“Rejection comes with the territory. If you're going to cold call you're going to have to deal with people saying ‘no’ to you, screaming at you and hanging up on you.” Ecch! Who wants to do that?
This go through the "no's" until you get a "yes" myth is probably the most insidious and dangerous of all of the cold calling myths because it scares people. Really, who wants to go through all those "no's" to get to a "yes?"
While it is true that not every prospect is going to buy from you, "no" does not have to be as all pervasive as some sales professionals feel it is. When it comes to "no" there are two issues to examine.
The first issue: Are you speaking with a qualified prospect? Far too many sales professionals spend far too much time chasing after prospects who are not truly qualified prospects. If you are not speaking with a qualified prospect, that prospect will not buy from you.
Here is an e-mail I recently received:
I am so upset. I just got off the phone with a totally obnoxious prospect. He was mean and he was rude. And to top it off, he wouldn't have even been a very big customer. He didn’t have much of a budget and he wouldn’t have bought very much. There was no reason for him to be so rude! What should I do in this kind of situation?
My response to this e-mail?
“If the prospect would not have turned into a ‘very big customer,’ if he ‘didn’t have much of a budget,’ why were you wasting your time calling him in the first place?”
You see, prospects that are not qualified prospects, prospects who “wouldn’t even be a very big customer,” don't need what you are selling. They are not interested because you don’t have anything they need or want. You're making things harder for yourself by calling this type of prospect.
The solution? Do your homework. Before you ever get on the telephone put together a list of researched, targeted, qualified prospects. This will increase the odds that your prospect will actually need what you have to offer and it will increase the odds of having a productive conversation.
The second issue to address about going through the "no’s:" What you are hearing versus what you think you are hearing. Many prospectors hear rejection when their prospect is actually not rejecting them. For example, many prospectors hear, “The prospect is in a meeting,” as a rejection. They think that their prospect does not want to speak with them and has instead instructed their assistant to lie and say that they are in a meeting.
A survey taken by the magazine, Fast Company, a few years ago revealed that high-level decision-makers almost never ask their secretaries or assistants to lie for them in this manner. The survey asked several hundred high-level, corporate executives if they ever had asked their secretaries to say they're in a meeting if they were not actually in a meeting. 80% of them responded "no."
This is an example of what you are hearing (“The prospect is in a meeting”) versus what you think you are hearing (“The prospect doesn’t want to talk to me”).
While the word "no" does sometimes come with the territory, it does not have to be as pervasive as mythology says it is. By targeting your market well and by doing a reality check on what you are hearing it is possible to substantially reduce the number of "no’s" that you hear. Add some skill to turn those "no’s" into "yes’s" and you’ll be even further along. “Go through the ‘no’s’ to get to ‘yes,’” is one cold calling myth we can safely discard.
© 2012, Wendy Weiss