Why Great Salespeople Nurture Every "No"

Most small business owners will tell you that the key to growing their business is sales. They’re not wrong; no company can grow, or even stay afloat, without consistent revenue. However, many business owners approach sales with a one-track mind: They just want to find their next yes.

Most small business owners will tell you that the key to growing their business is sales. They’re not wrong; no company can grow, or even stay afloat, without consistent revenue. However, many business owners approach sales with a one-track mind: They just want to find their next yes.For owners motivated by their next yes, every no is just another obstacle to be overcome and left in the dust. There’s just one problem: Rejection can benefit your company just as much as a sale. Here are four reasons why business owners should strive to maintain relationships with everyone they contact, even those who say no:

Their Network Might Need You

You’ve just heard another no. It’s disappointing, but choosing to abandon your contact means that you’re also choosing to abandon their network. That’s why building a relationship with your contact is vital. It doesn’t have to be a big show. Simple gestures like sending a quick follow-up email to thank them for their time, following and interacting with their company on social media, or adding them to your company’s holiday greeting card list are all it takes to keep in touch.Then, maybe a few months down the line, your contact will be speaking with a friend who is in need of your service. If you’ve kept in touch and the contact is aware of your offerings, you’ll be the first company that comes to mind, all just because you decided not let a simple no derail you.This may seem like just good business sense. But, with the amount of resources companies are willing to put into advertising, it’s worth mentioning that word of mouth is still considered more effective than SEO by B2B companies. Personal referrals require work, but they’re the most effective way to sign new clients.

They Might Be a Customer Someday

Not even your top salesman will always make a sale on the first call. In fact, Robert Clay, founder of Marketing Wizdom, has said that only 2% of sales are made in the first meeting. And yet, 44% of salespeople give up after hearing just one no! Great salespeople are willing to make a second, third, fourth, or even fortieth call because they know that the relationship will eventually make the sale.Of course, they’ll just block you out if your efforts are too intense. Be mindful not to rush the follow-up. If they rejected you on Monday, don’t make the next sales call on Tuesday.  Wait a while longer. Reach out in the following weeks to inform them of new promotions, ask about how their business is doing, and make sure they know that your company is available to help. Then, when the time is right to make the second, third, or fourth sales pitch, they’ll be more inclined to accept your offer.

They Make You a Better Business Owner

Maybe the reason a potential client rejected your services or product goes deeper than simply timing. If that’s the case, you’d want to know why, right? Don’t be afraid to ask why they said no. Is it the pricing of your product? Is your service missing something important? Initiate a conversation with them about what you can do to improve. Then, listen. Realize that this potential client knows more about the industry you are trying to sell to than you do. Their insight and advice can be extremely valuable. Given, suggestions like “cut your price in half” can’t always be followed, but you should do the best you can to take their criticism and combat it. When you call to make additional pitches, tell them about how you made adjustments based on their suggestions. Not only are you showing how much you value them as a business leader, but you are tailoring your product to fit them and their company, pushing them closer to a yes with every call.

They’ll Learn More About You

At SwipeSum, we operate in an industry with a lot of big names. When business owners think of the payments industry, we may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but we hope to be soon. Small businesses are no stranger to being passed over simply based on name-recognition offered by larger companies. But in our industry, a no from a potential customer can come down to the simple fact that they are unaware of the complicated nature of credit card processing. But, we don’t let the no’s get us down. Instead, we work to educate potential customers and build relationships of trust. Then, when they begin to notice hidden fees and changing rates, they can turn to us and feel confident that we can point them in the right direction. Ultimately, a no shouldn’t be where your sales pitch ends. Instead, it should be an opener for a different kind of pitch, one that helps you build bridges that benefit your company in the long run.  Opportunities can come from not landing a sale, it’s your job as a business owner to capitalize on them.

Taft Anderson

Taft Anderson is the former Product Marketing Manager of Swipesum. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis' Olin Business School, Taft is a content and branding expert.

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