Salespeople face, and conquer, fear of rejection daily. In fact, successful salespeople wake up in the morning subconsciously aware that to be proactive about driving business means that they need to be willing to be a happy loser. They will face rejection and start all over again, and they will be happy while doing it. Though this fear is commonplace in a professional environment, there aren’t very many professions in the world where folks, as a rule, volunteer to wake up every day just to be rejected again and again.

Most of the rejection that salespeople face occurs when they put their courage on the line and make a prospecting call to request an appointment. They do their best to make the call, but there are 5 massive mistakes people make when they make that call. When a salesperson makes a cold call, and they face an objection from the client, the amygdala—their brain’s fear center—engages and causes a whole host of problems for them. The 5 mistakes they often make to create a sense of comfort for themselves (but not the client) are:

  1. Talking too much.
  2. Talking about themselves.
  3. Talking about their product.
  4. Talking too fast.
  5. Not asking clearly for what they want.

These reactions to fear contribute to not getting the appointment. When the amygdala is engaged and there is no objection protocol in place to deal with whatever the client is giving you, the results will often be disappointing. You must create a list of objections that you typically receive from your client or prospect when making calls, and develop a protocol to embrace each one of them.

Without a protocol for each objection, salespeople often end up feeling dejected and spiral downwards. Let’s say that the objection was:

“I don’t have time for an appointment.”

When customers or prospects respond with this, they do not literally mean that they don’t have time. They were thinking, the last three salespeople that sat in front of me talked nonstop; they showed up and wasted my time. Usually, the prospects are too polite to ask the salesperson to leave. Instead, they think, shut the bleep up; get the bleep out of my office. They have no option but to endure the pain until the salesperson leaves. And then when another salesperson calls it is their instinct for self-preservation that causes them to say, “I have no time!” and another salesperson is stopped in their tracks.

Alternatively, when you learn to embrace that objection—not just handle or manage it—you won’t feel dejected; because you will have succeeded, in the sense that you did engage with the prospect.  An example of embracing “I don’t have time” is to simply say:

“I wasn’t meaning this week or even the next; what does the last Friday of the month look like to you…And by the way, I wouldn’t want to see me either if I wasn’t sure that there was going to be value in the appointment.”

If the client still says, “No, I really don’t have time; I don’t want to see you,” then you up the ante. Increase your game by saying:

“I meant it when I said I wouldn’t even ask for the appointment if I wasn’t sure I would bring value, whether we work together or not. In fact, if we meet and you don’t get at least three good ideas, I promise to give you a cheque for $50 for your favorite charity.”

When you speak with that level of commitment and confidence, you have up-leveled yourself to a sales leadership role equal to that of the client leadership position. Perceiving and treating the client or prospect as an authority figure, someone who you need to appease, keeps you in a one-down childlike role. This is the opposite of what your prospects and clients want in a supplier. This low-status attitude and behavior are clearly communicated in everything we say and do. Which would you rather deal with—a high status or a low-status person?

When you have a protocol for handling objections you are more likely to gain the appointment. If you don’t have a protocol for each objection, you will inevitably be rejected; almost all prospects say ‘no’ to you at least once. You can learn more about this in my book Say NO to Me! The True Power of Upside Down Selling. Unless you are willing to feel rejected, you won’t pick up the phone next week or the week after that, and you won’t be as successful as your counterparts, who do pick up the phone, make the call, and are willing to face their fear and possible rejection.

This article is an excerpt from my upcoming publication:

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Sara Haynes, P. Eng.
Sigma Solutions

“I took advantage of Alice Wheaton’s offer for a free 30-minute consultation…but we chatted for almost an hour, during which I had several epiphanies that have inspired and motivated me to move forward. These were ideas that I could immediately start working on to help me get new clients and increase recurring revenues. This is what I call Value on Steroids!”

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