What if there was a way to turn 100% of prospect meetings into raving successes? What if you no longer dreaded them, but looked forward to them every time?
Imagine you are standing in front of your next perfect client. You have spent weeks preparing to get in front of them. You have put your heart and soul into this pitch. You know this customer better than they know themselves. You have even mentally prepared yourself by visioning this experience in your mind.
You give the best pitch of your life and you are waiting for the mental applause that you expect to come next. After a moment of silence, the prospect opens their mouth and a single word delivers the biggest gut-punch to your ego. Your dream client says “No.” The next step is the most important one to take, but the hardest to master. You need to understand why the customer said no. Beginner entrepreneurs and salespeople say, “thank you for your time” and then leave. This is your biggest learning opportunity left untapped.
Most people consider the word “No” to be a negative one. Entrepreneurs and salespeople starting out feel like their customers are rejecting them, not their offer. They blur the lines of the thing they sell and who they are. I fell victim to this in my sales career. Every time I heard anything less than an emphatic yes, I automatically considered it was my performance or my ability that was being questioned.
The reality is that they are saying no to themselves, not you. This simple mind trick takes away the pain while also refocusing you on the next step, which is unearthing the limiting belief or internal challenge of your prospect. Let me take you through the example above with this lens.
You know your customer well. You deliver the same pitch and they say no. Rather than taking it personally, you say, “I can appreciate and respect that, but do you mind if I ask a few questions to understand a bit more about why?” In most cases, the customer knows you have spent a lot of time researching their issue due to the depth of your presentation.
“You can achieve virtually anything you want–if you’re willing to hear ‘no’ often enough,” – Andrea Waltz
Now is the fun part, no pressure. They are not a client or prospect, but simply a willing research participant. So get curious and ask the next few questions:
1. You had stated that your goals are to achieve x,y,z, can you elaborate on that?
The goal here is to unearth their ultimate motivation. You may have focused on one goal that suited you, but leaving this open-ended will unearth some hidden motivations and gold.
Don’t use this as a weapon against them or it backfires. Simply listen and then organically ask further questions. Be sure to read the room. The last thing you want is to trap an unwilling participant in an interrogation room while you suck the life out of them. Be sure to be curious and open. See all their challenges, not just the selective ones your company solves.
2. What priorities are competition with this project?
This can largely be the killer for corporate clients. There is always a tug of war between resources vs focus. If they don’t have the people, time, or money, you want to understand that. It will be invaluable once you begin to see trends from your customers.
3. What elements of the proposal resonated and which were a challenge for you?
Be sure to make this about them helping you rather than trying to re-sell them. Always ask why each piece did or didn’t hit the mark. This is where the gold is.
4. Could I get your advice? Based on what you saw/heard, do you have any suggestions for how I could improve the offering/pitch?
The key here is to shift into treating them like an advisor or friend. Using the word “advice” is a trigger word. This makes them feel valued and knowledgeable while also making them your advocate. If you can get them to guide you then they will be invested in your success in the future.
“Success Comes from listening to your customer.” – Richard Branson
5. Are there any specific folks that you think would get value from what we do or could help me refine our offering?
This is a question that gets omitted too often. People are afraid to ask it because it seems like the old question of asking for referrals. I challenge you to find the wording that works best for you. People will rack their brains to find someone that they think you should connect with and then you have a warm way to connect with that person. Be sure to make it a no-pressure situation and only at the end of the conversation.
After the meeting, be sure to follow up with a note thanking them for the meeting and their candid perspective. This is a relationship builder that is refreshing for folks who spend their days being pitched. Some of the best companies that did this with me are some of my biggest service providers.
It is easy to stand out when the majority of your market is automated and robotic. Being a good human can go a long way and bring in more of your ideal customers.
What do you do when you hear ‘no’ from your customers? Do you have any strategies or techniques to change their mind? Share your advice with us below!
6 Reasons Why More Women Are Turning To Entrepreneurship
There are a lot of challenges that women are facing in the modern world. And it gets doubled when they try to break through the glass ceiling of male-centric stereotypes in the workplace. But you should know that you can’t achieve greatness with a small mind, and getting into an entrepreneurship journey is extremely rewarding. (more…)
5 Major Challenges Female Entrepreneurs Face in Business Today
The business world is mostly dominated by men. But over the years, we’ve seen countless women entrepreneurs rise above expectations and defy norms. The number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 114% within the last twenty years, of which 70% were started by women of color. The reality is that women are playing an important role in driving global economic growth. However, despite women’s massive success, they still face challenges today that most of their male counterparts don’t. (more…)
To All Entrepreneurs, Stop Being One-Sided
When starting out, it is an uphill battle for many entrepreneurs to find their voice in their industry and get their business out there. Just like you may have experienced when job hunting back in the day, employers wanted you to have a certain number of years experience in the industry, but no-one actually wanted to give you that experience. A catch-22 that can feel totally unfair if you know your own capabilities and just want the chance to prove yourself. (more…)
The Mindset That Keeps Successful Entrepreneurs Sane on Social Media
Social media may have been around for the better part of two decades, but society is still learning the effects such technology has on our mental health. For emerging entrepreneurs, social media is a double-edged sword. Now more than ever before, we can start conversations and share our wins and successes, but we can also waste time chasing meaningless attention. At worst, we can suffer feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. (more…)
How to Turn Inward and Detox Your Mind
4 Important Success Lessons You Can Learn From Avengers: Endgame
Here’s How You Can Succeed at Any Stage in Life
3 Ways Elite Leaders Optimize Their Mindset and Develop Sustainable Success
10 Traits an Inspired Leader Must Have
55 Inspirational Quotes That Will Change Your Life
(Images) 52 Motivational Picture Quotes For An Epic Year Of Success
30 Famous Quotes That Will Inspire Success In You
40 Rare Motivational and Inspirational Picture Quotes
72 Positive Thinking Quotes For More Inner Strength & Growth
3 Prince EA Videos To Change Humanities Path To Greatness
(Video) What Is Success? An Entrepreneurial Story To Inspire You
(Inspirational Video) What If Today You Knew You Were Going To Take Your Last Breath?
How To Make Enough Money From A Blog To Quit Your Job – Kate McKibbin
How Finding Your Passion And Becoming An Entrepreneur Can Lead To Happiness – Chiquita Searle
- Success Advice2 weeks ago
3 Things You Should Tell Yourself Everyday If You’re Serious About Success
- Life4 weeks ago
How to Get Out of a Funk and Live a Purpose Driven Life
- Success Advice3 weeks ago
3 Mindset Tactics You Can Borrow From Extreme Sports Athletes
- Life4 weeks ago
The New Realities of Living Your Best Life
- Life4 weeks ago
The Art of Saying No
- Success Advice3 weeks ago
Overcoming the Fixed Mindset Mentality
- Life2 weeks ago
5 New Habits to Help You Cultivate a Growth Mindset
- Life2 weeks ago
A Cleansing: The Mind Wash You Didn’t Know You Needed