“What do you do when someone says no I’m not interested or I haven’t made up my mind yet?”
Selling Your Services by Robert W. Bly, page 123
At the risk of repeating myself and sounding like a broken record, today’s quote demands that I remind you of the following percentages:
50% of sales people quit after the first contact.
25% of sales people quit after the second contact.
The majority of sales occur after a salesman contacts a prospect a number of times. If you’re looking for a concrete number, I will say after six times. This may approach 10 or 12 in certain instances.
The fact is that you’re going to hear the word “no” and you’re going to hear the words “I’m not interested” more then you would like. I wish I could change this, but I can’t. Join the realities of the professional selling.
So what are you doing next? Quit? Complain? Whine? Tell yourself how unfair life is? Or do you recognize that this is a very real element of professionals salesmanship and immediately switch gears to Plan B.
I am betting that most seasoned travel professionals have a pretty good idea of what I’m about to suggest next. (The fact that you’re reading this column in the first place positions you head and shoulders above your competition, and you’re proving to me that you are a true student of the game.)
There are number of things you can do that fall under Plan B. In the interest of time, I will share my favorite: Upon initial rejection, I like to reinforce the idea that the decision did not affect me in the least. In fact, I remind my contact that things can go wrong, and in the event that they find themselves in an uncomfortable position, I will be ready and prepared to “do my thing” at a moments notice. In other words, I tell them that I will be “warming up in the bullpen” if and when they need relief.
This maneuver accomplishes a couple of things.
1. It positions me as a “big boy” and not a whining, negative, boring slug.
2. It keeps me in mind for future consideration now that they know I’m not upset with their choice.
3. It positions me as the go-to source if and when the unexpected should occur.
The truth of the matter is that if this was your only current opportunity, the decision would sting a little bit more. But if this was just one of 10 opportunities that you were cultivating at the time, you toss Plan B at the prospect and move on to opportunities two through ten. Obviously, this is the best scenario. So my advice to you is to start putting more opportunities into your hopper.
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