“Thank you for your consideration.” These words are the typical polite response to a prospect turning down a deal. Often reps use this phrase as a farewell before walking away from a lost deal. But, it’s actually something you shouldn’t say. “In sales, those words are a white flag,” writes HubSpot contributor Jeff Hoffman. “They signal a competitor has won the business, and it’s time for you to pack it up and head home.” Why immediately surrender? He suggests three alternative ways to sign off that don’t immediately resign you to total rejection.
One way to respond is to ask, “Can I touch base in 12 weeks to see how the transition went?” Often, Hoffman notes, reps will try to reconnect with a prospect six months after the deal fell through. This isn’t a good idea because even if the prospect is unhappy, he or she is stuck in a contract agreement. Why go after dead deals when there are new ones to pursue.
Instead, ask about following up in 12 weeks, then add, “If you tell me it went well, you won’t hear from me again. If it didn’t go well, I’d love another chance to win your business, when your contract is up.” This lets you focus on pursuing new opportunities now. And, it gives you the chance to follow up and stay in contact. “Additionally," Hoffman writes, “this sets expectation you’re not lurking in the corner waiting for them to need you again. Instead, it’s straightforward and reinforces you care about their best interest and success.”
This is just one of the alternatives Hoffman suggests. By reframing your response to rejection, you can keep the lines of communication open and your foot in the door. Rejection is never fun, but you don’t immediately have to surrender and walk away. Follow Hoffman’s advice and use your sign off to get some valuable insight for future opportunity!