turn prior sales losses into a 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 principals, just 4 of 10 Gen One Ventures sales principals are evoked to turn rejection into reflection, reflection into new found market equity:
- 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 will be expected to lead and breed through selling excellence.
- 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 agreed to forecast projections. The perfect presentation and measurement steps to ensure the sale are: 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.
- 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 prospects just why they have not earned the right to do business. Convince them to ask smart questions inside and outside of your building.
- 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 to prospects through this selling thread: 1. Market conditions 2. Targeted buyers 3. Competitive threats and opportunities 4. Summary of market approach 5. Brand and product competitive advantage 6. Closing the sale by actually asking for the order. When your sales people follow this informational selling thread perfectly they will 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, not about suave luck. Professional, refulgent selling is first and foremost about respect. When merchants 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 principals of professional selling in the language of respect.
To read more content and follow our Senior Vice President Peter Weedfald on Linkedin Click here.