First idea: There is not now, there never has been, and there never will be an outstanding salesperson—one who climbs to the top, one who breaks the records and sells more than anyone else—there’s never been a real sales champion who was “normal.” In every single case they are a little bit “warped” in their belief in what they are selling.
It is beyond their wildest imagination to be able to begin to understand how anybody could possibly even remotely entertain the idea of thinking about saying no. Because they feel this strongly about what they sell, by the very force of their convictions, by the depth of their belief, by their enthusiasm, they are able to persuade many people who are not really hot prospects to go ahead and buy.
However, despite all their zeal, enthusiasm, and belief, they inevitably will encounter that stubborn, hardheaded, nonbelieving individual who is still going to say no. When this happens it could create a problem in the mind of the salesperson. His belief in what he sells is so deep, he rationalizes that no prospect would say no if he clearly understood and believed the salesperson’s claims about the product. He therefore rationalizes that the prospect is saying no not to the product – it’s too good – but rather the prospect is saying no to the salesperson. In short, with this attitude the salesperson is going to – if he or she is not careful – feel rejected. Are you absolutely convinced (and a little warped) in the belief that you sell an excellent product or service?
Second Idea: The salesperson who is convinced they have a “no brainer” offering can sometimes confuse rejection of the offer with rejection of the salesperson. The salesperson must clearly understand the difference between business refusal and personal rejection if he’s going to keep his ego intact and be able to effectively sell his product. My son has clearly understood this difference from the time he was about three years old. When he asked for something and I said no, he did not feel rejected. He simply felt his dad has missed the question. He waited two or three minutes and gave me another chance to correct an obvious mistake.
When the prospect says no to you, you should be as nice to him as my son was to me and as your children probably are to you (if you have children). Give him (your prospect) the benefit of the doubt; give him a chance to correct what surely is an obvious mistake. In your mind, when he says no you should definitely feel it is a mistake and proceed from there, giving him a chance to correct that mistake by saying yes.
By understanding the difference between your business refusal and personal rejection, you will not be hesitant to give each prospect another chance to say yes.
Third Idea: You do not have to be a “natural born” salesperson in order to be a good one. As a matter of fact, I’ve traveled almost all over the world and I have seen that women have given birth to boys and I’ve seen that they’ve given birth to girls, but thus far I’ve never seen that a woman has given birth to a salesman. (One exception was my son, Tom. But more on that later.) Now, I’ve seen that salesmen die, so if they’re not born but they do die, then obviously somewhere between birth and death – by choice and by training – they become what they decide to become, namely trained professional salespeople.
When my son was born, I have to confess that I did put in the birth announcement “A salesman was born today.” But truly he has had to train, learn, and practice to grow into that title! Successful salespeople come with different personalities, different strengths, different sales styles and about every distinction you can come up with. It is how they use those strengths, personalities and distinctions that make them successful. With the correct amount of knowledge and experience, anyone can succeed in sales.
Message: Don’t come up with the “loser’s limp” that you are not a “born salesman.” That’s true. But you definitely can be trained to sell.
This article is adapted from Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar. Zig is known as America’s Motivator. He authored 32 books and produced numerous training programs. He will be remembered as a man who lived out his faith daily.