‘No’ In Sales Isn’t Rejection, but Redirection

SDR Insider #4

One of the most significant learning curves for anyone entering the sales world is becoming comfortable with hearing the word ‘no.’ And you don’t have to just get comfortable with it – you have to hop back on the horse and make another call right after hearing it.

It takes time to see a door closing or a phone hanging up on you as not rejection, but redirection.

Episode 4 dives into these topics (and more) with Senior SDR and President’s Club member Kyle Schmider. Beyond his mentality for getting over rejection, Kyle also shares the importance of positivity in a sales role and his advice on returning to that mindset on more challenging days.

If you’re a hard-working person, you will likely succeed in sales.

But if you’re also a positive person, you will prosper.

The good news? Kyle Schmider is both, and he is sharing his advice on Episode 4 of SDR Insider: Insights from Top Perform.

Tune in to learn the formula for staying positive and how to pivot when needed.

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Key Takeaways

Connect With Prospects on a Human Level

A big learning curve for someone new to sales is how to connect with someone who isn’t physically in front of you. That lack of connection can make reps feel uneasy or less confident, and that’s usually a large component of why they see rejection after rejection.

“I wasn’t at a job previously where it was heavy email,” Kyle said while speaking about his time in the restaurant industry. Writing compelling emails was a big learning curve while starting in sales. He describes this time as “hyperfocusing” and spending “way too much time” on one email. Rejection can sting extra hard when you (metaphorically) put too many eggs into one basket and end up getting a curt “no” as a response.

“You can’t get the same tonality (in an email),” but he says he pivoted and quickly realized that “a good phone conversation can lead to a good email,” which snowballed into some success for Kyle early on.

In the early days as an SDR, it is important to get over that fear of the phone and remember that “the worst thing they (a prospect) can do is hang up on you.”

💡 Editor’s Note: Actually, one of the worst things a prospect can do is tell you to ‘suck eggs.’ But that’s just a mean way of saying ‘no’ so it’s basically the same thing. In all honesty, getting over that fear of cold calling early is one of the fastest ways to see success as an SDR. Leveraging a mindset and framework like ELO can help you tremendously early on in your career.


Push Through the Fear

In any job or experience in life, it is important to remember that, at times, you have to fail to succeed. Failure isn’t comfortable, but you can’t grow if you refuse to break out of your comfort zone.

What can help to push through the fear of failure? Kyle explains that “having other people review your emails is beneficial and to “see what other people are writing- that helps”

Leaning on team members and remembering that everyone else also faces rejection can help push through difficult times in the sales cycle.

💡 Editor’s Note: One of our Directors at demandDrive famously asked his teammates and colleagues to “rip his emails apart” when he first started as an SDR. It’s a great way to learn and grow while seeing other POVs and pathways to success. You don’t have to limit it to emails – schedule a round-table calling session with other reps and critique each other’s calls. And you could even look to online sales communities to get perspectives from outside your own company!


How Are You Going To Succeed At Anything if You’re Negative?

During our conversation, Kyle notably stated, “Negativity can put a lot more weight and pressure on yourself than what is needed,” and he believes that there is “no room for negativity in this field.”

His advice when you are frustrated or feeling negative:

  • Get outside
  • Soak up some sun
  • Breathe in some fresh air
  • Snuggle your cats (or dogs, or…fish? You do you)

“Be positive the next person will be different… there are plenty of fish in the sea (of prospecting)!”

💡 Editor’s Note: Your attitude is one of the only things you can control as a salesperson. So you better control it! And I know it’s easy to slip into a negative headspace and start to spiral.  If you feel like your negativity is evolving into burnout, check out our podcast on how to combat that as an SDR.


Rejection is Everywhere 

At the end of the day, although it may be more apparent in sales than in other industries, rejection is found everywhere. There is no way to hide from it, so the best advice is to embrace it.

“Go back to the drawing board, see what works and what doesn’t, that’s the whole idea with rejection…What can I fix?…to make this (item) go on the menu or have someone take a meeting?”

💡 Editor’s Note: Yes, sales can suck. Yes, commiserating with other sales folks can be cathartic. But Kyle’s mentality here is key – you have to come to the table with solutions to your problems. It’s one thing to say ‘Man, I’m getting a lot of no’s today’ and another to say ‘What am I going to do about all the no’s I’m getting today?’

Sales Rep new or old, we hope you found this episode and post helpful. We are looking forward to sharing more insights from top performers through the SDR Insider, a new monthly initiative from demandDrive.

