A no from a sales prospect is not a cause for gloom. Use these four tips as circumstances require, and you'll see that it is possible to bounce back from rejection and make a sale:

1. Don't get discouraged.

A no from a buyer doesn't always mean you lost the sale. In many situations, it may simply mean that the buyer hasn't been listening, that you haven't hit their hot button, or that your timing was wrong. None of these mean you can't close the sale later. I had once been waiting for two hours in a prospect's conference room for a meeting he had scheduled when his secretary walked in and informed me that he had left for the day. "How rude!" I thought. "I'll never waste my time with him again." Then, two weeks later, his secretary called and said he wanted to see me. I asked her to check with him to be sure it was me he wanted to see. It was, and when I finished with my presentation, I closed a deal that made my yearly sales quota. Remember, "no" is just a word waiting to be converted into "yes." Simply staying positive about the situation will help you get back in the game that much faster.

2. Learn from your mistakes.

When you get a no, it can mean that you've made a mistake in the selling process. Maybe you made the wrong presentation, were talking to the wrong person or didn't properly qualify the prospect. After each rejection, rather than wallow in disappointment, take time to closely review what went wrong. Take notes on what you discover, and pledge not to make the same mistake again.

3. Try another approach.

The best salespeople start with the positive outlook that every prospect should buy something. It's just up to them to find the right match between the product or service and the client. When you get a no, ask yourself whether you can take a different angle. Do you have another offering that suits them better? Can you arrange a recommendation from a current customer whom your prospect respects? Networking and research can uncover new approaches that might allow you to reintroduce a product or service to someone who's turned you down once.

4. Avoid the no. Don't box the prospect in.

Sometimes you can feel the rejection coming. This tip is for dealing with a no just before you get it. One of the best sales reps I ever knew had completely mastered this. If she felt the sale was in jeopardy, she would say to the client, "You don't have to decide now. Just think about it." With that, she would move right on to another topic. She knew that once a person says no, it would be harder to get them to reverse their position. To hone your ability to feel a rejection coming, become a student of body language and use smart, soft questions to probe the person's position.

So there you have it. That's how you handle a no.

Published on: Jan 27, 2015
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