Sales Rejection: What To Do When A Prospective Client Says No

Sales Rejection: What To Do When A Prospective Client Says No

Sales Rejection: What To Do When A Prospective Client Says No

There is one word that strikes fear into many of us, including business owners. Although we are acutely aware that it is the bloodline of any business and a key success metric, it is one of those things many business owners dread, especially when one is just starting out.


But why do we fear it? It is unlikely that prospective clients will actually threaten or cause us any physical harm! Rather, it is because we get carried away by the fear of what might happen if we contact a prospective client, propose a high-cost solution, and then get rejected.

So is there a way to deal with this rejection and get over the fear of selling? The answer is yes and it all comes down to understanding what a customer really means when they say no.

Receiving a “no” can be a good thing

The key is to change your perception on sales rejection. When a customer says no, often it is because they don’t yet understand how your product or service can help solve their problem. This is your opportunity to show how you can help and do it better than anyone else. In other words, receiving a no is your opportunity to shine.

Stay engaged in the conversation

The average business owner will mentally and emotionally give up on making the sale once they hear the first no in a sales conversation. They become disheartened; it shows in their eyes and their body language. They tend to avoid eye contact with their prospect and mumble their goodbyes.

The thing is, the word no in a sales situation can actually mean several things, and there is no way to understand what the buyer really means unless you stay engaged in the sales process and ask more questions.

Translate “no” into a request for more information

Focus on translating a buyer’s no into “I don’t have enough information yet to make a decision”. And in order to provide them with that information and keep the conversation going, you need to be prepared with some turnaround statements.

For example, you may say: “I understand how you feel, Ashleigh. Perhaps I wasn’t clear about …” Empathise with them, and take accountability for the fact that they may be concerned. Then relay back information about your products or services that overcomes these challenges.

Clarify their concerns

Clarifying a prospective client’s concern is a good strategy to get more information. For example you may say: “Obviously, you have a reason for saying that, Ashleigh. Would you mind sharing it with me?”

Find out if there is another objection behind the objection. This helps you pinpoint the root issue and be better able to address any concerns and keep the sales process on track and moving forward.

In order to overcome your fear of rejection, remember the word no is not a stop sign. It’s more often a fork in the road. By asking the right questions to uncover why they said no, you can determine which path to take from that point forward. As a business owner every interaction you make to some degree is about selling. Think of it as a process of discovering people’s needs and then offering them a good solution. Because regardless of the business you’re in, what you ultimately do day to day is help people.


Ashleigh Hoult is the cold calling queen, a professional speaker and sales strategist. She is the Founder and Director of Melbourne-based sales and marketing firm The PromoDonna. The business creates high quality B2B sales leads and meetings through cold calling and prequalification for their clients. Ashleigh has a passion for training both individuals and organisations, showing them just how to optimise their success during their business development and selling time. Follow on Facebook or Twitter.


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