Spend more time this year with the people who have the power to say “Yes”.
Rejection is tough. I have yet to meet a salesperson that looks forward to rejection every morning. While rejection may be part of the job description, I would argue that it is a line item that few look forward to. It doesn’t matter how new or tenured you are in sales, rejection usually delivers a decent jab. On the other hand, rejection can be a good thing, when coming from the right person. Selling is a numbers game after all. Simple probability tells us that the more you hear “No”, the greater chances are of you eventually hearing a “Yes”. Yet if that is the case, why do some hear a “Yes” quicker and more consistently than others?
Focus on what you can control, influence what you cannot.
Early in my sales career I asked a similar question to top sellers and average performers, and as you can imagine, I got a colorful spectrum of answers. Many of the answers seemed like factors I could not control. One of my mentors advised that I focus on what I can control and influence what I cannot. So I dug deeper and a common denominator started to appear. What I discovered was that top sellers consistently spent more of their time, on average, cultivating relationships with the true decision makers within their target accounts. This focused time management approach equipped them with a unique advantage during the Close. In instances when they did not secure the business, they were able to uncover the real reasons for the rejection because it was coming from the right person.
If you’re going to get a No, at least get it from the “Yes” person.
When you spend more of your time with someone who only has the power to say No, they will more than likely exert that power because that’s the option they have at their disposal. No matter how compelling your presentation, confidence or price, the answer will still be “No”. Think of it as asking a professional plumber to perform open-heart surgery. The only sensible response would be a “No”. Clients have many ways to say “No” but only one way to say “Yes.” This is especially true when you ask the wrong person for the business. Some may quickly tell you the right people are not involved which is why the sale will not happen. But many, wanting to save face, may give you a long-winded answer as to why the answer is “No”. When the right people are involved, you know it because decisions are made faster.
Your time is precious currency, invest it wisely.
In 2015, prioritize enough time to understand who the true decision makers are within your target company. This due diligence is worth the effort. Asking the questions below could be a good start in uncovering the true decision makers.
- Who all needs to be involved in this decision-making process and what role will each play in the decision-making process?
- Would the price tag of the engagement require a committee approval?
- Who is impacted the most if the project succeeds? If it fails, whose neck is on the line?
The challenge is that the true decision makers are most times the hardest to get a hold of. But top sellers welcome this challenge with a smile and a well thought out strategy which is why they continuously perform at a high level.
What other sales focused New Year resolutions are you prioritizing for 2015?