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Building Resilience in Sales: Embracing the No

Building Resilience in Sales Embracing the No - Elevate Corporate Training
Home » Sales » Building Resilience in Sales: Embracing the No

For every sales win, there are plenty of losses. The best salespeople learn to accept that it is simply part of the process.  

It is about building resiliency and learning to embrace the no.  Even when you do not close the sale, there is always something to learn.  Building resilience in the workplace is crucial to success in any profession, but it is essential in sales.  It is one of the most important sales strategies you can employ.

Here are six ways your mindset can affect your sales success and what you can do to increase your odds.

Expect The Yes

People sense weakness.  They can feel hesitation.  They can see a lack of confidence.  If you demonstrate any of these traits, it can translate into a lack of trust.  If you don’t believe the product or service you’re selling will solve the customer’s problem, they’ll know.  Before you can sell someone else, you have to sell yourself.

Be confident and expect the yes. 

After all, if you truly do believe your product is their solution, why wouldn’t they buy?

People pick up on subtle clues in your tone of voice, your body language, and the way you approach things.  It’s that nonverbal behaviour that can send a bigger signal than anything you say.

Embrace The No

You will hear no a lot, especially in the early stages of presenting a product or service.  A big part of resilience at work will come from asking the right question to understand the no so you can overcome a prospect’s objections,

Rarely do sales happen on the first contact.  They more commonly happen after there have been a series of contacts and a series of objections.  The salespeople that learn to move past the rejection and overcome these objections are the most successful.

When you hear the final no, it can be devastating – especially if you expected to hear yes.  When it happens, think of it as an opportunity to learn.  It’s not always easy but taking the time to analyse why you heard no is important. 

  • Did you not qualify the client?
  • Did you not establish trust?
  • Did you push the wrong product?
  • Was your sales presentation lacking?
  • Did you ask for too much?

Learning why you got a no can help you figure out how to close a deal next time.

No matter how much sales training you’ve had, how good you are at sales, or what sales strategies you’ve used, you’re going to hear no a lot in your career.  Remember, though, it’s just a step along the journey. Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban put it this way:  “Every no gets me closer to a yes.”

Remember, It Is Not Failure

Embracing the no means realising you haven’t failed.  You may not have gotten the sale, but you have taken an important step in the journey to yes. 

Michael Jordan is a legendary basketball player and perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time.  “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career,” Jordan said.  “I’ve lost almost 300 games.  26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”

That’s resilience at work.

Jordan understood that it was about being willing to take the shot when you had it and realising you aren’t going to make every basket.  What keeps the great ones going is knowing that putting themselves in the position to win is the only way to truly achieve success.

Know Your Numbers

50 percent of sales happen after the 5th call.  Yet the average sales rep gives up after making just two attempts to reach a prospect.  In fact, 44% give up after just one attempt.

On average, it takes between 7 and 10 touches before a potential buyer becomes a bonafide lead.  It may take more or less in your industry, but knowing this number is important.  Let’s say your number is 10.  Building workplace resilience means training yourself to make those 10 touches. 

Knowing your number can help you push through when others stop short.  Just making those extra attempts, even when you’re hearing no, can set you apart from your competitors.

Here’s one more number to keep in mind:  80 percent of prospects say no at least four times before ever saying yes

Celebrate The Wins

It is important to learn from the times you do not get the sale, but it is just as important that you celebrate the wins when they happen.  It is a great reminder that your hard work has paid off. 

Many successful salespeople surround themselves with symbols of their past success as motivation to keep going.  It helps remind them what it takes, and they have the power to make it happen.

There is science behind this as well.  When we savour the wins, we train ourselves to build resilience and buffer ourselves against the bad.  Even the simple act of smiling can improve our attitude.  We can literally train ourselves to think positively and shut out the negative.

Sales Training Can Help

Sales training can play an important role in embracing the no.  Training can give you new tools to overcome objections and the confidence to use them.  It can help you learn different approaches and understand why prospects buy (or don’t).  Training can also help you remember things you may have forgotten to do along the way.

It can help you sharpen your skills and get you closer to yes.

Building Workplace Resilience

Even for the best sales professionals, there will be times when rejection can get you down.  When that happens, it’s important to recharge and recommit to the fundamentals:

  1. Expect the yes
  2. Embrace the no
  3. Remember, it is not failure
  4. Know your numbers
  5. Celebrate the wins
  6. Sales training can help

Keeping these things in mind will help you with building resilience in the workplace and dealing with no.  Just as importantly, it can help you maintain a positive attitude and move forward.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”


Interested? Get in touch with one of our trainers today to see how we can help you.