A Thing
The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 28, 2012 • Issue 12:05:02


Be grateful for no

Editor's Note:

I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.
- Billy Joel

For ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs), rejection is a given. When prospecting for merchants, sales agents hear no much more than they hear yes. Being turned down time and time again can get tiresome. However, successful MLSs realize that no is the pathway to success.

Examining rejection

Prosperous agents deal with rejection by learning from it. They analyze why a particular merchant said no. Was there something in the introduction the merchant found objectionable? Was the pitch not sufficiently tailored to the merchant? Or was it that the product offering did not match the merchant's needs? Based on whatever the probable cause might be, agents can make changes to presentations or keep in mind that a certain tack with a subsection of merchants may be problematic.

For sales newbies, that kind of analysis may be hard to come by, simply because new agents lack experience. This is where office communication comes in. New agents should be encouraged to talk to more experienced colleagues about why a particular sales call did or didn't go well. Or ISOs can schedule monthly sessions for their MLSs to discuss what works and what doesn't in sales calls.

Helping the newcomers

Such meetings need not dwell on the negative or single out individual wins and losses. Meeting organizers can put forward certain scenarios and ask agents to role play successful approaches. Or organizers can describe a potential obstacle in a sales situation and elicit opinions about how to deal with it.

Such sessions not only reinforce what works in specific situations, but also the idea that rejection presents an opportunity. It offers a chance to improve sales skills and product knowledge, as well as a chance to analyze whether a given agent is targeting the right kind of merchant. If a rep is rejected because the fit between merchant needs and agent offerings isn't good, the rep is one step closer to finding a merchant who is a better fit.

Taking rejection in stride

Perhaps the most important way to deal with rejection is to recognize that we cannot live without it. Be honest. Who really wants to hear yes all the time? Certainly in the abstract, we want everyone to like us and do business with us. We dream of a free and easy life, with no trials and tribulations along the way to an endless stream of residual income. But, in reality, wouldn't it seem odd if every merchant prospect you approached said yes to your proposal? In fact, wouldn't such a scenario get boring after awhile?

The truth is there would be no challenge if every merchant said yes. There would be no growth in your sales technique because you would have no reason to grow. There would be no marker by which to measure your progress because there would be no progress to make. And there would be no satisfaction in a job well done.

Face it, rejection is as essential to success as hot water is to cold. So embrace it as an indispensable part of your job. When the next merchant says no to you, remember that this is something you can't avoid. And you really wouldn't want it any other way. end of article

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