Trust your prospecting and believe in what you are selling.
By Alex Yewdell
Working in the association space is highly rewarding. You are able provide resources and avenues for vendors in the industry to connect with your members, all while supporting the advancement of your field. In many trades and industries, the associations serving the field offer the best options for vendors in the space to market and advertise their products. A key component to successful sales in the association space is confidence. You must believe in the work your association is doing and believe that the opportunities you are selling are truly worthwhile. With this mindset, when it comes to the process of making a sale, a “No” is just a delayed “Yes.”
Getting a “Yes” all starts with prospecting. As you find new leads, grow your database and develop your sales funnel. You must ask yourself, “Is this company a good fit for this space?” Start with a little bit of research—examine the company’s website and explore the products and services that they are offering. Does what you see match with what your association’s members would be interested in? If it doesn’t, the company is not a fit and should be left off your lists and database.
If you are having a difficult time deciding, just ask! It never hurts to simply ask, “Have you had any previous success in this space?” From here you will either have a no-brainer, sure-fire lead (if they have had success in this space) or you might need to do some more digging. But just because they have not previously had success in this space does not necessarily mean they are not a qualified prospect. They could be a new company coming to market, they could have a new product or service that now serves this industry—or they might not have been aware of this industry and the application of their products or services. Regardless, you must do your research, ask questions and qualify your prospects. If you can do this, when you hear a “No” while you are selling just give it time, as that “No” is just a delayed “Yes”.
The key to transitioning a “No” to a “Yes” is confidence. You must be confident in the opportunities you selling and you must be confident your prospects and leads will have success. There are many reasons why you will likely hear a “No” before you get the “Yes” you are looking for. Budgeting will likely be the most common. Maybe they didn’t plan for an opportunity you have available or they are testing another opportunity. Regardless of the reason, you must stay confident and persist. Stay in touch, on their radar and relevant.
If you trust your prospecting and believe in what you are selling, that initial “No” will turn into a “Yes” eventually.