One of the trickiest parts about beginning a sales call or meeting is that you’re automatically at a disadvantage. Your prospect may immediately be skeptical of sales people, even if they are interested in your offering. Why do people start off on the defensive with sales people? We all do it. Even people who sell for a living have found themselves on the other end of that interaction and the same skepticism automatically presents itself. The reason is that we’re all afraid that the sales person will not take no for an answer and will try to push us into something that we’re not ready for or interested in.
When a prospect says no to your proposal, the traditional approach would be to rebut and try to talk them into saying yes. But do you really want to start an argument with your prospect and make them feel like you won’t go away no matter what they say? Even if that does end in a sale, it definitely does not result in a strong long-standing business relationship. Instead, try a different approach.
Show Your Prospect that You’re Reasonable
Prove to your prospect that the image they have in their mind of a sleazy sales person trying to manipulate them couldn’t be further from the truth. When they tell you no, accept that answer, show them that you know that they’re knowledgeable about their own needs, and pleasantly surprise them with your professionalism. You just got bumped up several notches in their mind.
Turn a “No” Now into a “Yes” Later
Even if the prospect isn’t ready to buy right now, respecting their right to say no helps establish a rapport of professionalism that can lead to a lasting business relationship. When that person is in a different position and is ready to look closer at the products/services you provide, the first person they call will be the person they have a relationship with and respect and trust. That’s you!
Build a Great Reputation
Treating your prospects with respect and professionalism not only builds a great rapport with that specific prospect, it also enhances your reputation throughout your target market. People within the same industries talk to each other. If your prospects respect your sales tactics and begin to trust you and your expertise, they may pass your information along to their colleagues and even competitors. At the very least you’ll avoid the reputation of sleazy sales person.
Stop Wasting Time
When a prospect says no it could be because they’re just not interested at this point in time, or it could mean they aren’t a fit for your business at all. If you’re pursuing prospects that are not now and will never be a good fit for your business, you’re beating your head against a wall. Listen to your prospects when they say no and move on to those prospects that will say yes. They’re out there. We promise.
In today’s business world, with the unprecedented access to prospect marketplaces that is available to us, we now have the ability to be picky like never before. Especially with a good lead generation system in place, you can focus your time and energy on the prospects that make sense for you, and avoid going crazy chasing leads that will never pan out. Instead of beating your head against that wall, focus on becoming a professional and respectful listener, and gain the trust from your prospects that will make you top of mind when they do have a need.