Sales is like acting: You may have something great to offer, but no matter how hard you try, some people just aren't going to like it. Just as actors don't nail every audition, a salesperson won't close every deal or chase down every lead. Dealing with this kind of rejection day after day can really wear your sales team down — if they don't have the right mindset.
"One of the most crucial skills you can help your sales team develop is the ability to effectively manage adversity and overcome rejection through the power of positive thinking," said Larry Caretsky, president of customer relationship management software provider Commence. "With rare exceptions, a salesperson faces more losses than wins. As a sales team leader, you'll need to find a way to keep your group motivated and focused on overcoming the many obstacles they'll face in the course of cold calling and pitching proposals."
Inspiring optimism in your sales team isn't always easy, but you can do it with the right techniques. Caretsky shared three tips for helping your team take the "glass half full" approach to its work. [Customer Loyalty: 5 Tips for Sales Reps]
Retrain worn-down employees. Constant rejection when making a few dozen calls a day can take its toll on even the most optimistic person. The first sign that sales representatives are struggling comes when they claim that the product is too expensive or does not provide the functionality customers are looking for. Those salespeople then expect rejection from every additional call. This may mean they require more training on what differentiates the product from the competition. If this is the case, it's best to get those representatives off the phones and into a training session, where you can fine-tune their approaches and rebuild confidence.
Meet one-on-one with your sales staff. It's important that your sales team recognizes the direct connection between their attitudes and their results. As a leader, you can help by assessing individual performance and talking through how each person's perceptions affect his or her results. Different techniques will appeal to different individuals, so it's best to take a personalized approach.
- Encourage team members to share success stories. Gather the team and have all salespeople share stories about how they overcame obstacles and reversed setbacks. By learning how other team members succeeded after initial adversity, sales professionals can learn to be more optimistic in their own thoughts. You can also review one of the most impressive wins your team had for the quarter and outline what enabled that sales representative to win the deal. This is a great way to build confidence in the company's product and service, and do some team building at the same time.
"We're not 100 percent in control of our circumstances, but we can control the attitude with which we confront them," Caretsky told Business News Daily. "A prospect can tell in just a few minutes if you are confident and passionate about what you are selling and if you are prepared. Your confidence often breeds confidence in the prospect, which more often than not leads to winning the sale. By choosing to see the glass as half full, we can position ourselves for greater success."
Originally published on Business News Daily.