In the past years working as a Business Development Representative (BDR), I’ve probably heard the word “no” a million times. An easy word to say, but a difficult one to hear, right? Rejection, be it in a professional setting or a personal one, is never easy to face and accept. However, through the years and through the many, many nos, I’ve learned to adapt my approach with prospects. The present blog will introduce some tips and tricks to avoid the pitfalls of simply accepting the nos, in order to achieve more success in your sales practice.
Dig Deeper: No, But Why?
Have you ever asked someone for something they rejected right away, but they couldn’t find a valid reason to justify that reaction? This type of situation happens all the time in sales. As a BDR, my job is simple: rather than taking no for an answer, I need to know where that no comes from, and turn it into a yes. Digging for the “why” is a necessary step if you want to understand your prospect’s decision better and be able to adapt your approach.
There are many different reasons why a prospect would reject a business proposal – and it’s completely normal. The company’s budget might be limited, the project’s timeline might not be right, some internal situations might be preventing growth, there might be a lack of knowledge surrounding digital transformation within the organization, etc. Whatever the reason, if you want to close the deal, you will need to uncover it and be prepared to have answers.
Lack of knowledge? Have one-pagers and case studies on hand, ready to send. Timeline not right? Ask when they would be ready for a demo in the upcoming months. Doubts about the budget capacity? Have a detailed cost vs ROI plan ready to present. The key is to engage with their problems and offer them a simple solution – like a counterattack. This will help determine a plan for the upcoming weeks or months, even when the prospect’s initial answer was negative.
Don’t Be Tonedeaf
With all that being said, it’s crucial to find a good balance. Too much insisting is never attractive. Think about it like asking someone on a date – you can ask and ask again, but there comes a point where persistence comes off as point-blank creepy, and disrespectful. After all, you don’t want to leave a bad impression of the company on your prospect.
It is normal for company leaders to be nervous about making such important decisions. Purchasing an ERP system is not comparable to purchasing a new printer or some office furniture. Cloud solutions and professional services are long-term investments and impact the whole organization, which is why it’s important to understand and validate your prospect’s reluctance to go forward with the sales process. Work with them, not against them.
Sustain The Relationship
Prospects are people, and people naturally seek stable relationships. Even if the initial contact doesn’t bring a positive outcome, it’s important for BDRs to nurture long-lasting relationships with their prospects. Show them that your company still cares about them and is eager to help, when they are ready. Check-in once in a while to see if anything shifted, if priorities have changed, or if pain points have been reevaluated. Remember that a company is a dynamic entity, everything is in constant evolution, day after day.
By sustaining the relationship while reminding them that you’re still there to support their future digital transformation needs, you will be planting a seed in your prospect’s mind – a seed that can eventually blossom into a fresh closed deal. It can be as simple as a LinkedIn message, or an email asking to schedule a quick call. Just don’t let them forget about you!
Always Be Responsive
Working in Business Development is not easy, but if you equip yourself with the right tools and the right approach, you can maximize your chances of converting prospects into clients. Through responsiveness, attention to detail, and determination to dig deeper, your sales practice can go from 0 to 100 in the span of only a few months.
With these tools in hand, I encourage you to never accept a simple no for an answer going forward – you’ll thank me later.
Interested in reading more BDR tips? Read Cold-Calling is Dead and We’ve Killed It.