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How To Handle Rejection In Sales (Guide For Advisors)

The most successful advisors can push past rejection. They systematically turn NOs into YESes without letting individuals or businesses dictate the outcome of their interactions. Learn how in our latest guide.

The stars have aligned and the cosmos are saying go for it:

Your prospect is your dream client. They have a clear idea of the problem they’re trying to solve, your product is the perfect fit, and they’ve already told you how much they’re willing to spend—and it’s a lot.

Then — for reasons you can’t figure out — they suddenly change their mind.

You hear the dreaded words:

“You know, I really appreciate all the time you’ve taken to explain your product so thoroughly — but I just don’t think it’s the right fit for me”.

You can feel your heart sink as they continue: “But I’ll keep you in mind if things change down the road.”

Next thing you know, they’re waving their hand to say goodbye and standing up to walk out the door. You stare at them in disbelief as they prepare to leave the room. 

What just happened?

Ouch. You’ve just been rejected. Or not?

The truth is that we’ve all been there.

I have been rejected many times in my career and I can tell you this: It’s never fun. It feels like a slap on the face and you wonder what else they’re not telling you.

Even worse:

When it comes to our job as advisors, rejection is different. It can be a lot harder to deal with because it often involves your business or your career and your ability to care for those you love. So, since the stakes are higher, you might feel more pressure to get the sale.

What do you do?

Don’t get mad. Don’t take it personally. Strive to be smarter!

It is a cold hard fact: rejection is part of the job. 

And the good news is if you decode the psychology and language behind how people react to you and your product or service, persuasion becomes easy. Only then can you turn their frown upside down, and win them over with the best price.

Before we dive into how in a bit…

If I had to pick one skill every advisor looking for more sales should learn, it would be “sales language.” Nothing is more powerful for relationship building and unlocking opportunities for a sale naturally and effortlessly.

Most top producers learned this – through result-proven sales training and coaching specifically designed for financial advisors.

One of the best according to smart heads in the industry (and many of the former struggling advisors who have seen literally life-changing results) is:

The Taylor Method.

I’m convinced most of the lessons in there would soon be taken off – they’re insider secrets many top producers wouldn’t want you to learn so they can keep on stacking millions while you struggle for a pittance off the table. Use this opportunity to grab a spot while you can for a ridiculously small “prove your commitment” fee.

And the best part:

It is backed by a 100% success guarantee!

I believe with every fiber in my body that if you do and say what you learn, there’s no way you’ll fail in this industry – it’s just not possible. I’ll wager my reputation on that! Take the bet; sign-up for the Taylor Method here.

Back to rejection in sales. 

If you’re not making enough sales, then you’ll need to learn how to handle rejection to close more deals, more often!

Dear Advisor, here’s all you need to know:

Overcoming Rejections: Your A-Ha Moment!

When someone gives you an objection, think of it as an opportunity to find common ground and build trust. 

Here’s the thing:

The mere fact they are in a meeting with you is proof enough that they need something. 

Secondly, there’s no such thing as being “over insured” – more often than not, if you do proper fact-finding you’ll always find an opportunity to help them right under your nose which you can translate into sales and most importantly, loyalty – a lifetime customer!

And from my experience gathered from over 30, 000 client meetings I’ll tell you this: People who come to your office and have a meeting with you are not going to waste their time if they don’t think there is any value in talking to you. 

So if someone is taking time out of their busy day, their calendar, and their budget to meet with you, then the odds are very good that they are at least considering your services. 

And that’s where we get into the real meat of this post: how do we turn those objections into opportunities?

The Key Differentiator – Relationship Building

The heart of the sales game is a delicate connection between two people. The point is people who feel like you’re on their side will be far more likely to trust you and buy from you than when it feels like they are being sold something by an outsider. And with that, chances are high, you’ll get far fewer rejections.

So how do we build relationships with clients?

It Starts With Listening

You’re not a mind reader. You can’t just walk into a meeting and expect to know exactly what your client needs. 

But if you listen carefully, you’ll discover key insights about what they want from life insurance. 

If you don’t listen, then your prospect won’t feel like they can trust you. They won’t feel comfortable opening up to you and sharing their unique perspective on life and wealth management issues with you – and it makes it easier for them to say “no.” 

Don’t Make It About You, Make It About Their Business

I’ll be one to admit, we’re all selfish. 

Let me explain:

We have an instinctual desire to protect ourselves against anything that threatens our well-being. And when it comes to our health and wealth, we are especially protective of both.

We also want to make sure that our needs are met, and that we’re getting what we want. That’s just human nature.

The key is to offer something of value first. 

Remember, trust is earned over time by demonstrating competence and expertise in areas in which your client needs help. This could be leads, joint venture partners, or even services they need to add to their portfolio.

