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The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
This article was written by Molly Miles Rizor, a NEXT entrepreneur who is supported by an assembly expert. If you want to take the next step in your company, we recommend you take a look at Assemble's Entrepreneur NEXT.
You have identified the perfect customer for your service. You have created an excellent presentation with concrete examples of how your company is qualified for the needs of the customer. You have practiced your pitch and are confident. You nailed the presentation.
And after all that, they said "no". You are depressed You have to question your career choice and skills.
If you are in a sell position and it has not happened to you, it will. What are you doing now?
Before you write off this potential customer, there are a few important things you need to do. It's easy to think about the negative experience and walk away, but you may leave a future deal on the table. And you could learn something essential if you are brave enough to ask a few more questions.
Here are five ways to stay positive and move forward despite rejection:
1. Ask for feedback.
It's hard to do, but it won't hurt. Ask why they made the decision to move to another company or to withdraw from the business.
If you ask for constructive criticism, you may be surprised at what you hear, and you may get more insight into how they made the decision.
Think about the criticism and practice scenarios where the suggestions are used. Use their answers to make future changes. You may find that this prospect was not an excellent prospect at first. Any rejection can help you better determine who your ideal customer is and from there the best way to close the deal.
It takes practice to accept constructive criticism openly. Listen carefully (and quietly!) And take notes. Thanks for the view.
Follow-ups are part of the game. Only two percent of deals are closed within the first meeting, and an average of five attempts to contact are required to get a "yes". This does not mean that you should bomb your contact person. Check in regularly so you worry.
There are many reasons why people say no, and it is likely that the answer is not personal. Your service or prospect may not be approved in this year's budget. Plan ahead: Determine when the fiscal year starts and, more importantly, when you submit budget items so that you can submit an updated proposal in advance.
Get an idea of what you want to see in a suggestion. Sometimes it's worth being wide, while sometimes it's best to be more precise. Perhaps they were not ready for your comprehensive proposal, and you can submit a reduced version later.
Keep in mind that starting with a smaller purchase is fine, as you can add services and items if you gain confidence. The 98 percent who said "No" at the first meeting trusted almost as much as they value the service you offer. Build this relationship and you will be in your mind once you have a need for what you offer.
3. Stay in touch professionally.
Show your contact that you value him as a professional connection and thought leader in his industry. Here are a few simple things you can do to show that you care:
Connect on LinkedIn: This is an easy way to show that you are interested in your career. A simple "like" or a comment can do a lot. Ask if they should be added to your mailing list: this is a great way to keep them up to date on the news and to show that you think about them when you send Christmas cards. Submit Article: Read an article about a similarly successful business in another market? Send it along with a short email, mentioning that you thought you would find it revealing.
When a buyer senses a connection, they are 60 percent more likely to pay for your services. These efforts will help improve your company's services and capabilities, and your potential customer will get to know your company better by far. You give them time to learn how your service or product makes sense for their company without the pressure of active prospecting.
4. Ask for recommendations.
Maybe you're not her cup of tea, but maybe your roommate who owns a business could use your service. Tell them that you believe in your service or product and that you would love the opportunity to discuss it with someone who you consider to be a good prospect. Direct communication can be intimidating, but it does help you achieve or get close to your goals.
If you are not satisfied with this question, offer an incentive for recommendations – this makes the gesture attractive and your prospect is more likely to think about recommending you.
Follow-up with marketing materials that your potential customer can send to their colleagues when asked for a transfer. And don't forget to always include contact information in your email signature so you can easily find them in their contacts.
You can even passively promote referrals by offering personal referral links on your website, specific referral cards, or networks through Facebook groups or Meetup.
You asked the questions and took notes. What's next?
5. Consider passing the prospect on to another employee.
You are on sale, so competitive, but you may not be the right person for this customer. Your boss wants the business and you get a pat on the back even if someone else closes it.
In this way, the potential customer can view you as a valuable resource. By offering connections, you position yourself as someone who is easy to work with and who does not take things too personally.
The entire team benefits from new customers. Regardless of who secured it, a broad business base extends the company's recognition, and this creates more leads for everyone.
Talk to a trustworthy mentor and remember that it's okay. Have a coffee with a mentor or friend and ask them to give you honest feedback. You should already do this regularly, so this is the perfect opportunity to get advice on your approach.
Ask them which sales techniques work best in their industry. How do they keep pushing when they get rejected?
It's really difficult to hold your head up when you have to meet quotas and need commissions to pay bills. They did their best and they made a business decision that probably has nothing to do with you personally. Use this as an opportunity to think, make necessary changes and grow.