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Shane Decker

This Common Word is Not Rejection, It’s Just an Objection

Find out why they said no and close the sale.




I HEAR THIS all the time. Salespeople and managers say the reason they didn’t close is because sometimes they don’t like the feeling of being rejected.

First of all, that’s not where rejection happens — it does not happen at the close. It happens when you’re standing in the sweet spot and the clients come in. You speak to them, acknowledge them with a great smile, and they walk right past, saying nothing in return. Or a grumpy old butt comes in and gives you a crappy look back and says, “I’m just looking.” That’s rejection!

The client who walked by you was probably on the way to the case where you write up repairs and maybe she didn’t mean to be rude; she was just on a mission. In either case, give that client 20 or 30 seconds and tell another sales associate what happened so someone else can do a re-approach.

When you’ve been working with someone for 30 minutes or so and you’ve closed all the way through correctly, and you close at the end and the client says, “No,” she’s not rejecting you, she’s saying “no” to the item. Salespeople confuse this with rejection when it isn’t.

Your job as a professional salesperson is to find out why she said no. Pause two to three seconds. Sometimes, clients need a moment to think about it themselves. In fact, they really do know they want it. Remember, 60 to 70 percent of all shoppers cannot make up their own minds. Pausing allows you to think about your presentation to see if you left anything out. Sometimes after pausing, the client will say, “I’ll take it.”

After you’ve paused, say something like, “I thought this was the one you wanted.” Many times, the client will say, “It is, I just needed to think about it for a moment.” If it doesn’t close it, ask, “Do you have questions about this that I’ve not answered yet?” This smokes out any objections that are left.


Sometimes, they want another sales associate’s opinion about what they are looking at. So bring in someone else of the opposite gender, if possible and have him or her get on the same side of the case the client is on — to the right of the client. (Right’s positive; left’s negative.) Have the salesperson say, “Let me see this on you.” After the client’s tried it on, say “That’s lovely on you!” or “She’s gonna love wearing that.” (Practice doing this with each other before the clients come in.) A second opinion helps a lot in these situations.

Other times, we have accidentally pre-judged them. In this case, say “You’re wanting the bigger one, aren’t you?” This allows you to correct your presentation if you’ve undersold their expectations, which can be a sale-killer.

Finally, if all of this is not working, ask “Are you comfortable with the price?” If it’s too high, sell within their budget. But again, never allow no to be no. This is not rejection — it’s a one-word selling objection. Find out why they said no and close the sale.



Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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