Tag Archives: Sales

Don’t Fear “No”

Hearing “no” is one of the worst experiences a human can have. No matter what it’s about or how many times you’ve heard it, there is something about being told that word that will always suck. Personally, and I don’t think I’m alone, I have a real problem not taking it personally.

While a “no” will sting for a while when you first hear it, the real problem is the lasting effect that a string of negative responses can have on your self-confidence. If it has been too long since you heard a “yes”, you can really start doubting your product. Even worse, is that when you do take it personally and have some huge doubts about yourself.

It is important to get past that, though. There are a million and one cliché quotes about how every no is just another brick on the road to a yes, and what ever else. While they induce eye-rolls and likely just made up by sales managers to try and motivate their employees, there is some truth to them. I try to take a more rational approach, though.

What I have to keep reminding myself is that to expect 100% interest and appreciation for everything you do and offer is insane. Like actual insanity. There will always be someone who uses Bing to search the internet and the Coke vs. Pepsi battle will never end. In the end, everyone is different.

There is some silver lining to be found in every “no” of course. I try to focus on the fact that it is increasing brand awareness, as well as learning who not to waste effort marketing to. Not only that, but you can key into what aspects they liked and what were the sticking points and make a better product or presentation the next time you go out there selling. The important part often is not getting a “yes”, but rather taking the “no”, learning something and living to fight another day.

The last thing is nothing bothers you forever. While it may seem like a big deal, you move on and forget. More importantly the person who rejected you will forget much quicker and likely won’t think any less of you as a person. Putting yourself out there isn’t for everyone, but getting that “yes” definitely makes it all worth it. You may just have to work to get there.

Everyone Should Be a Salesperson

A little while ago I was speaking with a friend of mine. She works in a small business and loves her job, she’s just worried that there is not enough work coming into keep the entire staff on for much longer. This is obviously an issue for everyone.

Speaking with my friend, I tried to learn more about her situation (is this a new issue, how much longer do you think you have, do you think you would be first to go, etc.), when I finally hit the nail on the head: Have you not been able to help out with new business?

When I asked this, I was met with a funny look. I repeated myself and got a simple response of, “I’m not a salesperson.” Bingo. While this may be true in title, if you work for a company and it’s in trouble, maybe it’s time for everyone to start thinking in more of a “sales” lens. After all, everyone’s in it together.

I can admit that my bias is coming into play, because I default to a salesy demeanour when i don’t know what else to do. It a bit of a natural state for me, and I can appreciate that’s not the same for everyone. To some extent, though, you have to get past that if you believe in your work and want to keep it going.

The frustrating thing in this situation is that my friend has all of the skills necessary! She’s personable, genuine, willing to approach people and networks like crazy. By the end of the conversation I was almost tearing my hair out in frustration. I think she noticed, because by the end of our talk she agreed that she could probably be trying a bit. Maybe it was just to shut me up.

Making sure your sales hat is always on is exponentially more important for entrepreneurs. History is littered with stories of superior products that didn’t get off the ground because there wasn’t a good sales push. Similarly, inferior men and women who happen to be good salespeople achieve levels of success far beyond what they “should” on paper.

To put it another way, if you own the company and aren’t pumping up the product, how can you expect someone else to? I try to remember this every time that I talk to someone about my day job or side business. If I can’t show my passion, why should they have any?