You had a great presentation. All of the decision makers were present. It has come to an end and the decision is about to be made. Unfortunately, the decision is ‘no.’ Now what?
Frustration, disappointment, desperation, hurt and even anger may be some of the emotions that may be crossing your mind at this point. If any of those are true, I am going to let you in on a little secret; they can see it. Your body language, tone, and even words will clearly show how you feel. If you let them know how you feel, you have lost. The reason it one of the truisms of business: “Those that show emotion first, loses.”
Let’s continue with this scenario. You pick up all of your materials, put them in the car and while returning to your office, you play the whole presentation over again in your head. You get to your office and are greeted by your manager who asks: “How did it go?” When you tell them the outcome, he asks: “What happened?” To which you answer: “I have no idea. I did everything we talked about and I thought for sure it was going to happen.” By the way, this is just an excuse.
The challenge is that you have no idea what went wrong and there is no way your manager can tell you what went wrong. If you are working with a coach, they can’t tell you what you may have done wrong. There were only two groups in the meeting; yours and theirs. Those are the only two groups that can comment on the outcome. Therefore, the only person that can give you the reason for the ‘no’ is the prospect.
Would this not be a great time to ask them: “May I ask you a question?” Remember, always ask for permission. We have gone through as to why in previous blogs. When they say: “Sure.” Your response can be: “Could you help me understand why the answer is no so that I may learn from this?” People want to help and will tell you and you may able to adjust for next time, or for another run at it right away. In the majority of circumstances, it is either a question that has not been answered or, they do not see the value based on the price you are charging.
You could also be a little more confident by stating right after the ‘no’: “To which part?” Even: “Sorry, is there a question that you had that I did not answer during the presentation?” These allow you to stay in the game and in control.
However, it takes a shift in your attitude. It requires an ‘I can’ instead of ‘oh well. I gave it a shot. I am okay with a ‘no’ as I am quite aware that I can’t hit a home run every time. Therefore, getting angry, frustrated, disappointed, desperate or hurt, serves no purpose.’ You may want to fool yourself, but that statement will show disappointment right away.
This scenario is where you find the magnitude of your resilience. This is your inner strength and what drives you. Are you just going to lay down, or are you willing to stay in it for the long haul? You still may not get a yes, but the very least that you MUST get is a why? Without the why you will always remain a salesperson instead of sales professional.
There is no doubt that we as humans are always capable of improvement, regardless of how long we have been in our chosen field.