Getting to Yes when the Answer has been No:Dealing with Rejection in Sales and Business

Dealing with rejection in sales and business is tough.  I remember my time in outside sales in New York City. I would make a lot of cold calls or try to up-sell or cross-sell products to existing customers. I remember days in the field when the answer I received was some form of no. Sometimes no matter how perfectly we execute the sales process, the answer is going to be no. Even today in the business I am building, I face a lot of rejection.

Many people would think to themselves I can’t take this rejection I should just quit. Well their right at least in the short term. After you have made five or six sales calls with no results, take a short break. Take a walk and do some deep breathing. Try to remember that it is your offering that is being turned down and not you! Unless the prospect says “I hate this guy”.  This happened to me on one occasion.

You should take a short break after being rejected for the following reasons:

1 At this point in your call plan you are probably frustrated and are not thinking clearly. This will ruin any chances of making sales for the rest of the day.

2 Taking a break allows you to vent and refocus.

3 Reflect on past successes you’ve had. Remember, you made sales before and you can do it again!

After you have cooled off, try to think over the last calls that you have made. Reflect on what went well and what did not. Take this information and go on to your next calls with a positive attitude as if nothing has happened. Remember, your prospect does not care about how your day is going.

During my time in outside sales, I would have to call on certain prospects as many as 10 or 12 times before I could make a sale.  In terms of cross-selling and up-selling, you have to build relationships with your customers. It is not going to happen over-night. This is true when you are selling items that require a large investment from your customers or prospects.

Some of my biggest sales successes have come during my last few calls of the day. When you feel spent, take a short break and then keep going. You never know when you are going to get a yes. If you quit then the answer is always no. Remember, always ask for the order.  I was cursed at and thrown out of buildings; if I could keep going so can you!



10 Things a Sales Leader Needs to Do or Have to Be Successful

Deciding to go into sales management is a very big step for a sales person. Recently, I received an offer to serve as a sales trainer or de-facto sales manager; based on my time in field sales and my blog.

What are a VP of Sales, Sales Director and Sales Manager?

Well they are leaders.

The first thing that a sales manager needs to do to be successful is to lead people and serve as an example. During my time in sales, especially during training, I went to these sales leaders when I had questions and needed help. (Before taking the position, you should make sure that you can believe in the product and that you can sell it yourself because when the sales team cannot do it they will look to you for help!)

The second thing that a sales leader needs to have to be successful is a successful track record as a sales person. Did you notice that I said successful and not a rock star? This will take us to the next thing a sales manager needs to have to be successful.

The third thing that a sales manager needs to have is empathy and patience. This comes into play when training new sales people. They may go into the field and get shot down or they might be developing slower than you would like. The easy thing to do would be to say deal with it. Another easy thing to do would be to fire them. This is the wrong thing to do. (At least the in the beginning.) The sales manager needs to support their sales people by debriefing with them and communicating with them. (Think, Babe Ruth was never a manager in baseball even though he was a star; he lacked the patience to do the job.)

The fourth thing that a sales manager needs to do is to go around with their sales people to meet customers. The sales manager needs to do this directly when possible. Delegating this task sends the wrong message to the new person. It says that the sales person is not important. If you must delegate this task, make sure the sales rep goes out with a seasoned sales rep that is successful so they can pick up their positive habits.

The fifth thing a sales manager needs to do is to teach sales people the following: sales planning, how to make a cold call and how to handle sales objections.

The sixth thing that a sales manager needs to do is to make sure that their sales people have knowledge of: the company’s products, how to provide customer service, how to keep customers paying on time, develop relationships with customers, how to up-sell and cross-sell, how to demonstrate value, not selling on price and how to handle difficult customers.

The seventh thing the sales manager needs to do is to make sure that the team knows how to develop and deliver a sales presentation that answers customer’s questions and objections.

The eighth thing that the sales manager needs to do is to let the sales people to know its ok to ask for the order after they make their presentation. The sales manager also needs to teach the sales people the following: to generate leads, to convert these leads into sales, to follow-up on sales, earn referrals and testimonials and to make the quota. Only if the sales team makes their quota will the sales manager make theirs. The sales manager can motivate their team to sell with sales contests. This a great way to promote healthy competition among the sales team. (A side note, touch base with your team on a weekly basis. However, reduce the amount of sales meetings that you have. Especially if your team has to travel long distances to attend. The last thing that you want to do is take money away from yourself and your team by keeping them out of their territories. I would recommend one to two meetings team meetings a month. The rest of the meetings can be handled via conference call, email and co-traveling. Sites such as GoToMeeting can facilitate meetings.

The ninth thing to do is to assess your team’s strengths’ and weaknesses’;  working with the team to correct them.

The tenth and last thing that a sales manager needs to be successful is be able to repeat steps one to nine multiple times as sales people are promoted, fired and leave to go work for another company. When firing someone make sure to meet with them face to face and explain the situation. No one likes to hear this news over the phone or via email. You will need to learn how to interview and recruit people as well.

These are the 10 things that a sales leader needs to do or have to be successful.