What to Do When Someone Says No
I was working with a client last week and one of their sales reps expressed frustration when he was trying to explain to a prospect why his service would be a perfect fit for their office. He had built rapport, found a need that his service was uniquely qualified to fix, but the prospect said she just wouldn’t be interested in it. “What should he have done?” he asked me?
I told him that years ago, my first sales manager, Peter Brooks, taught me a lesson that I’ve always remembered – even to this day. He told me that the people we were selling to were just people, and that I had to treat them that way.
He told me I wouldn’t get very far if I tried to bull doze my way through them or if I acted like just another sales person. Instead, he said, I needed to be sincerely interested in them and their needs, and I needed to find a way to show it.
And that’s when he gave me a warm, genuine way of handling the exact situation this sales rep was in. He said that whenever a prospect or customer said no to a good offer or didn’t seem to make sense in their objection, he said I should always just ask them why.
Specifically, he said to use this phrase: “You know (prospect’s name), I love to learn. Do you mind if I ask why?” And then to hit my mute button and listen…
He said that the key to this question was in the way I asked it. I absolutely had to ask it in a genuine and sincerely interested way (the opposite of challenging the prospect). What I’ve found in all my years of working on the phone is that when I do ask it in this way, I invariably get an honest answer. In other words, I learn what their true objection is.
Sometimes I can overcome the objection, and sometimes I can’t. If I can’t, then I learn to ask better questions on my next qualifying call, and if I can overcome it – or if I can help clarify something they may not understand – then I do. But either way, I learn something valuable.
And best of all, I don’t feel frustrated anymore. That is the key to keeping my attitude strong and the key to persevering and making sales.
I still use this technique and suggest you try it the next time your prospect says no…
This article was written by Mike Brooks and published on EyesOnSales.
Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales, works with business owners and inside sales reps nationwide teaching them the skills, strategies and techniques of Top 20% performance.
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