It’s been a while since I last wrote anything bad, and it’s time to correct that!
After the dizzy highs of the first trade sale I had my first hard rejection, and I have to admit it gave me a bit of a wobble. I was starting to cold call, and try and work out the best strategy for establishing the viability of the business, do they sell bottled beers, and my chances of selling to them. I’ve been trying several techniques, fumbling along the way, and got a bit slicker (but not much). I’ve never done this before and definitely learning the hard way.
So I make a call to an individual who tells me that yes they do sell bottled beer, and no they wouldn’t consider ever selling anything else….EVER. I politely ended the call and stopped. I hadn’t even mentioned anything about my products and this was the firm door shut.
Leaning on my network
I reflected on this, and spoke to an experienced salesman that has been supporting me on a service I’m using for the business. I asked him “given my situation, how would you approach selling bottled beer?”. He paused, and after a while said that he would do things face-to-face, to the owner/manager, and concentrated on a “back-bone” of customers to drive referrals in a particular area. Focus on geographical areas and walk the streets with business cards (expecting for every 50 cards you may get 1 interest)!
He ended by saying prepare yourself for 3-6 months rejection and remember it is nothing personal. Go home and give your wife a hug at the end of the day, and start the next day afresh. Wise words and time to toughen up!!!
I will be changing my sales strategy immediately. I’ve also got to try and not let this follow me into my first sales event tomorrow (more on that later).