The most frustrating part of selling is getting a “no”. In fact, it’s this part of selling that’s given sales the reputation of forcing people to buy something they don’t want. But that is just a story you like to tell yourself about how sales is or how the sales process goes. When you take a moment and think about that behavior, you’ll see how absolutely INSANE that is. That story disempowers you, doesn’t help the poor soul who probably needs your product or service and it certainly doesn’t help YOU make more money.
Re-Frame the “No”
What you need to do is what psychologists call “re-frame”. It simply means to look at the sales process from a different context or point of view. For example, you can approach each prospect from the point of view that you’re trying to sell them something they don’t want and need and so your job is to persuade and convince them — sort of twist their arm. (that doesn’t sound fun at all does it?)
Another context or point of view is to look at each sales conversation from the point of view of serving the prospect. That means listening for what’s missing in their world (as it relates to your product), finding out what’s really important to them, getting to the core of what they are concerned about, or simply listening to their complaints so that you can hear what they are committed to or what’s important to them. When you do THAT — when you have a conversation instead of a sales presentation — then the “No” takes on a whole new meaning. That “No” simply means that you are not a good match. AND that prospect will walk away smarter and better off for having had that conversation with you.
Why Getting to “No” as Fast as Possible makes you money
You probably think I’m completely nuts when I tell you that the primary purpose of any sales consultation is to get to the “No” as fast as possible. It seems counter-intuitive — doesn’t it. But it’s the most powerful money-making secret of million dollar sales people. They don’t take the “no” personally. They take it from the context of — we are not a match and I can’t help you — NEXT.
That last word up there — “NEXT” — is the magic word. Because the sooner you get on to the next person you can serve with your product or service, the faster you will make money.
Play the numbers game from a whole new perspective
You’ve heard people say that sales is a numbers game — and it is. It’s totally all about profiling and segmenting your market (so that you don’t waste time talking to people who don’t need what you sell). Then it’s about targeting. That means that you choose ONE specific audience and ONE specific offer and run with it.
Look at your bag of tricks and CHOOSE the profile of customer that has the highest likelihood of choosing you today. That means that they see the benefit and can’t wait to get their hands on what you are selling TODAY. Next, you’ll want to create an “OFFER”. An offer is the product, service, price and place they can buy it — all wrapped up into a nice and neat package – so that it’s easy for them to choose.
Here’s a marketing secret - You will think that by limiting your audience and targeting a product that you are limiting your customers — THAT IS A LIE LIE LIE! By targeting and focusing on ONE thing. You are building your brand and you will actually ATTRACT your ideal customers because your product and service is SO OBVIOUSLY designed for them.
From this perspective — getting to the “No” is a FUN GAME – because you’ve turned the tables on the “No” — you are simply eliminating customers who are not profitable and who will not be raving fans. You don’t want those people and you need to make sure that they don’t pollute your customer base — so you WANT to get to NO as fast as possible.
Each “No” is actually money in your pocket
“So how is each “No” money in my pocket” — I know what you’re thinking. She is completely off her rocker. But believe me — each “No” is money in your pocket. Watch this -
Here is a real example
Now YOU Try!
Just for fun — check out this most awesome interactive infographic site I learned about. It’s called SalesCalculator.com. This is BRILLIANT and will make getting to “No” more fun than you thought possible.
The first thing you’ll want to do is see how many “No’s” you get — this is an absolute HOOT and will put a smile on your face.
When you fill out the form you’ll get a cool infographic that looks like this
Even better – you can actually do a sales pipeline calculation — I never thought sales pipeline could be so FUN
Then you enter your sales process stats. You know – how many calls to get a meeting, how many meetings to get a proposal, how many proposals to get a sale –
And VOILA! Here is what your day should look like -
So sales pipelines can be FUN — really. Not only that – but you’ll have more fun and make more money getting that “No” than you ever thought possible.
Go ahead – play along.
Name: Ivana S. Taylor
About: Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers.com – an online marketing publication that provides marketing strategies that help entrepreneurs and business owners get and keep profitable customers. She is the DIY Marketing expert and book editor for Small Business Trends and a contributing author to AMEX Open Forum. Her strategic consulting firm, Third Force specializes in helping companies find their best customers and be the one they choose – regardless of price. Ivana is the co-author of Excel for Marketing Managers. You can find her on Twitter as @DIYMarketers.