How To Cope with Sales Rejection

Hi guys,

I have been wanting to take on the subject of rejection in selling professions for quite some time , BUT its not a very easy topic to write about.

I think homo sapiens are not attuned to accept rejection easily and therefore this becomes a very prickly issue in our lives.

BUT its an issues that needs attention especially for those of us in Sales who are front ending our corporate brands and bringing in the moolah.

I think that in order to be successful at sales, you need to be able to cope with rejection — an even to turn it into a goad that creates more success.

Once you understand this, rejection loses is power over you, and your ability to sell.

Your experience of rejection depends entirely upon three qualitative, subjective measurements:

  1. Frequency. Everyone can deal with some rejection, but how much rejection can you experience before you start taking the negative feedback to heart?  How many times can you contact a qualified prospect and get a negative response before you begin to take it personally?  Increase your tolerance, and rejection loses its hold over your future performance.
  2. Emotional Involvement. How emotionally involved can you become with somebody before you feel that the other person might know you so well that criticism hurts?  For example, you might be reluctant to close because you’re afraid that your customer might feel “buyer’s remorse” and stop liking you — a form of rejection.
  3. Perceived Importance.  As a sales rep, you’re likely to feel most comfortable contacting people who are of a similar (or lower) social class or educational background.  However, you might find yourself avoiding people whom you feel are more important than yourself, because their rejection of you might seem to carry more weight or authority.

Each elements is easily changed, fortunately.  Here’s how:

  1. Frequency. To make yourself less vulnerable in this area, you must differentiate between valid and invalid rejection. If the rejection is based upon something valid (like your basic approach), then you blame your approach and then change it.  If the rejection is invalid — as when a prospect “dumps” frustration — it has nothing to do with you, so you can easily ignore it.
  2. Emotional involvement. The cure for this subjective ailment is to believe in yourself and in your product.  If you truly believe in both, then there is absolutely NO reason why you shouldn’t want your true friends to be your customers.  If it turns out that your friend doesn’t want or need your offering, it’s not a rejection of you, but of the product and firm.  So it should have no power over you.
  3. Perceived importance. My mother always recommended imagining that you’re talking to the bigwig while he’s sitting on the toilet.  That doesn’t really help me, but I know what she’s talking about.  Look: most bigwigs are exceedingly average people who’ve stumbled into their success.  Their opinion means nothing in the long run, so don’t let it have any power over you.

I think the key skills that a mature sales professional needs to imbibe in himself/herself, is that of EQ (Emotional quotient)….a strong EQ will best equip you with the balance and poise to manage rejection when you go out there to get your business!!

I have extensively covered numerous aspects of selling skills and sales management in my blogs on wordpress….https://ashishtandon.wordpress.com

Please check out my blogs and feel free to ideate and provide me with your insights and suggestions…happy to learn from my peers and thought leaders.

Do connect with me on my professional FB page http://www.facebook.com/the.ashishtandon

You could also connect with me on LinkedIn http://in.linkedin.com/pub/ashish-tandon/4/427/188/

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Three Key Changes That Drive Sales Success

Hi Readers,

During my roles in solutions sales B2B businesses, I was often asked by my team members about my mantra for success.

My answer , based on my analysis, was the following- make 3 critical changes in the way you engage with your clients, internalise these changes, and you will have been served well .

These 3 changes that I mention are-

  • CHANGE #1: Describe what you’re selling as a “verb” rather than a “noun.” For example, suppose you’re selling for an industrial glue manufacturer. If you think that your job is to sell “glue” (a noun), you’ll talk to the customer about product features.  If you think your job is to sell “gluing” (a verb), you will tend to uncover your customer’s gluing needs.  Then you can show your offering can fulfill that need.

Another example that I can give here is when I was selling packaging solutions- I would never go and tell my client that I am selling packaging, BUT that I was selling his brand , profitably. This sort of had “shock value” in a market, where all my competitors, were selling packaging, and I was the only exception, selling my client’s brand and that too with a profit- therefore the engagement became more of a solution as opposed to a me-too, product, competing on price. Needless to say that my rate of client conversion was way higher than that of my competitors! Now think of applying that to chemicals industry…that’s another story folks!

 

  • CHANGE #2: Think about selling as helping the customer rather than making a sale. To do this, you simply expunge from your mental vocabulary the standard ways of describing sales process, like “convincing,” “persuading,” and “overcoming.”  Instead, you reframe the selling process of visualizing, with the customer, how (if they had your product) their problems might be solved and their goals achieved.

