Do you recognize the word above? And when did you first hear it?
If you said the 1964 Disney musical film, Mary Poppins, you probably would have alot of company. 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' appeared in the film's song with the same title as sung by the movie's stars, Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.
But ask yourself if, when you first read the word at the top of this post, whether you weren't a little intimidated by the unusual length of the word itself and maybe by the fact that you haven't seen or heard the word for quite awhile and so may not have remembered it's meaning right away.
Salespeople can be intimidated in the sales process by words as well. In fact, in my experience, the word that has the biggest impact on salespeople is literally at the opposite end of the spectrum as far as the number of letters is concerned. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious has 34 letters. The word that intimidates salespeople the most has only two. The word is…
That's right, 'no'. No other word has as much of an impact on a salesperson's self-image, performance and results. Ineffective salespeople interpret 'no' as failure, as rejection and as a reason to bail out of the sales call, either a face to face meeting or on the telephone. High-performing salespeoplef hear 'no' as just another word and respond in a manner appropriate to the sales situation. In fact, to a high-performing salesperson, a 'no' can even be a success…especially if it comes early in the sales process from a prospect who doesn't qualify for what they offer.
If you're a sales leader, ask yourself how your salespeople respond to 'no' from their prospects. Do they hear it as 'failure' or just another word?
If you're a salesperson, ask yourself the same question.
By the way, in case you were wondering (or can't remember) the everyday definition of 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' is "something to say when you have nothing to say". I hope I've exceeded that definition with this post.