From Recruitment Specialist & Sales Development Expert, Alex Cole-Murphy
Don’t miss the 14th tip in our Top 20 Sales Tips for 2020 video series in which we discuss why it’s so critical to celebrate the wins and learn from the losses in sales.
Working in sales, I’m sure we’ve all experienced our fair share of losses. Continuing to succeed day to week to month to year is dependent on having the right attitude, celebrating little victories and learning from our mistakes and lost opportunities.
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As a salesperson, it is imperative that you are able to celebrate your wins and learn from your losses. Working in this field, I’m sure you understand that you will take your fair share of losses day in and day out. Whether that means never getting in touch with that coveted prospect, losing out on a sale (or to the incumbent), or losing a client’s business after so many years together; sales can be an extremely difficult position.
According to the Objective Management Group, one of the top 5 sales competencies that make Elite salespeople so successful is their ability to overcome rejection. They continue asking questions long after other salespeople have given up, allowing them to close opportunities that many have walked away from. On average, it takes between 14-16 attempts to get in initial contact with a prospect but most salespeople give up after just 3. That is a lot of rejection you need to face and overcome before even getting in front of your potential buyer. But, if you simply dedicate yourself to outperforming and out calling your competition, knowing it is a marathon and not a sprint, it will make the job of selling much more rewarding.
I had a prospect that continually told me “no” for a couple of years regarding the use of our pre-hire sales assessment within their organization. Now, they are a great client of ours and use the tool religiously. However, it took multiple contacts, and many, many conversations to help them understand that the pre-hire sales assessment was the right move for their company. It has helped their business immensely throughout the years.
As our Chief Growth Officer, Mark Trinkle, would say “my ability to pursue greatly exceeds your ability to ignore”. I finally won that account because we had the right conversation and solution at the right time, and didn’t let my fear of rejection stop my persistence.
You won’t win them all, and that’s okay. There is a lesson in every loss and it is your job to figure out what it is. Did you identify a “have to fix” vs a “need to fix” problem? Did you discuss time, budget, and capacity for your prospect to make a change? Did you agree to a decision-making process and timeline? Reflecting and learning from losses will better prepare you to succeed in the future. And, if many of those prospects ignore you or turn you down (which will happen), you must be willing to prove that you have what it takes to succeed in sales with a short memory and an even better attitude.
That attitude is partly due to your ability to celebrate the little victories. Some of these victories could include a prospect saying yes to your proposed meeting after 8 months of contacting and conversing with them. Or, it could be something as small as exceeding your daily personal goals for emails sent.
Maybe no one answered, but if you are disciplined enough to follow-up, work your sales process, and learn from your losses, more potential business could be waiting around the corner for you. Just don’t give up!