Whatever side of the election you were on, I think you might agree that the losing party didn’t exactly depart with grace. Recent articles pointing this out have inspired me to reflect on how I teach my clients to lose with grace when they’re selling. Here are a few tips.
8 out of 10 Lose a Sale
Hubspot research points out that the average sales close rate for all industries is a mere 19%!! That means that out of every 10 people who ask you ‘how much is it to work with you?’, 8 end up rejecting you. How is a person supposed to deal with so much loss?
Do It Fast
The first thing I teach clients is to make sure that they clarify that it’s a ‘no’ to the sale, as early as possible. Provided that they are talking to the right person, offering the right solution at the right time, then it should be fairly easy to understand if what you’re getting is NOT a yes. As I always say, if it’s not a YES, anything else is a no. Doing it fast allows you to save precious time, energy and resources.
Make Them Feel Good
One of the things I used to get wrong when I got a ‘no’ from a prospect used to be to try to push and convince people into a ‘yes’. It went nowhere and caused all future doors to close on a possible sale. Now, I’ve learned that you need to empathize (whether you agree or not) with the prospect about the situation that’s preventing them from buying. This will allow you to both feel better and make you look like a pro.
Leave Door Open
Part of making them feel good is setting the stage for the next interaction. If it’s a ‘not yet’ or ‘I have to think about it’, ask them to commit to the next call date. Even if it’s a loose date, put it in your calendar and better yet, actually call them back to follow up. Secondly, when the prospect rejects you, ask ‘who else do you know of who might need someone like me?’. Asking for referrals from someone who was considering working with you might be a great thing that leads to new clients.
Follow Up Gently
A staggering number of sales meetings don’t get followed up. Conversely the prospect often needs unto 12 touches to actually be ready to buy. If that’s the case and you’re hearing a ‘no, thank you’ now, then make them a part of your eco-system. Put them on your newsletter, connect with them on social media, email and direct message them to invite to new projects and launches, keep sending them valuable articles and information relevant to their pain. All these things are gentle ways to follow up.
If you fail with grace, you will be remembered…in a good way. And a graceful failure only opens the door to future success.