Why do potentially great sales people shy away from sales? Because they can't stand the constant rejection. Does anyone like being told "no" 95 percent of the time? Of course not. To make matters worse, it's usually in the form of a one- to two-sentence email from the so-called decision maker with a lame excuse that you never even discussed in sales calls. After all of that nurturing and hours of free consultation, you're reduced to a sentence or two dismissing you and your company for no obvious reason. Surely there's a better way.
Sales people should be prepared for this rough handling, because it's inevitable. Why? Because buyers really don't want to buy unless they absolutely have to—unless they can't accomplish the mission without your products and services. The only high probability sale is one that was decided before the first sales call—when buyers do their homework and figure out which solution is best and only need your input for pricing and support. Otherwise, the odds are stacked against you, and buyers (rejectors) come armed with standard objections designed to defeat you and make you scratch your head in bewilderment.
I could give you a checklist of things we failed to do, but the bottom line is almost always that we failed to fully qualify the buyer and rushed into the negotiation stage in the hope we might get lucky. The problem is either the buyer isn't ready or they never intended to buy and are just gathering information. These are the "root cause" objections. Your job is to ferret out this information as early as possible, which can avoid the other nebulous objections and two-sentence rejection emails. But how?
There shouldn't be any surprises if you are doing your job right. Don't jump the gun and skip the all important qualification step. Qualification isn't just about economic factors like company size, technical fit and budget. It's really about reaching the right buyer and understanding their needs and plans. Be prepared to offer a few surprises of your own. Research your buyer before you call, and you can position your company as innovators with something special to offer. Remember, it's a two-way conversation, and you have critical questions that need to be answered. If they can't or won't tell you the truth in the first call, you have no chance of winning the deal. The good news is, you won't be getting those disappointing emails.
Photo credit: pennyspitter
With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. Connect with John via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google Plus.
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