“No” probably ranks somewhere in the top three on the list of sales representatives’ least favorite phrases, along with “Unpaid vacation” and “Missed quota”. No matter how perfect your sales pitch, how innovative your product, or how stellar the deal incentives offered, in sales prospecting, dealing with “No” is an inevitable part of the trade. So what is it that top-performing sales reps know that enables them to dodge the dreaded “No” and magically hit or surpass their quotas?
Top-performing sales reps understand that “No” is never permanent, it’s situational. As it turns out, people are a lot less committed to their opinions than they think they are. Decisions are always based on the best information available to the decision maker at the time, and that information is always imperfect and subject to change. So what does this mean for a motivated sales rep? It means you need to understand the wide array of possible “No”s and develop a consistent action plan of rebuttals to respectfully attempt to re-engage. Below are listed a few of the most common push back “No”s and strategies for how to respond to them. How do you find out why they said no? Ask!
Your lead is already happy with a competitor -
Make sure to do your best detective work and find out what they currently like about your competitor. In this scenario, you have several possible situational changes that could convert your leads from a “No” to a “Yes”: Your competitor may make a mistake and lose the leads loyalty, your product may innovate or outperform the competing product, or you may find a benefit your company can offer that the competitor cannot. To take advantage of any of the three possible situation changes, it’s important to nurture the lead over a long period of time. It may also be important to reach out during specific times of the year if the service your competitor provides is a quarterly or yearly contract renewal process.
You got a “No” because of price-
A “No” based on price is actually a lot more susceptible to situational changes than most push back, even if you can’t be flexible with your offer. The lead company may be growing and temporarily unable to make a costly purchase. Or if you're reaching out towards the end of budgetary quarters or the year, the finance department may have already reached their budget, and will need to wait for the next financial cycle to begin. Definitely add “No”s based on price to any marketing drip campaigns that specifically offer price incentives or rebates, and check in with them periodically over time, as reaching out later may catch them on an upswing or at a moment when they have not already allocated their budget to other services.
You got a “No” based on misinformation-
Most important in this scenario is taking detailed note of the response you receive when you ask why the company isn’t interested, so you can prepare to address their concerns the next time you reach out. In the meantime, use their push backs to inspire your deal incentives and marketing content creation. Make sure you understand your company's value and that you are able to explain it succinctly and clearly. Next time you reach out, make sure to hit them with something new (Can you lower the price? Offer a free trial? Provide training/guidance/support?) and arrive to the conversation ready to address their specific pain points.
It’s important to note that you should never continue to reach out once someone specifically asks to be taken off an emailing or call list, and after receiving a “No” you should give the lead a respectful period of rest before reaching out again (the resting period may vary widely depending on the target industry and service being offered). With that in mind, incorporate persistent follow-up with situationally disinterested leads and join the ranks of top-performing sales reps who convert those inevitable “No’s” into “Awe yeahs”.
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