Skyrocketing Sales Solutions
Edition 16, December 23, 2004
"For those Who Want to Sell, Need to Sell, or Should Sell--to Sell More" December 2004
Toddism of the month:
"Do one thing with your life. Make it spectacular. I know I did."
Robin Williams, portraying the character, Jack, in the motion picture "Jack"
Just saying the word causes a chill to run up our spine.
Now add a word.
Did your state of mind change? Of course, it did, because while we all hate rejection, we all love sales. If we didn't, we wouldn't be in a profession where the first word mentioned above is the foundation of our business - or so some would lead you to believe.
Since the dawn of the first salesperson, we have been told that rejection is a fundamental and necessary part of succeeding in sales.
Formany who "claim" they are not in our glorious industry (and we know everyone is) just the thought of getting hung up on, someone not buying their services, or another ordering them to go away and never come back, prevents them from seeking unlimited income, freedom and the true opportunity to make a difference in the world by helping others.
But what non-salespeople don't understand is that rejection--in the truest sense--is a very small part of our world. It actually plays a much bigger role in the "real" world.
Prospects don't reject salespeople; They refuse to take our ideas.
"Rejection" is when your spouse or significant other doesn't provide you love. It's when someone close to you doesn't want to be with you the way you want to be with them. Someone has to know you first, before they can reject you.
In actuality, strangers in our every day lives reject us much more than propsects.
1. When was the last time you accidentally cut someone off driving your car and they expressed their disapproval with hand gestures or not so nice wording?
2. When was the last time you were put on hold by a phone provider or your utility service as you were questioning your bill and they hung up on you, even though you were the buyer?
3. When was the last time you sat down to eat and the waiter took longer than you wanted?
I laugh when people say they can't get into sales, because they can't handle the rejection. What they are really saying is they experience so much rejection in their lives that they simply can't handle more people refusing to treat them well.
What's amazing is that the sales world, when treated propoerly, is the outlet from the rejection we experience daily. In sales, we can play a game, where the costs aren't high at all- and the returns are extraordinary.
In life, when you get rejected, you have no choice but to deal with it. There are no rewards for "sucking it up" - not directly, anyway.
But in sales, dealing with the pain has amazing rewards.
We spoke a few months back that the key to successful selling is to sell from the heart.
For those that are new to Skyrocketing Sales Solutions, our message was that the best salespeople believe in their product and themselves so strongly that they view their job as helping others.
Ifhelping others is what we do - whether it is providing a top notch telecommunications system that will streamline a business' productivity or finding a couple the best home in which to raise their family to achieve their dreams-then when someone refuses our services, they are really saying that they don't want our help.
Some say to succeed in sales you must not take rejection personally.
I wholeheartedly disagree.
It's like when they say a doctor should not get emotionally involved with the patient. I have friends who are doctors and I've spoken with them.
"When I stop caring about them as people, I will stop caring about them as a doctor. What good am I then?" they tell me.
The same can be said for sales. I've been in sales for 10 years and I still take it personally. Everyone does, whether we admit it. It's because we view our job as helping others, and nothing is more frustrating than someone refusing our help.
What can we do to be better salespeople--better people?
The key is to not let it consume you.
1. As noted above, take the word "rejection" out of your vocabulary. Realize when people say no, they are refusing to accept help from you.
2. Always ask yourself when someone is rude to you or refuses to speak with you this question: "What else could this mean?"
Early in my sales career, I once in-person cold called an office suite and the secretary started screaming at me before I opened my mouth. She ordered me to leave immediately.
When I arrived at the next office, I turned my awful experience into an ice breaker with the next receptionist. I asked her to not be abrasive with me, because my last prospect had abused me so badly.
"Was that Ste. 315, John's Graphics, you are referencing?" she asked in a friendly tone.
"Yes,'" I said. "Why?"
"Oh, they were robbed at gunpoint last week by someone posing as a salesperson."
3. Know how many "refusals" you need to succeed
Early in my sales career at LCI International, I once knew a salesperson who judged his entire success by how many "nos" he received.
No salesperson has a 100% closing ratio. By tracking your #'s, you will welcome the number of refusals (Notice the word I chose). In fact, if you are doing too well, you should be worried. If you have too many approvals, it means you aren't doing your job.
Remember the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 rule of sales: you will close 1/3 no matter what in a funnel regardless of good or bad skills and you will never close 1/3 regardless of good or bad skills. It's the middle 1/3 we call sales.
4. Don't try to ignore the fact that the refusals bother you. Deal with them.
Here's an exercise:
After a negative discussion with a prospect, tell the person exactly what you think about their refusing to speak with you. Don't hold back. Tell them exactly how you feel. Either do it in a voice mail or e-mail.
Forget the "wait 24 hours until you respond to a negative message" advice. Respond immediately. Leave a voice mail or send an e-mail. Don't hold anything back.
Oh, yes, there's one caveat: Send the message to yourself.
I must give my good friend, Tom Beal with the Sales Champion (www.saleschampion.com) credit for this. Do 1 of two things:
Type up the e-mail and say exactly how upset you are and send it to yourself or call yourself from your cell phone to your work voice mail and leave yourself a message as if you were leaving it for the person who hung up on you.
You will be amazed at how this strategy will energize you.
5. If all else fails and you really are having a bad day and someone is rude to you on the phone or in person and you just can't take it anymore, you very calmly say this:
"I'm sorry, before I go or hang up the phone, I just have three quick questions for you: Did you catch my name? Did you catch my company? Do you have any clue what I do or who I'm with? No? Great!
@!X)0% you! I'm out of here!"
Note: #4 is a joke, a true joke. I have never done this, but it's a heck of a story isn't it?
As we complete 2004 and kick 2005 into high gear - never forget the story of my good friend, the stonecutter.
"Whenever I get down and depressed and think all my work is for not, I think of a stonecutter. He spends his entire life chipping away at a stone and there never is even so much as a dent and then one day the entire object breaks. But what he must never forget is were it not for the first five million whacks, the stone never would have broke."
Happy selling! Happy New Year!
"For me, the biggest thing I am getting from your course is the time management. I see my kids now more than I have in a while because I've made the decision that that's important. Not answering my cell phone, not being a slave to the cell phone. I knew it was important before, but you really taught me that.
"I have had 80% more free time. If you were to put a value on time, I have gained thousands of dollars from taking your course. If you want to put a price on time, I'm a much wealthier man today as a result of your sales training."
David Swierczynski, Realtor, Re/Max Showcase, Gurnee, IL, (www.thatsoldhouse.com)