Some sales trainers will say, 'When you get a rejection, don't take it personally. They are not rejecting you. They are merely rejecting your offer.'

Forget that.

I take it personally when I get turned down. It is personal because I make it personal. I remember nearly every call resulting in a "no-sale" I ever ran that resulted in a zero, and some of them still haunt me.

I deliver a superior level of service. I'm thorough and I bend over backwards for my customers. I'm honest and direct, and I don't recommend they buy anything I wouldn't buy myself if I were in their position.

It's a tough pill to swallow, but when your recommendations are perfectly valid and make sense, and they don't buy from you, it means they don't believe you. That's about as personal as you can get.

Speak to everyone as though you are getting along, they're interested in what you have to say, trust your judgment and motives, believe you, want their problems resolved, and want you to resolve them. People will often tell you up front that they aren't the final decision maker.

Most people in this business quit closing too soon and only make the easy sales. That's the difference between someone who is run-of-the-mill making run-of-the-mill wages, and the sales leaders making the big bucks.

My advice:

Never adopt the attitude during a call that the customer isn't going to buy, and is therefore, wasting your time. No customer is ever wasting your time. When someone calls to schedule a service call or an estimate, the one thing you know about them before even meeting them is that they at least have a desire for your product. You could say that, in a manner of speaking, the sale was already made before you got there. It's up to you to close them. You're only wasting your time on them if you're a lousy closer.

Don't pay much mind to how they are acting. Often, they don't appear to be too interested or impressed with what you're recommending they buy. If they're still conversing with you about it, regardless of how they're acting, they're still interested. Think about yourself when you go to buy a car. Do you fawn all over the salesman, or do you make him work for it? Has it occurred to you that your customers may very well be doing the same thing to you that you do to car salesmen?

Project a positive level of expectation. Speak to everyone as though you are getting along, they're interested in what you have to say, trust your judgment and motives, believe you, want their problems resolved, and want you to resolve them. People will often tell you up front that they aren't the final decision maker. Regardless, speak to everyone as though they have full buying authority. They probably do anyway, but even if they don't, they're certainly what I call an "influencer."

The key is "Commitment"

A friend of mine, who is a graduate of my sales training and an excellent salesman, opened his own one-man shop. Initially, he was making a sale on nearly every call he ran. Suddenly, his closing ratio went down to 50%. He asked for my help. He was local, so I invited him to my home to role-play what he was doing on his calls.

The first thing I noticed was that he was talking too much. He'd somehow gotten it into his head that he should keep a running commentary on everything he was doing. Don't do that. You wear them out and bore them, and they stop listening to you. I corrected him on that and he pledged to knock it off.

When we were done, we had a little talk. I told him to adopt the frame of mind to commit to no more zeros, that failure was not an option; that he would make a sale, even a small one, on every call. I told him to constantly repeat the phrase, "Everyone always buys from me," in the back of his mind as he was speaking to his customers.

We agreed that, if he was running a call, and was certain he was going to strike out, he'd find a reason to excuse himself and call me on his mobile phone before leaving the call. Often, I can help people close a sale by talking to them about it over the phone. We also agreed that, for the time being, if he made a sale, he'd call me after each call to tell me about it.

The bottom line is, by saying less, and to committing to no more zeros, he went over two years without getting another zero. The only reason we had to stop counting at that point was because by then he had 10 service technicians working for him and was no longer running calls himself.

You, too, can get fewer turn-downs. It starts with committing to "no more zeros!"

Charlie Greer is an internationally known HVAC sales trainer and can train your service technicians on how to have "no more zeros" in just a few half-day sessions. For more information, call 1-800-963-HVAC (4822) or visit him on the web at www.hvacprofitboosters.com. Email your questions about HVAC sales to Charlie at charlie@charliegreer.com