Let’s look at an example:

When trying to build a relationship with business owners, let’s say an auto body shop owner that does bodywork, I’ll say something like this:

“From what I can see, you do amazing work! How would you like more leads coming into your shop? I am an advisor and I have a list of people who have been in accidents and need repairs done on their vehicles. If I send over these leads, will you do the work?”

Get the idea? 

Pull this off, and I assure you that not only will they be more inclined to remember me, but they’ll also be more receptive when I introduce my offer.

Speak Less, Ask More Questions

Asking lots of questions helps you learn about your prospects’ and clients’ needs, wants, and desires. It also allows them to tell their story and share their perspective on things. This makes them feel good about themselves because they feel like they’re being heard and understood by someone who cares about them as much as they care about themselves.

“But what if they’re not being honest with their answers?” I hear you. This is what you should do:

Let them know from the jump that the quality of solutions they’ll receive from you depends on the accuracy of their answers.

Think of it this way:

When you’re sick and visit the doctor, they’re likely not just going to prescribe something for you without knowing anything about you. They may ask some questions first before he decides what to give you. That way, he can make sure that whatever he prescribes will work best for you.

However, if you provide wrong information or fail to answer his questions properly, then his prescription might not work as well as it should have, or worse yet — it could even be detrimental to your overall health!

Get them to understand this.

The more questions you ask, the better chance you’ll have at finding out what matters most to them so that when it comes time for a sale, your offer doesn’t get rejected!

Additionally:

  • Be conversational – open dialogue works like magic.
  • Be direct. Ask them: “what brought you to my office?,” “What do you want?”

Bottomline: Asking questions works because it opens up a dialogue between both parties and also helps in building rapport quickly!

Make Their Life Easier. Be A Solutions Facilitator

When you think about the number of professionals an individual would have to see to protect themselves and their family, it could quickly add up. 

So, in your interactions with them let them know you’re an advisor – their go-to guy for all their financial and insurance needs. You’ll be amazed at how much more likely they’ll want you to stick around (and buy from you) when you show them how easy it can be.

Let’s be honest:

We all have or want that one individual who can help us with everything. And that’s what you want to do for your clients – become a valuable resource in their lives. 

The more they feel like they can depend on you, the more likely they’ll be comfortable working with you as their financial planner or insurance agent.

Takeaway: Relationship Building As A Key Differentiator In Handling Rejections

When selling life insurance and financial services or products, the decision to reject is often about the perception of your person. 

It’s not about whether you’re a good enough salesperson or whether you know how to position the benefits of what you’re selling; it’s about whether the prospect sees you as someone who cares about them; as someone they can trust and work with. 

Putting it differently:

If you can build a relationship with someone in which they see that you care about them and want to help them achieve their goals, then they will be more likely to buy from you. By doing this consistently, you’ll find that your rejection rates go down significantly.

Don’t get me wrong:

At some point, we have to come to terms with the fact that it’s not up to us. We can do everything right (and I hope you do) but still get objections from prospects.

The only thing we can control is how we respond when we’re rejected. We’ll dig right into that next:

How Advisors Can Respond To Common Sales Rejections

It’s time to put your money where your mouth is — or where your heart is, in this case. Here are two powerful responses that advisors can use to respond to two of the most common sales rejection:

“No. I’m not interested in buying anything right now.”

Or…

“No, thank you. I don’t think this is going to work out between us, but thank you for reaching out!

“No, thank you. I am not looking for anything at this time.

A common sales rejection is the “no” or “not interested” response. It can be frustrating for an advisor to hear this from a prospect, especially when they feel like they’ve done everything right. But there are ways to respond to it that can help you turn the situation around and make the sale happen.

The best way to respond would depend on the fact finder (again I can’t overestimate the crucial role it plays).

So, have you done a fact finder?

If so, your response would be based on what you uncovered in the fact find. 

That means if they say “not interested” but they have a glaring gap in their planning, it’s your job to make sure the prospect understands how that gap in planning would impact their life.

I assure you, over 90% of the time they’ll be interested in what you have to say if you do a good job exposing a vulnerability – because, in their mind:

“Hold on, what could I have missed?”

Again, human nature: selfishness and curiosity.

Go ahead and use the opportunity to reel them in with your presentation.

“I’m highly insured”

Or I’m good. 

Many times, prospects would try to let you know they are already being serviced by another insurance company or agent. They do not want to be bothered with your pitch.

However, this response may not necessarily mean they don’t have loopholes and vulnerabilities with their current policy.

It’s your job to find that out!

