Cold calling isn’t easy, and it isn’t fun. However, it remains an essential part of the sales profession that hundreds of thousands of sales professionals participate in daily. The Boston Consulting Group found that 65% of people preferred to contact a business by a phone call, versus 24% who preferred to fill out a web form (2017). In addition, 64% of customer interactions were by phone in 2017 (Deloitte Global Contact Center Survey).
Perhaps the hardest part of cold calling is facing rejection, but it is an aspect of cold calling that the successful rep will learn to adapt to, rather than fear. Because even the best performers get rejected. Perseverance over the phone is an important skill for sales reps to learn, so here are three tips to better handle rejection over the phone:
1 – Prepare for Rejection Over the Phone
As a sales representative, you must learn to expect rejection. The better prepared for it you are, the better you will be able to handle it and move forward with your day. It should be no surprise to hear “no” every day. So be ready and understand that rejection is just part of the profession and that it is not personal. This involves keeping an emotional distance and establishing your own routine when making calls. To be best prepared, make sure to prepare alternatives to objections and good responses to rejection.
“You have to remember that they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting the product.” ― Dan Dougherty, SDR at Gryphon Networks
2 – How to Handle Rejection When It Hits
When faced with adversity, understand that it will take getting rejected a certain number of times before you reach success. Estimate how many rejections will be coming your way, and consider it part of the process, nothing more. Talk to your manager or your teammates about what went wrong. Chances are they can relate and may have suggestions for moving forward. Overall, it is important that you remain professional and remember that you are not alone in this process.
Stay focused on your goal – to set appointments and close deals – and focus on executing this goal successfully, rather than someone’s response to you over the phone.
“I try not to let it affect me at all, because I know it will just have a negative impact on all my other calls. I try to forget about it quickly, but learn from anything that I can, and then move on!” ― Brian Reske, SDR at Gryphon Networks
3 – Use Rejection to Your Advantage
Rejection over the phone can teach you how to improve in the future. Consider the reasons why you were rejected. Maybe it means improving your script, asking better follow-up questions, or calling different people at a company. Either way, perseverance is key. Keep picking up the phone and making calls and you will surely learn and improve as time goes on. Additionally, remember that a “no” may not mean no forever, so even when faced with rejection continue to build the relationship. Don’t reject your prospect in return. Instead, keep the conversation going, ask why they said no, thank them for their time, and end the conversation on a positive note.
“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” ― Dale Carnegie The Road to Success
The Road to Success
The most important thing to remember is that rejection is a normal part of the process. In the US, 34% of salespeople say closing deals is becoming more difficult. Sometimes, it may seem that finding that winning call feels like looking for a needle in a haystack, but in the end, every rejection only means you are getting closer to finding success.