Top baseball players don’t get a hit every time they’re up to bat. If they get 3 hits out of 10 at-bats, they’re doing great.
Same with top salespeople. They don’t close 100% of their sales. They get a certain number of “no’s.”
Hearing the word “no” is part of the selling process. If customers said “yes” all the time, companies wouldn’t need salespeople; they’d only need order-takers.
But some salespeople can feel rejected and become despondent when hearing “no” all day.
Research out of The University of Michigan suggests that the brain processes rejection the same way it processes physical injury. No wonder people can become despondent!
As a career sales professional and a mindfulness instructor, I’d like to put a different spin on the idea of rejection in sales.
One of the concepts I teach in mindfulness is to become aware of the stories you tell yourself. When a prospect says no, do you tell yourself a story that you were rejected?
Consider instead that the prospect simply is not in a place to engage with you at this time.
Maybe you caught the prospect on a bad day.
Maybe the prospect buys from her brother-in-law.
If you’re a sales professional, encountering prospects who are not ready to engage is part of your job.
I recommend meeting each prospect or customer with the expectation of moving the sale forward. However, if you meet resistance, know that it’s part of your job. See if you can understand it, so you can figure out your next step.
Note that I said if you meet resistance, not if you meet rejection. Resistance is about the customer’s state of mind.
And that’s what sales is all about. Focusing on your customer’s state of mind: understanding your customers, discovering their needs, and seeing if you can serve them.