The simpler response here could be:

“I have nothing to sell you, Mr. Prospect. I am merely a facilitator. I take time to understand where you’re at today, and where you want to be in the future, and help you create an action plan to bridge that gap.”

If it doesn’t work, then it’s best just to thank them for their time and move on to another prospect who may be more interested in what you have to offer. The key here is not to make them feel bad about their situation or try too hard to convince them otherwise – it rarely works anyway!

It sounds easy, right? It is; if you do your homework right!

Next:

I’d walk you through three scenarios you’ll always have to face as an advisor. And how not to get rejected when you try to sell your services or products:

Avoiding Rejection When Speaking With Family And Friends

First off:

You don’t want to be that guy that walks into the room and everyone goes “here he comes again” with a roll of the eyes. No.

Rather, be authentic. Be honest.

Here’s how to approach family and friends that won’t result in rejection:

Or how I’ll do it.

I’ll let them know:

“I love you; I love your family and your kids. I need to sit with you for 20 minutes and see what you have going on.”

A lot of the time we advisors assume they know what we do. So, they’ll let us in on whatever is going on relating to financial planning and insurance. That can’t be farther from the truth.

So be bold and direct. No inferences, no gameplay, and no sprinkling seeds!

I’ll let them know how crappy I’ll feel if they get in an accident and I go on Facebook to see a GoFund me trying to raise funds for them or their families.

Basically, just let them know you want them to be in the know – have all the information they need to make educated decisions. 

Best Approach When Selling Long-term Care Policy (Almost Never Get A Rejection)

When dealing with a couple – husband and wife I’ll tell them:

“Look to the left, look to the right; tell the next person you’re screwed”

Sounds crazy? 

Here’s the thing:

Let your prospect know that without insurance, their risk is limitless.

The average cost of healthcare expenses is $7000 per month.

Now, ask them to add that ($7000) to their current expenses – do they think their money will last?

Your job as an advisor is to help them take the risk off their shoulders which is cheaper.

Ask them:

“Would you rather pay $500 per month by shifting the risk to an insurance company or risk paying $7000 per month on passive healthcare yourself for as long as you’ll need it? Which would you rather do??”

Going further, I’ll say:

“It’s better you have it and don’t need it than need it and don’t have it.”

It gets better:

Introducing hybrid offers.

There are hybrid offers that consist of LTC and Life insurance. Let your prospect know that 1 of 3 things will happen with this kind of offer:

  • They can take cash out of the policy;
  • It will help if they need LTC;
  • Or they’ll die and get paid.

In other words, it has a 100% utilization rate which makes it a no-brainer. 

When you frame your presentation this way, they’ll be hard-pressed to reject your offer.

Land High-net-Worth Individuals With Confidence

A lot of advisors are scared or not confident enough to sell to wealthy people which is a pity. 

Here’s what I’ll tell you:

Don’t confuse success with being a good financial planner. They are two different things.

Just because your prospect is an outstanding dentist has nothing to do with them being good at financial planning or estate allocation.

Know this:

You possess the skill to help people whether you’re just 6-months into the business of advisory services. You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to have a solution that’s better than what they have going on.

So, when next you want to close a wealthy client, expose their vulnerability:

For example, I’ll ask them:

“If you become disabled or die, who is paying the mortgage – who will pay for the Tesla in the garage, your kids’ private school?”

Then:

“You can take these risks, or allow me to devise a plan for you.”

Your guess is as good as mine as regards the option they’ll pick.

Final Words: How to Handle Rejection When Selling Advisory Services Or Products

The world of sales can be a tough one for many advisors, but it’s important to remember that rejection is part of the job. It’s just a question of how you handle it.

On that note, I’ll leave you with some final advice on dealing with rejection when selling advisory services or products:

  • Don’t take it personally;
  • Be positive and look for ways to improve your selling skills and pitch. (Do you want to become a top producer faster than you ever imagined? Sign-up for the Taylor Method here);
  • Don’t give up! Be like a duck, my friend. Let the water roll off your back as you move forward into new prospects with brand-new leads.
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ABOUT ESZYLFIE TAYLOR

Eszylfie Taylor is the founder and president of Taylor Insurance and Financial Services and the Creator of The Taylor Method, his online sales system for financial advisors. He attended Concordia University on a basketball scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Prior to founding his own brokerage, he was a standout financial advisor at New York Life, finishing his career there as the highest producing advisor in the history of the African American market.

Mr. Taylor has been a Million Dollar Round Table Top of the Table producer since 2011, which places him in the top 1% of advisors worldwide. In 2015, he was the recipient of NAIFA’s Advisor Today Top 4 Under Forty award. Today, as an active advisor, he continues to build on the sales language, concepts, and tips that contribute to the curriculum on The Taylor Method.

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