Almost every salesperson has a great story about how their hustle and persuasion closed a big customer. These tales define the lives and careers of sellers.
But what isn’t discussed is the failure. And let us be honest, most of our narratives are chock-full with stories of mistakes, bad timing, and circumstances that have led to rejection.
But it’s not the end of the world. A lot of people struggle in pushing their prospect forward when told ‘no’. But a salesperson who simply stops at ‘no’ is like a physician not prescribing treatment. You have to follow through.
I recently read a blog post by sales guru, Anthony Iannarino titled “You Risk More Though Inaction than Action”. Here Anthony walks through three specific examples of a sale “hitting the wall”, with suggestions on how to get past them. We really loved this one:
You’re expecting your dream client to call and award you their business. Your heart sinks when they tell you that you haven’t been chosen and that they’ve instead chosen your competitor.
Ask your dream client to stop and reconsider.
Tell them that you failed them in your role as a salesperson and someone with the deepest interest in helping them. Ask them for an opportunity to address any areas where they believe that your competitor was a better choice for them. Tell them if they still come to the same decision, you’ll be disappointed, you’ll keep calling them forever, but you’ll support their decision for the time being.
Being humble enough to admit failure and yet still show persistence in the light of slim odds hits home emotionally. It suggests all sorts of things to the buyer: you’re trustworthy, you’re willing to go the extra mile and your company is more likely to rapidly take care of the issue in problematic times.
It’s a situation where you’ll just have to fight for it. You’ll never kick yourself in the foot for taking the shot.