It is fact, Gone With The Wind was rejected 38 times; Irving Stone’s, Lust for Life was rejected 16 times, and then went on to sell over 25 million copies, and Stephen King was told, “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias They do not sell.” There is an uncounted number of authors who heard “no” tons of times before they got their foot in the door – William Faulkner; George Orwell; John Grisham; Joseph Heller, John le Carre, J.K. Rowlings; Rudyard Kipling…. Imagine the loss, had they given up.
Understanding the reasons for rejection and having a call list that is geared for success can increase your odds of garnering that second call. The bottom line is, when you work in a profession where you hear no repeatedly; you have to find your mettle and ramp up your persistence to turn the negatives into positives.
Human Factor in Rejection
Any number of a prospect’s personal issues may trigger a “no thanks.” Just thank them for their time, and call someone else.
- Discord at home
- Personal financial worries
- Discontent with their job
- In a bad mood
- Lack of confidence
While connecting with a live voice feels encouraging, if you aren’t talking to someone who can invite you into the sales cycle, your connection has no value, unless you can get them to give you a referral. Increase quality control at the lead generation level. Purpose is served if Sales talks to Marketing.
- Get selective about the job titles that are added to your data bank.
- Be aware in the subtle shift in language when you’re searching for specific types of titles. There is a fair amount of creativity at play when it comes to the exact wording of job titles. Some sound more powerful than they are: Sales Leader, Sales Representative and Sales Associate, for example.
- While it makes sense to import such titles as VP of Sales; Director of Sales and even to some degree Manager of Sales – don’t over look the terms “Sales Enablement” and “Sales Effectiveness.” They are titles less called, but they hold the power to invite the coveted second call.
Quality Control at Lead Generation Level – More Positive Calling Session
- Verify employment at LinkedIn and/or company websites before creating a lead.
- Know that software that mass imports leads – lacks quality control. It doesn’t check for employment.
- Set up a list based on date employment was last verified. By changing the date on it monthly you can re-verify employment on both your leads and contacts once a month, so no verified employment is older than a year – or whatever amount of time works for you. It sounds like a lot of extra work – but once you get it in hand and do it every month – it really only takes a brief amount of time, and the end result is that sales is more apt to connect with someone who is still actually working at the company. Save time; save money and live with a more productive call list.
When the Prospect Says No
- Know that it isn’t personal
- You haven’t reached the right person.
- You called at an inconvenient time.
- Your call script needs work.
If Your Enthusiasm is Low
- Engage in more shoptalk with your coworkers. Ask them about how they approach and handle different situations. Shared tricks of the trade are invaluable.
- Avoid the stress of stumbling. Be sure you know about all upgrades your product has under gone. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.”
- Set reasonable goals for yourself to keep you moving. Make it a game of personal challenge.
- Attend some seminars where positive energy can be recharged.
- If you haven’t taken any time off and treated yourself to a getaway – consider doing so.
While in sales “no” is heard more often than “yes” know that it doesn’t mean the end of the road. Don’t give up without exhausting all possibilities. If your product makes life easier and more productive for people, every “yes” that comes back and thanks you, will make the “no’s” pale in comparison. Persistence is the name of the game.
Many companies pay significant amounts of money to generate leads for their sales teams, and yet, many of those leads never get called. Salespeople have a tendency, like most of us do to take the path of least resistance, and as a result, many otherwise perfectly viable leads get ignored and become stale. Why is that?
Problem #1: Where to Begin
Some salespeople have a knack for organizing their day and executing on the highest return activities, but they are in the minority. Lacking clear direction and a solid plan, the majority will actually only spend about 40% of their time on the most valuable sales activities. Whether it’s a lack of confidence, or a lack of organization, the result is the same… a lack of worthwhile activity.
Problem #2: But Other Leads Responded
If salespeople are getting more traction with a handful of their leads, others are often left to rot on the vine. Intuitively, salespeople equate activity (any customer-facing activity) as a buying signal, the fast track to sales nirvana, the shortest path to quota attainment. Unfortunately, just because a lead is willing to talk, doesn’t necessarily mean they are the ideal lead that should get the salesperson’s full attention, to the exclusion of others.
Problem #3: I Got Distracted / Busy
Social media, email, customer issues, colleagues over the cubicle wall…the list goes on and on. A recent article by Reuters states that an estimated 2.1 hours of productivity a day is lost, per employee, because of distractions. It’s not necessarily that the distractions themselves are not pertinent, but the refocusing time to get back to the task in a fully cognizant mode after being distracted or interrupted can be as much as 15 minutes!
Problem #4: I Tried Once, but They Didn’t Answer
Experts differ and pontificate on the number of attempts one should make to reach a prospect before giving up. Anywhere from 4 to 18 attempts have been recommended so it’s clear that calling once and giving up should not be an option.
According to a CSO Insights survey, sales reps research as many as 15 different sources prior to calling a prospect. 82% of sales teams feel challenged by the amount of data available and the time it takes to research a prospect before making a call.
You’ve got some hard working salespeople. So why are they struggling to make quota? The problem could be that they are busy doing a lot of the wrong things. Equipping your reps with the right tools can make all the difference. If you could give your reps more time to sell, more focus, more confidence, a guide to prioritize who to call and when, and what to say to them, what might that be worth? How would that speed up sales cycle times?
Get involved in the conversation in the comments section below!
Human nature is complex and at times counterproductive. Take our general resistance to change; our innate fear of stepping out of our comfort zone, even when common sense dictates there are easier ways to do things. We embrace our habits like they are a lifeline. All too often we will go down with the ship, rather than jump in and swim. Interestingly enough, it really isn’t fear of change that paralyzes us; it is fear of the unknown. We get braver with preparation and practice.
One item at a time, or a list packed with purpose?
Consider your sales team. If you turn an introspective eye on them, what do you see? Are they approaching their day with bad habits, or are they practicing common sense? How do they line up their calls? Is it a random, time-consuming hunting and pecking process, or do they build an efficient call list before dialing?
An ounce of preparation nets a wealth of results.
In order to be efficient, you must make it a habit to stay organized. Once it becomes a habit, it becomes a comfort zone. In Salesforce you should be able to easily find any group of Leads or Contacts that you want to call. If you are having trouble organizing Contacts, try adding a custom Status field with values similar to the Lead Statuses. Use the Status fields in conjunction with other relevant information such as Title, Last Activity, or Mailing State. At the minimum, reps should be able to easily get to a list of open tasks, new leads, leads and contacts that need to be followed-up with, and any responses to marketing campaigns that have been passed to sales. The Sales Team can now generate a call list that eliminates the time and effort it takes to figure out who to call.
It’s Called Power Hour
The beauty of a list is that it allows for momentum in the calling process. Imagine what could get accomplished if you scheduled a few hours a week where reps did nothing but focus on call lists. Scheduled hours that are dedicated to call lists – and that avoid phone calls, inbound emails and meetings can bump up production. Something that should be considered a new best practice.
Supercharge the sales process.
ShadeTree Technology’s Incite2 allows sales reps to load any list into the app, see all activities on one page, and with one click they can advance to the next call in seconds. The workload lightens and suddenly call volume triples and company profits increase. Make common sense, common practice – and take it to the bank.
All inspired and resourceful reps that expect or intend to blow past their quota start their day in the same dedicated manner. They ask themselves two fundamental questions:
1. “What should I do today?” (Prioritization)
2. “What do I need in order to do it?” (Execution) Read more