Discouragement is just a fact of life. Everyone suffers from bouts of discouragement from time to time, even salespeople.
Salespeople are particularly prone to discouragement, considering the number of times they are confronted with the dreaded word “NO!” each day. Do you realize that 84% of the people who say yes to a sales transaction said no before they eventually said yes! Add that to the people who say no and never say yes and you’re borderline depressed. Salespeople who don’t know how, or don’t do a good job dealing with discouragement, aren’t salespeople very long.
The two main causes of discouragement for salespeople are rejection by the prospect before they even know the value of your offering and rejection at the end of the sales process, after you felt for sure the sale was going to close. Understanding the nature of both situations can reduce the chances of becoming discouraged. Let’s deal with the “NO!” at the beginning of the sales process, the one where they say no before they even understand what you are offering. First of all, some people are just going to say no and there is nothing you can do about it. Just accept it, plan for it and don’t internalize it. Many times, that initial no means “I don’t have time right now”, or “I’ve got something very important on my mind and I can’t be distracted.” Frequently it means, “I’ve already made up my mind and it won’t work for me.” A very good approach to dealing with the preliminary no is to prevent it from being said by asking a couple of provocative questions at the very beginning. A provocative question causes one to ponder deeply in response to your question. Once you have their attention, you have bought yourself a few more moments to discover a need to wrap your product or service around.
The second “NO!” salespeople face is at the end of their sales process. The common reasons for this no are centered on your knowledge of the four qualifiers of the sale. 1) Are you dealing with the decision maker? 2) Do they have the budget and ability to pay? 3) Do you understand the time frames associated with their need? and 4) Do you understand their true motivation or need for buying and have you presented the perfect solution? Also, remember, people don’t buy if they have objections or concerns that remain unresolved. Be bold and ask them to reveal their concerns and then seek to resolve them. When presenting your product or service as a solution to the prospects problem or need, make sure you discuss in very specific terms how it will solve their situation. Be specific in your discussion; don’t ever assume they will connect the dots. No person closes every sale, don’t let it bother you, that's just the way it is.
When you learn how to change your thinking, you can change your attitude. Your attitude is what triggers feelings of discouragement. When you have given your best effort in dealing with “NO!”, move on and get excited about your next sale. Think in terms of what your time as a salesperson is worth. Take your last commission check and divide the dollar amount by the number of hours you actually spent working on sales. For the average salesperson, it is about four hours per day. I was working with a salesperson last week that was really discouraged. He was practically paralyzed he was so discouraged. We figured his hourly earnings and that snapped him out of his funk. He was making over a hundred dollars per hour. Within just a few minutes he was up and out the door calling on more prospects and meeting with his happy, satisfied customers. There could be a thousand reasons to be discouraged as a salesperson, but all you need is one reason to be encouraged. You can surely find just one. Be proactive in your sales activities to reduce the number of “NO’s!” you’ll hear. Take time to adjust your attitude, get excited about your hourly income, and finally, remind yourself often of just one reason you love your career in sales.