Guys, if you want to stand out from the crowd of other sales reps in the market, you seriously need to develop superior, communication skills to begin with, and slowly easing into story telling skills, using both visual as well as non visual formats to tell your story to your client- this follows from the change # 1 that I spoke of earlier. First use the change#1, and then follow up by using story telling skills to make a lasting impact.

 

  • CHANGE #3. Consider a sales call successful even when you don’t make a sale. Many salespeople get so caught up in “winning” that they foist unwanted products onto the customer. Rather than adopting a dogged determination to make the sale, make it clear — first in your own head and then directly to the customer –  that you’re more than willing to leave if you can’t actually help the customer.

This comes from having a  high EQ. Simple.

Secret enemy numero uno ( Number 1) of success in sales

Hi readers,

Thanks for your active interest in my blogs, especially the ones dealing with descriptions of the top 5 secret enemies that hamper our performance in sales.

By now you all have read about the enemy number 5, number 4, number 3 and number 2….and I am sure that you are waiting with bated breath to know about the last one, enemy number 1.

So without further ado, let me introduce him to you folks in sales.

drum roll please………

Secret enemy number 1 in my list is….YOU

  • Typical Job Titles: Sales Rep, Sales Associate, Sales Agent, etc.
  • Distinguishing Characteristic: You haven’t taken the time and trouble fully develop your sales skills, attitude, business acumen, etc.
  • Why You’re Your Own Worst Enemy: Your sales success is up to you, regardless of what problems or enemies you face on a day-to-day basis.
  • How You Screw Yourself: Endless ways. You talk to customers more than you listen, you fail to prepare for customer meetings, you don’t follow-through on commitments, etc., etc., etc.
  • How To Cope With Your Limitations: Overcome them!  Decide, right here and now, that you won’t be satisfied with ANYTHING less than the absolute BEST that you can be.  Make a commitment and then take action.  You know what to do!
  • Warning: If you actually make that commitment and take action, none of the other four enemies can possibly prevent you from becoming wildly successful in Sales!!!

Guys I have been my own enemy in the early days of my career as a sales pro.

I would like to take you guys to my earlier blogs on how best to improve yourself and empower yourself to become top notch sales pros and never ever become your worst enemy!!

Secret enemy number 4 of your success in Sales…

Hi guys,

This is the blog about our secret enemy number 4 that impedes our performance in sales..

This follows the blogs that detailed secret enemies number 1, number 2 and number 3…..

Do you remember the Charlie Chaplin classic, THE DICTATOR?

Well this guy is known as the Dictator in our secret enemy list, and is currently at number 4.

  • Typical Job Titles: Sales Manager, Chief Sales Officer, Vice President of Sales, etc.
  • Distinguishing Characteristic: He thinks that managing a sales team means controlling everything that they say and do, and that screaming for half an hour is “coaching.”
  • Why He’s Your Enemy: He creates a negative environment that makes it horribly difficult to sell.
  • How He Screws You Up: He goes on your sales calls, screws up your deals, and then blames you for the bad results.
  • How To Cope With Him: Stay away from the office as much as possible and keep him in the dark about the sales in your pipeline.
  • Warning: He may install a CRM system so he can check up on your daily activity.

Having spent 18 years in sales management, essaying roles of sales rep, sales executive, Regional Sales Head, National Sales Head….et al, I have had the privilege to work with the DICTATOR….

Personally found these Dictators to be very low on EQ, insecure in their assignments, and incapable to walking the talk. They invariably try to demonstrate “value” to the organization by bean -counting ( remember your expense report that got stuck some where), and micro managing every little detail of you and your team’s work!!

 

How to beat a personal sales slump in a down economy

Hi guys,

The down economy affects even the best of us sales super stars; face it , thats the harsh bitter truth.

Economy in a slump, investment sentiments in the pits, consumer sentiments even worse, inferior goods and brands on the up, what can a sales super star do!!!

Well there is hope even in adversity folks.

First and foremost, as the old saying goes, WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING,,….so time for those of us looking for taking on a challenge head on and coming out winners from this apparently hopeless situation, first things first.

