Selling products and services is not easy, especially during an economic crisis. Therefore, a salesperson must be prepared to hear “no” several times. It is natural. After all, not everyone needs their product now and not everyone has the proper finances.
Despite that knowledge, a salesperson will still feel terrible about hearing the word no. It can create a lot of stress, as it can destroy one’s confidence. It can also halt a process.
What “No” Means for Most of Us
For most of us, the word no means rejection. New and popular schools of thought teach us to learn how to say no. However, being on the other end of it is not much easier.
We don’t want anyone to tell us no in sales because it means a setback. You’ve made an effort trying to get the prospective client to buy what you are pitching. The time could have been used trying to sell to someone else.
Why Effective Salespeople Like Hearing the Word No
While “No” is a negative response, successful salespeople have used it to improve themselves. They like hearing rejection early in the campaign so that they can tweak the pitch or campaign so that they don’t have to get the same response in the near future.
An honest "no" given early on in the campaign can help the salesperson do something different. This way, no more time will be wasted. Instead, time can be used to quickly make changes for a more effective sales campaign.
If a regular client says no, the salesperson is also alerted. Perhaps there is a deterioration in the quality of the product itself, or just in presenting it to prospective and current clients.
Why Hearing “No” Can Be a Good Thing
There may be reasons why hearing “no” can be a good thing. While it may be cliché to say that you need to see the silver lining all the time, that’s exactly what you need to do.
Hearing no is a good thing for sales because if everyone is so agreeable, there will be no need for you to do your job.
So, if you are a salesperson, here are some of the reasons, hearing “no” actually is a good thing.
1. It Is Better Than a Forced Sale
While having it easy is something everyone wishes for, you don’t want the repercussions of that. If you have literally forced sales onto your clients, you may have the numbers to back you up but what about the feedback?
If you have managed to sell something to a person who does not really need or want the product or service, they may still be able to get their voices heard through reviews. It’s not going to be pretty.
So, it’s best to get the honest “No” and simply pitch your brand to those who actually like it. This way, you are responding to needs and wants appropriately.
2. It Helps You See What Kind of Client You Are Dealing With
Maybe your pitch just didn’t hit the mark. This does not necessarily mean that what you have does not answer the prospective client's needs. By listening to them, you may find a better angle.
Think of it as part of your research. You went out to sell to prospective buyers who seem to match your sales demographics, but you failed. There must be something that you need to work on. Getting to know a new group of buyers and what they want can be nothing but beneficial to your campaign.
Yes, a “No” can help you learn more than a quick “Yes.” Clients who say yes right away may not even need your speech. They have always been planning to take on your brand. The challenge is in making the other prospective clients see what you can do for them.
3. It Updates You on What Clients Value
Your campaign from a few years ago may no longer work these days. So, when you hear “No” and the reason behind it, it updates you on what prospective clients now value.
Updating your campaign will help you take your product to the next level. By doing so, you also show your prospective clients that you are thinking of them and what they want.
4. It Keeps You from Wasting Your Time
When you get rejected right away, you avoid wasting your time with a client who will not buy the product or service, anyway. So, you are free to move on to the next client.
While some clients take time to decide, there are those who are so wishy-washy that they can’t even say they really don’t need the product.
So, when a client says no right away, they are actually doing you a favor.
How to Overcome the Word No
Knowing and understanding the benefits of hearing no is only part of the victory. How do you overcome the word, and how can you make it a win?
Here are some things you can do to be a successful seller despite having heard the word no once or a few more times:
1. Learn to Embrace the Word
Embrace the word. Instead of denying it, think of it as a means of motivating you to do better with your research and your campaign. See it as a gateway to something better, instead of the dead end some salespeople see it as.
When you embrace the word, you recognize its benefits. You can move on from the negativity and welcome the positive aspects. After all, didn’t they say that you must focus on the positive to attract more positive results?
2. Take It as a Challenge
To grow as a salesperson, you must meet some challenges. Hearing "no" is a challenge that can hit you in so many ways and can, therefore, help you improve a lot more.
