Most training for salespeople comes from corporate marketing which sends the message that your mission is to tell prospects about us, convince people to buy, and discuss why you are superior to competition. This is marketing – trying to generate interest.

Once the prospect says, “Tell me more,” the role has to switch to selling. Effective selling is a process of winning votes, especially the votes of the leaders. To do that you must show that what you have fits with what each person – subordinates to leaders – wants. To do that one must interview to learn what each wants. Unfortunately most continue to market rather than interview.

A sales person’s role is also to establish professional relationships at high levels. If this can be done before the sale, it will help close the sale quicker and in your favor. If not, then it is incumbent upon the sales person to develop these relationships after the sale closes in order to secure more sales – cross sells, referrals to other groups, and more of the same sales. Unfortunately sales people stick with their main contact and continue to market.

Common Situation - I’ve Got a Great Product and I Know They Can Use It

Sales people approach a prospect with the idea, “I must tell a lot about what I have in order to generate interest.” This is marketing and makes sales people walking commercials.

Resulting Problem – Sales Rejection - How Come They’re Not Interested?

Prospects will shut you out unless your marketing hits a pain that they want soothed by an outside provider. If it doesn’t, you’ve got to back off. If you try to convince, you’re like an unwanted commercial, so they’ll try to change the channel as fast as possible. When you approach again, they’ll be too busy to see you. Does “Leave me the brochure, I’ll get back to you,” and no one calls feel familiar?

If your pitch generates interest, you’ve got to switch to selling – learning and fitting and networking to the top people.

Check Yourself
Score: 4=Always; 3=Most Times; 2=Usually; 1=Sometimes; 0=Never.

1. When you start a prospecting or selling discussion with someone, do you ask about his or her issues? ____

2. Do you probe to learn the challenges this prospect has related to the industry you serve. ____

3. Are you anxious to tell all about your stuff? ____

4. Do you interrogate with self serving questions? I.e. “What’s your budget?” “How do you handle it now?” “When will you be deciding?” ____

Scoring: (1 + 2 ) – ( 3 + 4 ) = ??

Positive is good;

Negative means I now invite you to learn more.

Click this C-Level Selling Tips link where you can learn about an 8-10 pages E-book with tips, suggestions and actions dedicated to handling this sales rejection situation and problem.

Author's Bio: 

Sam Manfer is an expert sales person, entertaining key note speaker and author of TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER$, a book that gets C-Level and other influential decision-makers to meet with you and return voicemails. Sam makes it easy for any sales person to generate tons of quality leads, and become a 70% closer. Sign-Up for Sam’s FREE Advanced Sales Training Tips and Articles at