Get cracking on your EQ!! Yes emotional quotient and loads of it will separate the men from the boys…I say this from first hand experience, having managed several sales roles over the last 18 years- you name it, have done it; B2C, B2B, direct sales, Industrial sales, Institutional sales, solutions sales etc etc etc…

so some pearls of wisdom to you fellow sales men and women out there in cyber lala land…

Step 1. Don’t Panic. Your work-related problems feel overwhelming not because of work, per se, but because of your personal life. You’re getting married, which is a huge, life-altering change. When you’re making a big life change in one area of your life, it’s easy for other parts of your life to take on an exaggerated importance. That’s what’s happened here.

Step 2. Get Some Perspective. Try to remember that as a sales pro, you’ll probably have a dozen or more jobs in your life. This is just one of them. Chances are you’ll come out of the slump, probably after you get back from the honeymoon. Worst case, you’ll find another job, but that’s no big deal. You how to sell so, by definition, you’re more hireable than 99% of the people in business today.

Step 3. Give yourself some credit. Even though you’ve got all this emotion bouncing around in your brain, you’ve still managed to drag yourself to work and do whatever you could in order to make your quota. That kind of courage is nothing to sneeze at. A lesser man might have given up in the face of a two month slump. You didn’t, and that means that you’ve got what it takes to survive.

Step 4. Reframe the Situation. The slump seems like a big problem, but is actually a big opportunity. Once you handle this situation, you’ll know that you’ve been “tested in the fire.” Conquer this slump, and you’ll know that you have what it takes to keep control of your emotions and nothing will ever stop you again. An opportunity like this comes along but seldom. Use it to your advantage.

Step 5. Create a New Pattern. When you’ve got some alone time, sit quietly, close your eyes, and remember the times that you’ve made some big sales. Imagine, as strongly as you can, how you felt, what you were saying to yourself, what you did to celebrate. Make the memory as vivid as possible. Right when you’re feeling at the top of your game, say something the reaffirms your confidence while doing a dramatic physical gesture that locks the feeling into your body. (Example: clench both fists and say “I DID IT!!”)

Step 6. Break your Old Pattern. The reason that you’re in a slump is that your panicky feeling has become habitual. Here’s where we break the habit. Whenever you start feeling that feeling of dread, stand up (immediately), shake yourself, and then run the new pattern that you created in Step 5. (Clenched fists! “I DID IT!!”). Constantly interrupting your habitual fear scrambles your brain so that it won’t be able to get into the old pattern as easily. It also makes the beginning of the panic trigger a positive emotion, rather than a continuation of the panic.

Step 7. Work your Sales Cycle. Now comes the easy part. Focus on the mechanics of selling. Make the cold calls. Do the follow-ups. Make the customer calls. Don’t think about the outcome, or your quota, or anything else other than the sales cycle. Work the numbers. Do your job. Every time you feel that fear coming back, break the pattern and re-establish your confidence. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your sales performance will improve.

How Balanced are Your Sales Skills?

Everybody in sales wants to have great sales skills, but not everybody realizes that sales skills come in three varieties, apart from the MUST HAVE skills!

I was often asked the question by my team members and youngsters, newbie sale reps, who worked under me and were mentored by me- how can I quickly come up to speed on my selling skills- to which my response was, that apart from the very basic presentation MUST HAVES…like , presence, poise, confidence, personal hygiene, no-stubble, close shave, great deodorant, communication skills, presentation skills and articulation skills.

WHEW!!

And….after all that, they also definitely needed to have the following skills that separate the men from the boys ( the super stars from the grovelers!)

  1. Psychological skills. These are what most people think of as sales skills. They include the ability to complete a successful cold call, to get an appointment, to build rapport, to give presentations, to close business and so forth. Above average  EQ (Emotional quotient) would also be very critical in turbulent times and in very competitive fields of play.
  2. Business skills. These are skills involve understanding your own industry and the customer’s industry. They include specific knowledge about your product offerings, competitive information, the business climate, the market, and economic influences. So read, read , read, and out your ideas on paper and in the blogosphere!!
  3. Process skills. These are the sales skills that deal with the way that things get done in your company. They include the ability to use sales technology, forecast revenue, research customers, and so forth. These skills are a little different inside each company, depending upon the market and industry. So, put thought to systems, standard operating procedures, go get another qualification, read , write and learn and develop your self as a future CSO!!

If you want to reach the very pinnacle of sales success, you’ll need to have all three skill categories balanced, honed and ready for action.

AND just to qualify …..the above cuts across both B2B and B2C domains and businesses. Keep this in mind.