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Professional selling can be cruel. Prospects are frequently better conditioned than the salespeople who call on them, and consequently they can destroy a salesperson in a phone call or during a chance meeting. On a day-to-day basis, even a good salesperson hears "no" more often than any word. Can you think of a worse profession for people who thrive on acceptance?

The word "no" comes with the territory in sales. So does failure. Unfortunately, traditional sales trainers never say it's okay to fail, or that you should stop when you hear the word "no." But top sales performers know better. They learn from their failures. And if they can't hear a "yes," they'd rather get a "no." They want to avoid anything in between. And that requires them to remain tough mentally and emotionally.

Four things can happen to you in a selling situation.

  1. You get a "yes,"
  2. You get a "no,"
  3. You get a "no" with a lesson,
  4. You get an "I want to think it over.

"A "yes" always feels great. It pumps you up and motivates you to find another prospect. A "no" doesn't feel great, but at least you know where you stand. A "no" with a lesson isn't so bad. You know where you stand, and when you get off the phone, or back to your car, you may be able to turn a negative into something learned.

You want to avoid the "I want to think it over" answer because there's nothing worse in sales. What does it mean? When you go back to your car and begin to critique yourself, what do you say? "What happened in that sales call? Where do I stand? Could I have closed the sale with a little more perseverance? Should I have done this, or that?"

The sad thing is that most salespeople are satisfied to hear an "I want to think it over." It gives them a false sense of security. After all, will a sales manager fire a guy who says he's got 84 proposals on the street? He will eventually, if those proposals don't materialise into sales.

Always go for a "yes" or a "no."Remember the rule "It takes a decision maker to get a decision".

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