Don’t Get Caught Holding the Bag – An Empty Bag!
by Joe Bonura, CSP
A Force Of Nature
The secret of success in selling is not to give up because at times, we may lose more than we win. We feel like the farmer whose crop was destroyed by a hailstorm just a day before the harvest.
Do Not Throw A Fit
When a prospect says no, it may be that our service or product is not the right fit. If we try to make the shoe fit, we will end up worse than if we had not made the sale. The word no can be a political decision, an ego decision, a price decision, or any number of other reasons.
The More The Merrier
It is important to have many irons in the fire at the same time. If you are working on one or two big prospects, and they both fall through, you will be left holding the bag-an empty bag. It is always better to have many “decisions” waiting in the wings. When the one you expected to say yes says no, pick up your list and move on to the next one.
Poor sales people never lose-they just quit trying!
Whether you are selling speaking engagements, advertising, insurance, or widgets, the same principle holds true. So you have heard the expression, there’s no such thing as a good loser – wrong! Great salespeople never lose because they never give up. Poor sales people never lose either-they just quit trying.
The First Call For Next Time
One of my largest accounts, when I was in the advertising agency business, said no the first time. When it appeared that months of planning, preparation, and presentation had gone down the drain, I wrote a goal on a piece of paper, “We will have the account in five years”. The next morning, I was on the doorstep of that potential client. His first comment was, “I’m sorry but didn’t you get the word last night, we decided to go with someone else”. I told him that I was aware of that, but this was the first call for the next time they made a decision to change advertising agencies. Persistence triumphed when we received the business three years later.
Consistency And Continuity Yields Success
Similarly, never give up on your telephone solicitations. When I taught a frustrated sales person a new approach to phone technique, she was on the phone to use the ideas that I had shared with her. She told me the approach was not working, and the she had only one appointment scheduled. She needed to be reminded that consistency and continuity would yield success. Consider that 300 dials a week equal 50 contacts, and 50 contacts equal 10 appointments and 10 interested prospects equal 2 sales. She judged the system too quickly, even though she was one success ahead of her old system. It takes thirty to sixty days for any system to give you the numbers promised.
Give The System A Chance
Too many salespeople are quick to give up before they give a new system a chance to work. I advised that she try again, and eight weeks later, she was making an average of 3 sales per week. (That was better than I had promised) She got the message, followed my advice, and reaped the benefits. If the doctor prescribes penicillin, but you take aspirin, you will not get the same promised results.
The More No’s The Better
Every no leads us closer to a yes, but, in order to hear a no, you must have your line in the water. Here are some ideas to get you through a tough period in your sales career:
It’s a numbers game
Set up a fixed number of dials that you will make every day. Make it a stretch number: when you think you have made enough calls, make one more. Stick to your plan no matter how many negative responses you get.
Improvement is a never-ending process
Improve your phone technique by becoming a telemaster verses a telemarketer. The secret is not sounding like everybody else. Do not sound like an interruption; sound like a solution to their problems. In order to sound right, you have to have the right information and know what their problems are.
Know where you are going, and you will arrive at your destination
Keep track of your numbers for at least 30 days. It takes about thirty days to have an idea of how many dials equal one contact, how many contacts equal one appointment, and how many appointments equal one sale.
Courtesy is contagious
Send thank you notes when you lose, as well as when you win. Times change, people change, and attitudes change.
If the account is worth having, do not scratch the “NO” off your list. In many industries, suppliers or carriers change every three to five years. Be there when the next decision is made.
As Winston Churchill said in the middle of World War II, when it was not looking good for the British Isles – “Never, Never, Never give up!”
© 2012 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
407 Landis Lakes Court
Louisville, KY 40245
(502) 553-1746 phone