Why I Like the Word No
While waiting to see the premiere of Iron Man and struggling painfully through movie trailers for the Hulk 2 and Don’t Mess with the Zohan, I was inspired to compose this post (don’t ask why). I took out my trusty BlackBerry 8830 and began to write. Not being a natural salesperson, early in my entrepreneurial journey I had a visceral fear of hearing the word no. Like me, I am sure some of you might also take rejection personally. Even if you are a great salesperson my experience still might be of use, so read on.
Rejection was so hard to handle in part because I did not have what I call a “minimum” strategy; simply put, an understanding of what I would like to get, at a minimum, out of each sales interaction. Back then I would simply walk away if a prospect did not immediately bite. A few years wiser now, my minimum strategy includes asking the people I pitch if I can add them to the distribution list for our email newsletter and let me tell you the practice has worked exceptionally well.
For the recipient our newsletter delivers immediately usable customer acquisition techniques and for us each monthly touch strengthens our position as business problem solvers. Remember the rule of 8:16 states that it takes at least 8 contacts over a 16 month period before a prospect becomes a real customer. Our newsletter guarantees 12 touches in 12 months.
I was literally turned down flat by the first 10 companies I approached but within a year of sending our monthly instructive newsletter; we ended up doing business with 8 of these firms in large part because the newsletter kept us top of mind as problem solvers and the publication showcased much of our best work. It did not hurt that many of our prospects saw their competitor’s projects starting to appear in our client showcase listings. Man do I smile now when someone tries to shoo me off.
What is your minimum strategy (click to leave a comment)?