It doesn't matter what industry you're in or what product you sell. Sometimes you're going to hear the word "no." In fact, you're probably going to hear "no" a lot more than you hear "yes."
But as long as that's the reality, why not use it to your advantage? Find out how to get more customers by setting a rejection goal.
Why You Need a Rejection Goal
Rejection is unpleasant, even painful, for most people. But when it comes to sales, Mike Simmons, cofounder of Catalyst Sale LLC (@catalystsale), says it happens every day.
"You can face the fear of rejection, or you can allow it to consume you," he says. "Either way, it will be there."
While he usually prefers focusing on positive goals, he says a rejection goal may help you deal with it. (Related reading: "How 4 Small-Business Owners Got Over the Fears of Selling.")
One technique Simmons used to change his mindset? He wrote down every possible reason a prospect might have for saying no.
"Did the prospect get into a car accident this morning? Was the milk stale when they poured a bowl of cereal? Did their dog pee in the house?" he asks.
He says seeing them together makes you realize that many factors are beyond your control. And once you understand that your prospect's response is out of your hands, Simmons says it's easier to operate with confidence.
Another benefit of a rejection goal? According to Blair Critch (@sparklyblair), entrepreneur and top producer for Le-Vel, they keep you "hustling and grinding." For an example, she asks you to imagine setting a goal of two sales a week. On Monday, you hit your goal. What do you do?
"At that point, the average person would stop to celebrate and not work as hard for the rest of the week," says Critch.
But you might keep going if you need to get 50 rejections, too. And because you're still reaching out, your sales pipeline remains full. For more tips on maintaining a full pipeline, read "Keep Your Sales Pipeline Full with These 3 Proven Networking Strategies."
How to Set a Rejection Goal
Simmons recommends basing your rejection goal on your historic performance. Say, for example, you create an opportunity with 10 percent of your prospects, and you plan to meet 100 prospects a week. Your rejection goal may be 90 percent to start. Once you get the first nine rejections, Simmons says "the likelihood of a positive outcome is increased with the next call you make."
He also says that it's important to evaluate your goals on a regular basis. For instance, he notes you may want to reset your rejection goal, lowering it as you break through performance gates.
You can pick up sales strategies just about anywhere. Check out "The Sales Strategy You Can Learn from Your Dog" to see what we mean.
About the Contributors
Blair Critch lives and works in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she raises her two tween sons with her husband Ryan, who owns/runs a real estate company. A self-taught entrepreneur, she is a Million Dollar producer with Le-Vel's Thrive solution.
With more than 20 years of operations, consulting, sales, and sales leadership experience, 15 in the EdTech space, Mike Simmons is an experienced sales leader. He specializes in SaaS, subscription markets, and high growth emerging technologies. A creative, analytical, and driven lifelong learner, Simmons is also a cofounder of Catalyst Sale LLC, based at Arizona State University's SkySong Innovation Center (@SkySong_Scotts) in Scottsdale, Arizona.