Why I Can't Talk About This form of Rejection Anymore

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Nov 25, 2020 @ 09:11 AM

I want to ask for your help.  Please read these two rants and then comment - I really need your comments, inbound links and outrage to support my position.

Rant #1: How many of your salespeople are immune to rejection?  

How would you react if I told you that I just violated somebody's trademark by asking that question?

Last week I received an email from some guy who said just that.  He owns a trademark on the term "rejectionproof".  I don't know about you, but I felt something boiling up from way, deep down inside of me - outrage - at the possibility of this being true.  My companies own trademarks and copyrights and everything I write on this blog is copyrighted.  B U T - if someone can simply be awarded a trademark for a commonly used expression, one that was surely being used prior to the award, one that Objective Management has been using in all of its assssments since the early 1990's, and then use that mark to extort money from people who are simply using the term in conversation....

He may have gotten lucky and had a computer determine that "rejectionproof" as a word was unique. To have the nerve to go after everyone who has ever used the common phrase "rejection proof" and tell them to stop using it (as in remove it from everything you've ever written.  Remove it from my books?) and send him money...well I think that is extortion!  [Update - according to my attorneys, this guy CAN do this]

What do you think?  Please comment below.

Rant #2 - Sales 2.0 Stupidity

I mentioned in yesterday's article that senior executives still aren't getting the sales pipeline.

At the same talk in DC, I asked the audience if they were familiar with the term Sales 2.0.  Same response. Nobody.  It seems that outside the blogosphere, and especially the more marketing focused sites, business people have no clue what Sales 2.0 is, and even fewer have heard of Customer 2.0.  The bloggers and readers at CustomerThink.com and SalesEdgeOne.com will be outraged over this but let's face it.  Except for a small percentage of sales experts, Selling Power, who hosts the Sales 2.0 Conference, and most of the inbound, customer focused marketing experts, the terms Sales 2.0 and Customer 2.0 have no legs.  They aren't catching on.  They don't matter.  And we should stop forcing it down the throats of business.  While Sales 2.0 is about getting found, it's really the art of using the new social marketing and sales tools.  They're tools!  Selling, even with the tools, is still selling so let's stop confusing people and talking about stuff they don't care about.

What do you think?  Please comment below but indicate whether you are a sales or marketing expert, or a sales or business leader at your company.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Force, Sales 2.0, rejection, conference, trademark infringement, selling power

Teaching Sales in School is Like Learning to Golf on the Wii

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 @ 10:07 AM

I'd like to thank Phil for sending this link along to me today.

The article, "Can College Teach You to Sell?", has its pros and cons.  Let's start with the good stuff.

They're finally teaching sales in school - yeah!  And even more surprisingly, kids are actually taking the classes - yeah again!  Why surprisingly? How many of your salespeople selected, as their primary career choice, sales?

Kids get a sense that selling is an honorable profession!  This post, from November of 2008, demonstrates each of the last two points - kids don't choose sales because, well, they don't believe it's honorable.

Kids are getting a sense of what selling really means, that it's not really about presenting and  strong-arming people into buying things.  Hooray!  And perhaps they do have a better sense of what's in store for them when they accept their first sales position.

How about the cons?

Can you teach them what rejection really feels like in a classroom?  Then how can they overcome it?

There were several factually incorrect statements in the article. 

Turnover, in some industries, is not as high as 30%.  Turnover, in some industries, is higher than 100%! 

It does not take 18-24 months for companies to break even across the board.  It depends on the compensation, the length of the sales cycle, the length of the learning curve, and the candidate's experience - not in the industry, but in the marketplace.  Additionally, some candidates do ramp-up much more quickly than others - if you select the right ones.  Objective Management Group not only recommends strong, hirable candidates, but they can even identify those that will ramp up more quickly than others!

In my experience, learning sales before you've sold is like learning to play golf on the Wii.  You can become quite good in theory, but watch what happens when you put real clubs of different lengths and feel, in play with real bunkers, water, rough, up-hill, down-hill and side-hill lies.  There's nothing like the real world.

That said, it has always been my preference to NOT train brand-new salespeople until they have been in the field and gotten beat up for at least 60 days.  Then the training means something.  Until then, it's simply theory.

What do you think about teaching sales in college?

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan


Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales, sales recruiting, selling, Salesforce, Sales Force, Sales Candidate, golf, rejection, college, wii

What is Causing Your Salespeople to Fail in this Economy?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 @ 16:04 PM

Do you have a salesperson like Bob?

Bob was very anxious over what to write to a suspect that blew him off.  The prospect canceled an appointment and was vague about whether or not he would reschedule.  This stopped Bob in his tracks and he literally spent an entire day getting feedback on what his email should say.  Not only is Bob wasting time, it is time that could be spent finding and identifying additional opportunities, moving existing opportunities along and connecting with customers or clients and collecting referrals.  So what causes Bob to do this and could we have predicted this behavior?

In this scenario, Bob is emotionally involved - not with the suspect himself - in the drama of both the rejection and the upcoming response to his soon to be sent email.  However, the emotional involvement is not the problem, it's merely a symptom.  There are two problems:

  1. The first is his lack of recovery from the rejection of the canceled appointment.  Everyone gets rejected but how long it takes to recover is more important than the actual "fear" of rejection. 
  2. The second is Bob's Need for Approval. He is so worried about how his suspect will respond to the email, that he is putting tremendous, unnecessary effort into the actual letter. It's likely that if Bob recovered from the rejection more quickly, the need for approval may not have kicked in either. 

Let's pretend that Bob didn't have this trouble recovering from rejection.  Without it, he would have been in a position to deal with his suspect's cancellation on the phone, in real time, as it happened, and either rescheduled or ended this opportunity right then and there.  However, even without the rejection problem, his need for approval may have prevented him from confronting the suspect for fear that his suspect would be offended and go away.

So what do we have instead?  A suspect that has likely gone away anyhow, and Bob wasting an entire day on a letter that may very well be irrelevant.  Sound like an unlikely scenario? Both the actual scenario and the hypothetical scenario happen every day to tens of thousands of salespeople, maybe even yours!

Can these behaviors be predicted?

Yes! The Tendency to Become Emotionally Involved, Need for Approval and Difficulty Recovering from Rejection, specifically in sales situations, are standard findings in Objective Management Group's suite of sales assessments.  More important than the findings though, are your ability to manage salespeople with these issues.  How you get your salespeople to navigate their day, despite weaknesses like these, defines how effective you are as a manager.

Do you know which salespeople are likely to fall victim to the myriad of possible scenarios?

Do you know how to prepare them?

Do you know how to help them use their strengths to compensate?

Do you know which role plays to engage them in so that they say, ask, and do the right things when suspects and prospects trigger the weaknesses?

Do you know how to hold them accountable to applying and executing those role plays in real sales calls?

In the current economy, you must be able to consistently succeed in that style of coaching and accountability with each of your salespeople because with the resistance they encounter each day now, those weaknesses will cause certain failure rather than sometimes interfere with success.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales, Emotionally Involved, sales weaknesses, failure, sales evaluation, rejection, selling salespeople

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

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