So here it goes, let’s finish what we started and give you the final steps to handle rejection like a pro:
4. Persevere and keep in touch
If you think sales are closed on the first pitch, well my friend you still got plenty to learn. Based on a study of 1M Calls of Gong.io unsuccessful and successful closing calls look about the same. So, what’s the trick? Well it lies right at the beginning of the conversation. You have to make sure you follow our third step; listening. If you did, then you’re on the right path.
So now, don’t forget to keep in touch. Most of the sales close in the 8th direct contact and most salesmen surrender after the 3rd or 5th attempt. So, there’s no surprise on how many sales opportunities fall due to lack of follow up. Some even report that 44% sales people give up after their first rejection.
You’re quitting too soon, if you’re giving up after the first pitch. It might be difficult, but try to find the motivation to give it another go if you that’s what your prospect needs.
Remember that, although you’ve already talk before, this is yet another opportunity to discover more about your prospect, company, their needs’, timelines’, buying process and beyond. Don’t waste this opportunity seeming to pushy or sales oriented, remember you’re trying to foster a relationship that will not end once they buy, but will hopefully continue for a while. Following this train of thought you might also ask the prospect which channel they prefer for your future interactions; do they prefer the phone? Email? text?
Keeping in touch should not be all about boring emails or calls. Sometimes you don’t have any other choice that being straightforward about the sales process, but if you can try to come up with nice content or information you can share about the news, market or a new feature your team just developed. Linkedin helps with excuses like job promotions, birthday or job anniversaries, which end up being great starters for a sales conversation.
To plan how often you will follow up you’ll need to learn the usual length of your product’s sales cycle. Sometimes we want to call our prospects next week when it usually takes 12 months to sell this kind of system or software. And if someone is really interested and ready to buy it makes sense to call next week, but if they need to think, meet and analyze the product first try to give them the right amount of space in between calls. But, like we said before, be reliable; if you said you’ll call on that day or on a certain week, make sure you do it. How not to forget? Have a nice CRM where you manage and control all prospects with notes of each and every interaction.
If they contact you, then you might just hit the jackpot! Answer right away! However, if you were busy on the phone or with another client, try to call back in 60 minutes or less to keep them interested. Even if this means you have to miss 5 minutes of your team’s meeting, sure they’ll understand.
Finally, when should you stop following up? If they ask you not to contact any more, if they never come back to you, if they have needs you cannot solve or demand features you and your team are not able to deliver. It’s all about being honest and sometimes it’s not the right time or the right fit, but maybe in the future it will.
5. Feedback and practice
Like we said at the beginning every call is a learning opportunity. We tend to over analyze or success cases, because they make us feel prouder. Make sure to analyze in detail and with empathy on the prospect’s shoes their rejection; maybe you will identify what went wrong and what went right. Identify strengths and weaknesses, practice and be prepared for next time. Having often role-plays with your peers might help you gain insights about your own performance or learn other strategies that are working.
Any good sales manager usually knows about average conversion and sales cycle rates for your industry and can help you mentoring your way through. You feel like you’re hearing a lot of “no’s”? That might be normal for your kind of product or service.
Finally, take it easy and relax. If you didn’t win this time be confident that next will be a better chance for you to succeed. Live in the moment and don’t get rejection or your emotions control you. The right mindset and best attitude are your better allies when selling.