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Predictive Advantage

Your sales journey starts when your prospect says "No"

overcome sales obstacles

Posted by: guest_contributor

Business Strategy

Selling to interested buyers is easy; the challenge comes when your prospect utters the word ‘No’. Rather than shrug your shoulders and accept it, fight to overcome those sales objections. Some sales people are eager to take on the challenge when the client says ‘No’.

Choose wisely

First of all, it is important to realise that sometimes it’s just not worth pursuing a client. That’s ok. Not every prospect is worth the time and energy needed to close the sale. Let it go and focus your attention on more productive leads.

That said, in the words of Sir Winston Churchill: “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, never submit to failure”.

In more practical terms, don’t give up when you think that this would be a great new client! Choose your prospects wisely and know when to pursue them.

Handling rejection

Rejection typically comes in two forms: A flat out ‘No’ or a cancellation.

1. Preparing for rejection

Today’s unsettled economic climate means that you must continue to develop leads, try to close deals, but also prepare yourself for rejection. Part of basic sales training is to produce persuasive counter-arguments that make prospects rethink their initial rejection.

Take this preparation work a step further and conduct a little research ahead of time. Give the client a call and find out exactly what their needs are. This will help you to:

  • Identify why you have been invited to provide a pitch, and perhaps allow you to show the advantages of your product on a topical problem that they are experiencing.
  • Develop an argument as to how your product fits with their requirements.
  • Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your product based on the prospect’s requirements.
  • Get to know your prospect’s personality so that you can use that knowledge to your advantage.
  • Understand their timeframe. Remember, timing is everything.

2. Head off a cancellation

Cancellations of orders and contracts may be inevitable for a variety of reasons but you don’t simply have to accept them without a fight. More often than not, you will have an idea that a client is thinking about leaving.

When this happens, don’t wait until you get the official notice of cancellation. Start trying to retain the client now by:

  • Examining whether they have used your service or product sufficiently to feel that they’ve had value for money. This will give you the opportunity to suggest ways in which to increase the use of your product or service.
  • Checking-in with the client (regularly!). Ask how they use the product, whether or not it meets their needs, and give them advice on how to maximise its value.

It makes far greater economic sense to try to retain clients than to try and find new ones. So, NEVER accept a contract cancellation without one last try! If you do receive a notice of cancellation, find out what exactly has triggered it, then develop your counter-arguments around those reasons.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, making sales to interested and committed customers is easy. The true test of your product and your sales abilities comes when you hear “maybe” or “no”. Sales people who love selling will take on the challenge.