Are you Trying to Sell Everybody?

One of the most glaring reasons people fail in the sales profession is their inability to handle rejection. They take it personally, become demoralized, and their “head game” is trashed and out of sorts. So psychologically dealing with the unpleasantness of rejection becomes very important in one’s framework of thinking. Nobody sells everybody. Not even the best of the best.

Nobody is that good. But may I also suggest that there is no salesperson who can miss everybody either. Nobody is that bad, especially when you have a great, high-value product. Somebody could fumble all over themselves and still sell a great product from time to time. You know the blind hog line, right? Even he can find an acorn once in a while.

I don’t know what your conversion rate is, but I hope you know. What percentage of your prospects do you convert to confirmed sales? Get a handle on this and other key numbers, and then never let your guard down. Keeping up with your numbers can have a tremendous impact on your level of sales excellence. Once you know your numbers you can work to increase that percentage from 21 to 30 percent or from 71 to 75 percent. When you know your numbers you focus on them and your subconscious mind goes to work to help you improve them.

One day while conducting a training session, I made the statement that nobody can sell everybody. A man in the back of the room stood up and interrupted me. He said, “I beg to differ with you, Don. I want you to know that I sell everybody I talk to!”

I thought I misunderstood him. So I walked back and I said, “Pardon me. I’m not sure I understood you correctly.” And again he said, “I sell everybody I talk to. I never miss.”

I said, “Obviously you aren’t making enough calls!”

The audience roared. Here was a guy who probably made two calls a month for two months and got lucky four times. Big producers have bigger numbers, and some rejection is always part of their success formula. The fact is, winners know that periodically losing is an integral part of the success process.

It’s easy once in a while to lean back and rely 100 percent on provided leads or established accounts rather than doing any creative prospecting. It’s easy to let our guard down. The numbers game can be a powerful force for personal growth and motivation. The salesperson who doesn’t understand percentages will be utterly discouraged when the door doesn’t open for him or her. But a mature salesperson will realize that when a door doesn’t open, he or she is still better off than before the call because they are statistically that much closer to a yes. For most salespeople aggressive prospecting and new account acquisition is a key part of the mix for success, so keep filling your “pipeline” with new prospects.

Rejection, and your response to it is very much a part of sales success. Without it, you will never get to the yeses. With it, your process will work. Rejection is simply a valuable form of feedback. As Ken Blanchard says “Feedback is the breakfast of champions!”


Read more in Don Hutson’s new book Selling Value: Key Principles of Value-Based Selling. Grab your copy today:



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