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The Worst Moment in Sales

We’ve all been there. We get to the end of a great call with a great lead and then they say ‘no’ - They don’t want to go forward.

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The Worst Moment in Sales

Chris Smith

Chris Smith is a USA Today bestselling author and the co-founder of Curaytor, a social media, digital marketing and sales coaching company...

Chris Smith is a USA Today bestselling author and the co-founder of Curaytor, a social media, digital marketing and sales coaching company...

Feb 8 5 minutes read

A lot of people don’t want to talk about this when it happens — But it’s a teachable moment and it happens all the time. No matter how great you are at sales, most people are simply not going to commit after your first close. That’s just the reality of the industry we’re in. And as your price point goes up, the objections of having to think it over before they invest go up. And in small business, we’re going to get told "no" more than we’re used to. It’s just a part of the job.

I want to focus on the teachable moments of being told "no" — where a great call turns into an awkward ending.

Should you Twist Their Arm or Break Their Arm?

When I was at Quicken Loans — Because of the product, setup, and competition — without getting the deal, 98-99% of the time we would never hear back from that lead. So, in that case, you might as well break their arm because twisting their arm doesn’t work; If they don’t commit, they’re gone.

But, if your product is more unique, expensive, and you have great marketing — you might just want to twist their arm and follow up with them.

Hulking Up

There are times you’ll have to sit up in your chair and explain, “You’re making the wrong decision and here’s why … I understand what you’re saying … But I’m right in this situation and you’re not, and I need your credit card number because this is what you’re supposed to do.” But, if you Hulk up and it still doesn’t work, you’re burning a bridge. They’re picturing that same person calling them back.

We want to be able to Hulk up or break or twist their arm if we need to. But, we also need to understand that the less we burn our bridges, the more deals we’ll get.

So what I want to focus on is what to do when we can’t get the deal or can’t get that sale; the steps we need to take to close in the end.

Preferred Additional Outcomes

If it was a really great call and lead and they just need to check their budget or take some time to think, my PAO would be to call them back later that day.

“I totally get it; I don’t want to break your arm here. I know this is the right fit — It sounds like you do too. Can I call you back later this afternoon? Give you few hours to think about it.”

Several hours should be enough time to do that. If not, my second preferred additional outcome is overnight.

“Hey, how about this: You sleep on it — Let me call you back tomorrow. Or, maybe a couple days later this week.”

My third outcome is if they don’t even want that and it’s still too soon.

“How about this — I send you some information and how long do you want me to wait until I follow up? You tell me.”

When you have preferred additional outcomes and you go into a call and don’t close, you’ll have that strategy of ‘later today’, ’tomorrow’, ’next week'. Even when you get a ‘no’ — You do get a ‘yes.’ Make sure you have a template for this. The last thing you want to do is repeat the same call over and over.

But if they say “Yes, you can call me back later today” they’re obviously super serious. But to get there, you have to follow these steps.

What I want you to remember is: The reason you don’t want to burn the lead here is that our goal in sales is to have meaningful and memorable conversations.

When you get a ‘no’ after a long call where you thought they were going to sign you have to move on as quickly as you can. One technique I would use is to call a colleague, your manager or a great client that is absolutely killing it to tell you how it has helped them run their business.

At the end of the day, no matter how good we are at sales, how qualified our leads are, no matter how many techniques we implement — We all get told no. The way that we handle ‘no’ is important as it might hit your paycheck. And the way you handle them overtime in a scale will really hit your paycheck! Keep this in mind and have your PAOs and template on how to follow up ready.

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