When you hear no, take it as a challenge. Make sure you do better next time, instead of thinking of giving up. Giving up is a sure path toward failure. Meanwhile, a "no" is not necessarily a "never." It only means you may have not connected with the right audience or you should improve the way you communicate with your target demographic.
3. Get Back into Action
Because it is a challenge, you should get back into action. You should get out there and use different strategies based on what you’ve learned from the client’s feedback.
If you believe there is nothing wrong with your campaign and that the "no" was a response to a product or service that does not respond to the client’s needs, you should go on to the next few target clients.
Sometimes, the problem is not with the campaign but with the list of potential clients. You may have to do better research to ensure you will get the right audience.
4. Make the Client See That Their “No” May Not Be Final
Sometimes, you just need to give your pitch another try. This is especially true if your prospective client gave a generic “no,” something that they cannot justify with a logical reason. They just seem to automatically give that response. It may be their current budget, their hesitancy to try new things, or just the way you delivered it somehow did not connect to them.
So, you can make it clear to them that you believe they will try your brand if they give you another chance. Show some confidence when saying so that they will think, “Oh, wait. It looks like there is something more to this product.” Of course, you do have to deliver well on your second chance.
5. Analyze the Reason for the Rejection
Any kind of response should be studied. You should especially analyze rejections. Why did you get a “no”? Is it something you can still fix or is it a matter of “It’s them, not you?”
As much as it’s possible, ask the prospect why they are saying "no." Are they saying "no" now, or is it a closed door? Whether or not it is final, you should investigate the reason behind the negative response. By knowing the reason, you can decide whether it is a salvageable rejection or something you must completely let go of.
Finding the reason for rejection can help you design a better campaign for the same product or even for any other future products.
6. Check the Number of Failures Compared to Successes
Of course, you should check how many of your targets said "no" compared to the ones who said yes. This way, you can see what the real problem is.
If there are more potential clients agreeing to purchase your product within the same campaign, it may be a matter of preference, timing, or budget that the others said “no.”
On the other hand, more rejections can mean something serious, such as an overall economic crisis or a problem with your product or campaign design. It might be time to have a meeting with the rest of the team to see what can be done.
7. Use Active Listening
Find out as much as you can from the prospect who said “no.” Listen to what they are saying and observe their body language.
Active listening is research on its own. The best thing about this is that it takes you directly to the prospect. There is one-on-one, real-time learning going on when you actually listen. Also, clients are more likely to take your offer if they feel heard.
8. Consider Going through Further Training
What if the rejection was due to your lack of skills? Perhaps there is something wrong with them and you need to brush up on your selling skills.
Sometimes, it is about using the wrong strategy. Maybe you weren’t able to read the cues the client was giving. So many things could have gone wrong during the appointment, whether it was done by call or in person.
Be open enough to know when it’s time to enhance your skills. Even if you suspect the product is the problem, you should never discount the possibility that you may have done something that could have affected the result of the sale.
9. Follow Up
You should also follow up in a week or more. If you think that the client will not be satisfied with an improved pitch if the product itself has not improved, then the follow-up call will take longer.
Remind the prospect that this is your second time trying to sell the product or service to them. You can introduce your call or email by saying, “While you may have rejected the product/service before, we are back here to show you that we are interested in improvements and have applied them. Check it out now!"
If the prospect mentioned their reason and preference the first time you talked to them, you can even say, “We listened to you. So, we came up with some improvements that you will like.”
10. Keep a Positive Attitude
No matter how many times you may be rejected while selling, you must keep your head up. By having a positive attitude, you can convey more confidence. This confidence is needed to convince prospects that you know what you are talking about and that you are selling something you believe in.
It’s hard to hear the word no. Rejection stings no matter the situation. Even if you know that there are some reasons that are beyond what you could have done (product design), you will still feel the pain of that singular word.
Lingering on that spot where you have been told “no” will not help. It will make you stuck and unable to grow. Of course, you should recognize your feelings and how you feel lost after the rejection. However, it could also be worse. The client could have you coming back so many times without any plans to buy.
For more information about how you can turn a “no” around to serve you better, check out Verde Strategies.