The Painful Realization That You’re an Option When They’re Your Priority

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Since starting in sales I’ve come to realize one thing: You better get used to being an option, or you’ll drive yourself crazy.

One thing that we often talk about in the office is how difficult it can be to make someone a priority – prospects, leads and current customers alike – while they treat you as an option because, technically, you are. They don’t have to choose you. They don’t have to listen to what you have to say or take time to learn about what you’re selling. But why does it seem so unfair? Because all that we do as salespeople, day in and day out, is learn about our prospects, leads and customers, how they operate and how we can help them utilizing whatever it is we have to offer.

The feeling is hard to describe/understand unless you’ve experienced it firsthand. If you haven’t worked in sales, imagine this: you’re putting a ton of time and effort – 40+ hours a week to be exact – into a friendship or relationship and no matter what you do, it’s never enough to get their attention, make them want to talk to you or get them to even answer your calls. You call them, you leave voicemails and you email them, over and over and over, but nothing works. So how do you deal with it?

Step 1: Take a look in the mirror. Although you might think you’re doing everything right, you should take a step back and look at your approach with said prospect/lead/customer. Are you reaching them in a way that works for them? Did you look at different ways to reach them that may prove to be more successful? Have you outlined everything that you need from them in a way that’s easy for them to follow and understand? 

Step 2: Get used to it. As I said in the first line of this post, you better get used to being an option right away or you’ll drive yourself crazy. It hurts at first, just like rejection, but it’s what goes along with being a salesperson and it’s not something that you can just avoid. It’ll come with time, don’t worry!

Step 3: “There are plenty of fish in the sea”. Yes, I use this cliché phrase to describe a tactic that I use to ignore the fact that half of the calls that I make aren’t going to lead to anything. Whenever I log the sixth call that I’ve made to one prospect or send out that final email as a last attempt to connect, I remind myself of how big the sea really is! For every person that doesn’t respond or pick up their phone, there are hundreds more that are waiting to learn about whatever it is that you’re selling. Keep your head up!


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