How to Overcome Being Told “No” as an Entrepreneur | NPI Franchis


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How to Overcome Being Told “No” as an Entrepreneur

 March 12, 2024 |  Business Tips |  , motivation, entrepreneur

By Kimberly Stevens, NPI, Inc.'s Marketing & Business Coach

The most successful entrepreneurs are self-motivated, innovative, and ambitious. Their minds are focused on expanding their services, broadening their territories, and putting a stamp on their industry that will effect positive change. New business owners rarely imagine hearing the word, “No.” But the hard truth is, rejection in any sales endeavor is inevitable, and it will happen more often than many expect.

Every small business owner needs to develop sales skills if they want to achieve their aspirations, and the first (and maybe most important) sales skill to learn is how to handle the word, “No.” To get started on becoming a salesperson extraordinaire, here are a few truths to keep in mind!

Understand What “No” Really Means in Sales
Often, when people face rejection after giving a “sales pitch,” it can be natural to take that rejection personally. But in reality, rejection is almost never personal. In sales, a “no” can mean many different things, and this is only rarely related to your delivery. Here are a few common translations for the word, “no,” in sales:

“I don’t understand.”
The first common translation for an unsuccessful pitch is that the concept of your product or service doesn’t make sense to your prospective client. Whether due to a lack of clarity on your part, or a lack of background understanding from the potential client, misunderstandings can happen for many different reasons, and they can be a core reason for bringing the deal to a halt.

This situation can certainly be frustrating, but as an entrepreneur, losing out on business due to misunderstandings presents a valuable opportunity to improve. In these instances, take the time to reflect and refine your pitch based on where the miscommunication may have occurred.

Did you stick to your script too much? Practice more active listening!

Were you too rushed in your delivery? Slow down and simplify!

If you haven’t taken the time to examine your communication style yet, now might be a good moment for some introspection! Are you extroverted? More introverted? Somewhere in between? Learn about your communication style with a DISC analysis, and improve how you relate to other people. If you haven’t taken a DISC assessment yet,shoot me an email!

“I don’t see how this is applicable to me.”
Some people may understand the concept of your service, but if they don’t see its importance to their situation, they’ll likely opt to save their money instead. In these situations, you can improve your pitch by bolstering your information and researching more evidence to bring to the table.

If you’re pushing a new add-on service that’s either new for your clients or new to your market as a whole, you’ll need to rely on details about how your service adds value to the customer. Some evidence worth gathering includes:

  1. Hard Data - Numbers, percentages, and statistics all appeal to the analytic side of a person’s brain. Bringing this into your conversation also shows that you are well-researched on the topic, and it bolsters your standing as an expert.
    Note: If you bring data into the conversation, be sure to have a good understanding of the study that you’re referencing, as well as the source! Expect follow-up questions. One great way to shut down a deal is to exaggerate a stat, or overemphasize your data. Clients who are knowledgeable about the topic will not appreciate inaccurate information.
  2. Appeal to Authority - When thinking of an appeal to authority, you should already be an expert in your field, but you may need to establish this trust with a new client unfamiliar with your work. In this situation, you should reinforce your claims by pointing to recognizable sources with widespread credibility. In the field of property inspections, look at groups like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as a couple examples. Both of these groups consistently conduct or cite new studies worth pulling from!
  3. Tell a Story - Finally, consider telling a story about a previous client who ordered the service you’re recommending, and why they had a good experience. People respond very well to anecdotes, and perspectives outside of your business can help solidify trust (that’s also why stories are great for social media!).

“I do not need this service.”
After you consider these underlying reasons why you didn’t book the job, consider the possibility that your services may not be the right fit for your prospective client. No matter what you do or say, there are some people who simply will not benefit from your product or services. In this instance, it’s better not to expend unnecessary energy trying to find business where there is none.

In the property inspection world, this may come up when trying to push various add-on services like radon, mold, or termite inspections. Homeowners may have confidence that an add-on service doesn’t apply to them and, in that situation, learning when it’s time to move on and direct your attention towards leads that will be more receptive to your offerings is an important skill that every business owner needs to develop.

When it comes to real estate agents, however, we know that every one of them needs our services. For them, “no,” will probably mean that they already have an inspector they are satisfied with, and they aren’t necessarily looking to move away from that partnership. In that situation, it’s again important not to take that rejection personally!

Instead, make yourself available to them as a back-up. Let them know that if their main option is ever on vacation, if they’re sick, or if they’re booked solid, that you’d love to get their business! You can get your foot in the door then and show your quality of work when the opportunity eventually comes. Dealing with rejection can be tough, but remembering the opportunities that come with every “no,” will mean you’ll be hearing “yes” a lot more often in the future!

Gear any early rejection into valuable lessons to improve your business and set yourself up for success in the future! One crucial way to establish value in a service is through professionally-designed marketing collateral (like brochures, booklets, and business cards). You can learn more about your available materials by reaching out to your NPI marketing team!

Want to learn more about opening your own National Property Inspections franchise? Get your free info packet today!


About the Author
Kimberly Stevens, Marketing & Business Coach
The baby of eight children, Kimberly learned quickly to master the art of communication in order to be heard. She has been with NPI for more than 15 years and is passionate about getting to know our franchisees. Kimberly is a certified marketing and business coach, trainer and speaker, leading training seminars, one-to-one coaching and more. She's a high-energy, fiery red head and an eternal optimist. Her greatest joy is celebrating our franchisees’ victories!

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