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From NO to YES: How a Positive Attitude Can Turn Rejection into Reward

By Keith Orlean


As a lifelong salesperson, I've learned that success in selling is not just about having the gift of gab or being able to persuade people to buy your product or service. Rather, it's about having the right attitude and perspective when it comes to interacting with customers and closing deals.


Throughout my career, I've found that my success is closely tied to how I view the customer and the opportunities presented to me. Unlike many salespeople who respond negatively to customer pushback or rejection, I take a different approach. Instead of getting discouraged, I dig deeper into the customer's needs and continue to ask questions to better understand their concerns.


One of my early mentors in sales once told me that selling only starts when the customer says no. This adage had an immediate impact on my perspective and created a winning mindset. I frequently share this with those that are in the earliest stages of their sales careers and even more experienced sales people.


The bigger the challenge, the greater the reward. Tough customers are invariably aware that they are difficult, but when turned around, they can become long-time advocates and a major source of referrals. Every sale lost has a negative effect, as you don't just lose the sale, you also lose all future business and potential referrals from that customer.


Having the right attitude is crucial in sales success. While some may see a difficult customer or a challenging situation as a negative, I see it as an opportunity to showcase my skills and expertise and to better understand the customer's needs and concerns.


It's important to remember that customers can quickly become turned off if they sense that a salesperson lacks patience or understanding. This can have a significant impact on a business, as hiring the right salespeople can make or break a company's success.


Sales requires a patient approach with a focus on building a connection with the customer. When you take the time to truly understand their needs and concerns, you can customize your approach to better address their specific needs, ultimately increasing the likelihood of closing the deal.


Building a connection with the customer also requires a genuine interest in their needs and goals, making them more likely to trust and rely on you and to do business with you again in the future.


In my career, my perspective on selling has been shaped by a focus on attitude, persistence, and building a genuine connection with customers. When faced with a challenging customer or situation, I viewed it as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than as a setback. By taking a patient approach to every customer interaction and by focusing on building a genuine connection, I've been able to build a successful career in sales and sales management.

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