3 Ways Your Sales Reps Can Turn a “No!” into a “Maybe”

“Not interested. Please take me off your list.”

Anyone in sales — especially on the business development side — would agree that this sounds pretty familiar. But how can your sales reps make it stop?

Michael Scott

To be a winner in business development, it takes more than a Bluetooth headset and a power dialer; it takes some pretty thick skin, too. It means finding the goals and challenges a potential client is faced with and how your product would benefit that team.

This doesn’t come without meeting objections — many objections. This leads to several salespeople falling into the habit of unqualifying a lead after the initial “no” when, really, the lead is qualified after all. Learning to navigate past that word is the key to making or breaking the deal.

Pass these three tips along to your sales reps, and they can face those objections to turn a “NO!” into a “Maybe…”

1.) What does “no” really mean? (Understanding the real objection)

I don't know

Get to the bottom of that little word, and understand why you haven’t snagged their attention yet. Does “no” mean, “I’m incredibly busy and important, and I have no time to talk to you,” or does it mean, “What’s your point?”

Then grab their attention by asking them challenging questions, like these:

  • “When’s a better time to talk?”
  • “Could you see this as a fit within the next few months?”
  • “I appreciate the candor, but why?”

Asking open-ended questions may spark a conversation and give you the opportunity to learn more about their business needs.

2.) Be relevant and clear

Be relevant and clear

We all know what it feels like to see a notification in your inbox from a prospect we’ve been hunting: Total. Indescribable. Joy. Unfortunately, most of the time, those prospects are inbox-clearers — polite executives who don’t want to leave us hanging, but didn’t actually read our fifty-two emails. The response from them is usually, “No, not at this time,” because we haven’t been clear about how much our product can actually benefit them.

Try this: Give them key ROIs and case study examples of exactly how you will help them (learning their objectives beforehand will help you determine what’s relevant here). Remember: You are the expert on your product! Share the knowledge.

3.) Find out if the shoe fits (if it’s a good fit for you both).

Tommy Boy

A part of business development involves qualifying prospects. Setting up more qualified meetings tightens the overall sales process and means you aren’t wasting time on deals that are going nowhere.

Do this by getting chummy with your prospects! Get them to open up, and learn how their company is structured, as well as what their key initiatives and goals are. Understanding the inner workings of the organization will help you identify the need (even when it isn’t stated), and at the same time make sure it’s a need you can fulfill.

Think you’ve got it? Give it a try: Ready….Set….“No!”

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