Outbound prospecting requires sales reps to put a lot of time into researching companies and planning a sales strategy. The extra effort makes a “NO!” from a prospect even bitterer than a “NO!” from an inbound lead. The rejections are inevitable, so how can sales reps turn a no into a yes?

Get Rid of “I” and Make it About “You”
Most sales professionals usually approach their customers with lines like “I provide a product/service which will….” Try to make every sentence about your prospect. Prospects reject products for a number of reasons, one of which could be their disapproval of the sales rep selling to them. Prospects care most about their needs, problems, and concerns. If you focus the conversation on the topics your prospect cares about, he or she is more likely to engage with you. If a prospect tells you “No,” rephrase your sale to center on “You.” Rather than saying, “We offer a number of solutions that increase your marketing engagement, try saying, “Your marketing content could become more engaging with….” It’s a small shift that can make a big difference.

Be Inquisitive
When a prospect says “no,” don’t hang up with a terse, “thanks for your time.” One of the best ways to succeed is to learn why you fail. Find out why your prospect’s first reaction was, “no.”

Inquire how a customer would prefer your products/services. A trick to keep in mind when questioning prospects is to avoid asking “why?” and instead ask “what?” or “how?” “Why” questions can come off as confrontational and put a prospect on the defensive. “What?” and How?”, on the other hand, will help you determine the particular aspects of your product/services that your prospect may be interested in. In addition to product and service questions, ask about your prospect’s specific needs. The answers should help you perfectly plan your next action in turning the prospecting rejection into a real sales opportunity.

The next time you hear “no” from a prospect, don’t get frustrated. Put your game face on, ask questions, start sentences with “you,” and start building up your pipeline!