(Eventually) Getting to Yes

The toughest thing for any salesperson, especially the good ones, is overcoming that one nasty call.

All of you who sell for a living know what I’m talking about.

I heard about this happening to a colleague of mine in Toronto. He sells for a communications company based in Montreal. He was after a major account, & like all good sales people, did his homework. He checked into the company’s history & made sure he had all his facts right. He made sure his product would provide excellent value for the potential client. Like the best very sales people, he also took the trouble of getting a referral. (In this blog, & in my upcoming book, when I say “referral” I mean “having an introduction.” That is, when you cold call a potential client, you say something like “Hi, my name is x. John Smith said it would be ok if I gave you a call.” Don’t skip this part–& make sure John Smith is on board.)

So, my friend did all this. He was very prepared. (He always is.)

He took a deep breath & phoned. He introduced himself & said that “Tom Smith” had said it would be ok to call.

The response?

“I’m in a meeting.” And then he hung up.

That was it. No “I’ll call you later,” “You’ve caught me at a bad time,” “Can we try this later,” etc. Just “I’m in a meeting.”

I asked my friend how he dealt with this.

“Well, it wasn’t easy. But every rude no is one step closer to an enthusiastic yes.”

I literally couldn’t agree more. He’s right: those calls are NOT fun. But they are good news in the long run. Why? A) those calls make you savor successes all the more.

B) you’re going to get a “No” every once in awhile. Nothing wrong with that. But every no you get gets you closer to the next yes. Perseverance is the key!

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