Everybody sells, all the time. If you’re not aware by now, let me tell you that by just “being yourself” you’re already selling others an image of you. The clothes you wear? Yes, most of them are already advertising a brand or a logo, let alone the lifestyle and a message that it already expresses.
That being said, although most of us fear failure, we all might be rejected at any time, every day. If by now, you think this is a list of things to do after you get rejected, well you’re wrong. Here’s a list for every salesman to prepare before and to get a grip and handle rejection if they get one, the way we do it at Hellomrlead, with a good attitude, because every rejection hides a great learning opportunity.
1. Know your Market
You know what they say, the best offense is a good defense. To be prepared you have to know your buyer persona or the people you want to impress in advance. Who is buying your proposal? How does their average day look like in their life? What are their priorities this year, this season or even on a weekly basis? Where are they lacking or what might be their areas of opportunity? What do they might know about your product? What kind of words do they use at work and with which vocabulary do they feel comfortable talking with?
Sometimes we just jump straight into the speech without even considering if people even know the terms we’re using. Usually, decision-makers have worked their way up in their companies, and they might not feel comfortable with the unknown. Maybe they’re not telling you straight away, but nobody buys anything without understanding how it works. Know your decision-maker like you know the lyrics to your favorite song, make sure you’re talking to the right guy and adjust your pitch to what they consider relevant.
Every company and every sale are different. Even if you know your buyer persona, make sure to make a brief, but effective investigation before you call them. Check their company’s web, review a few blog posts, notice if they’re hiring, visit their personal and company’s LinkedIn. What will you be looking for? Here’s when the TAPE technique comes in handy.
Following the hiring patterns of a company may disclose their potential needs. If they are willing to invest resources in an area, that means they have a budget allocated and you might just help them solve their needs at the beginning of the process. For example, if they’re hiring customer support there’s a chance they need a CRM solution; if they’re launching new products soon, they might need advertising solutions.
Now that I mention ads, make sure to check what the company is announcing. If they recently attended or will participate in a networking event, they might be expanding their market or needing better sales systems. Make sure to check out if they went over any M&A process because a lot of changes might be going on. If the prospect was recently hired to review their experience, new employees usually feel pressured to propose new projects or tools.
If they’re announcing new products or features, you might get lucky if you’re selling solutions to improve sales. Don’t forget to check the trends in the market, what are their competitors doing and where might they be lacking. Find out if your product or service might help them overcome those obstacles.
If they recently became public funding that means they’re growing. Perfect timing for selling your HR solution. If they’re churning they might need more support in their unique sales proposition and it might not be the best time to allocate budget for your tool, but offering your BI tool might help them get better insights on their finances.
The most critical skill for sales developers is listening. In order to get to know your prospects in intimate detail you will need to follow some natural steps:
The prospect doesn’t want to be sold something, you have to make your proposal look appealing to them, you want them to feel comfortable during the conversation and a good way to do this is showing genuine interest in them. “How is your day going?”, “How are you doing, busy day at work?” are some questions you may ask to build rapport, but if you are good with jokes why not doing some, too?
Ask & actually listen
Listening begins before the actual call, your research is a great way to know what your prospects are looking for, even before they know it. But during the conversation, be present and use your listening skills; pay careful attention to their needs and wants and don’t follow a sales script but talk purposefully according to what your prospect is explaining and telling. Give them ample opportunity to discuss their business, concerns, and requirements. You’d be surprised what you can learn in between the lines.
Also, a little hint; if a price objection comes up, don’t cave and start discounting immediately. Understand first where the price objection stems from and stick by your product’s worth.
It may sound tangled, but I’m talking about the actual business. Nothing is more satisfying than knowing that you can really accomplish your goals. Nothing, right? So after listening, show them that there’s a solution to their obstacles. Present your product as a Problem Solver and focus on how this will get them closer to their goal.
If someone asks for other good alternatives be honest a name a few good competitors. Make sure to be prepared to point out why customers choose you over others, and you will build confidence and trust in your product.
If your offer is outside your prospect’s budget, or need some feature your product doesn’t have, tell them. A pitch rejection isn’t always about you. No customer wants to invest time learning about solutions they don’t need and nobody wants to waste time on sales opportunities they’re not able to close, so be honest. You never know, and maybe in the future when they have more budget or a different requirement, they will get back to you based on the trust you previously built.
The more your experience and analyze in your market, the easier you’ll identify different types of prospects and your likelihood of making future sales with each.
We still have 2 steps to finish the five techniques that help you handle rejection in sales, but we don’t want this post to look as long as my aunt’s will, so keep posted for our next article regarding the missing phases. If you know how to follow up on your reading on our blog, you’ll probably know how to accomplish the 4th one!