If you are interested in being included in a future episode or have an idea for a conversation, feel free to reach out to Madi at madeline.resnic@demandrive.com

(00:00) [Music] hi everyone and welcome back to another episode of SDR Insider: Insights from Top performers I am super excited today to be chatting with Kyle who is actually a member of my project at demand drive so we talk a good bit and I thought this would be a really great conversation and it would be just fun to
(00:23) have someone on who I honestly interact with a good bit as it is so it’ll be a really great conversation to Chad and we are talking all about rejection today um in the sales world and how it can be redirection and with that I will give Kyle the floor so that he can introduce himself a little bit for anyone who
(00:48) might not know him um just like a little bit about you Kyle where you’re from and your backgrounds whatever you want to throw in there Fred on thank you Madie uh always a pleasure to be speaking with you uh thank you and of course thanks for thanks for having me on but um yeah so uh I’m Kyle uh Kyle Peter um so I’m a
(01:08) senior SDR year medrio uh been here for just over a year and a half about a year and a half or so um and I am local to the boson area so um come to the office from time to time which is nice cuz there’s far few in between that two come in the office but uh yeah so Boston local um before coming to demand Drive I had a uh complete 180
(01:39) in Industries uh I was a heavy restaurant uh background um so haven’t been in you know Corporate America per se uh in Tech and sales and whatnot but um you know worked alongside people pretty much my whole life and um you know always open to conversations with new people and you know just enjoy people so I thought you know uh
(02:05) let’s get into uh sales and demand Drive welcomed me in so uh no I’m I’m happy to be here bu yeah no that’s so interesting I didn’t realize that your background was in restaurants because I had a short stint I feel like as a Hostess and I definitely liked it but before that I did retail too and I always tell people
(02:27) that retail and working in the restaurant industry are really great ways to get your feet wet when it comes to sales and just talking to people in general because those experiences I think definitely helped me and prepared me to go into a sales career oh absolutely and I was gonna say I think this is a pretty good uh topic of
(02:48) conversation just from um you know both those Industries and the restaurant itself too but uh no I think I think it’s a great stepping stone into other opportunities from the general public in general so um if you can handle some customers regardless of it’s in retail or restaurant industry you can handle
(03:09) sales I I would say so you know usually alcohol is not involved um when you’re having these conversations so um you know conversations could be a little different um yes but no it’s demand drive has been um you know a really good transition for myself and I’ve been really enjoying it no you’ve been doing
(03:30) amazing and I’ll just kind of interject uh quickly just to say that it’s been so cool to watch you grow on our team because I feel like you started off strong and you’ve really grown and now you’re a senior S strr as someone who’s been on the team you know for a while now it’s just awesome to see because I
(03:48) think our project in particular I think it’s definitely one where you sink or swim and it’s just great to see you know you doing so great I feel like like I ask you for help with stuff even as someone who’s been on the project longer so it’s really cool to see and that’s definitely why I thought you’d be a good
(04:06) person for this conversation about rejection redirection because obviously with success also comes rejection that’s a huge part of this job and I think that I would love to kind of just hear what has been the biggest learning curve I would say from you know going from like the restaurant industry um that type of
(04:26) background then going into sales I guess I would be interested to know from your perspective what has been the biggest learning cve yeah um I I would say the biggest thing was um uh emailing was was a big thing for myself and getting getting um rejected uh via email was a different experience uh than what I was used to uh and not
(04:51) that it’s like you know that different than any you know phone rejection or inpersonal rejection um you’re still getting rejected but um so either way um but I think uh for myself since I you know wasn’t at a job previously where um it wasn’t heavy emails or anything so when I was typing on my emails or
(05:16) reading emails I would like hyperfocus um and I would spend way too long you know rereading and um retyping my emails to make sure like my wording is correct uh my reading this correctly like I because you can’t get the same uh tonality if you’re like on a phone call or like body language or anything like
(05:36) that so I think that was pretty difficult uh at first because I you know got to in my head about um how this person’s responding at the other end of the screen or how they’re going to perceive my uh email at the other end of the screen so I think that was um kind of a learning curve that uh luckily now I’m still kind of getting
(05:58) over that hump but I I definitely still spend maybe too much time uh rereading and retyping my emails but yeah I would say that was a decent learning curve for myself that’s super interesting because I feel like a lot ofrs they don’t struggle with the emails it’s the phone calls that’s a little more scary so would you say that the
(06:18) phones are your strong suit and you feel like that’s really where you’re able to shine uh I would say so yes and like a a good phone conversation would lead to a good email uh in my perspective because like you already had the conversation with you know the individual on the phone so you can kind of get a gauge of how the responses were
(06:41) like you know their tonality in general so the email I I could find easier um type um a after that but I would say phone is definitely a Sher suit for myself just because I like to actually like talk to the human being you know um yeah I agree when I started the role too I I really liked well I didn’t like it I
(07:03) wouldn’t say liked but I thought that I would have more success on the phone because I now like it I think I am good at talking to people and I’m able to you know get responses that I need but at first you wouldn’t be doing this if you couldn’t talk to people right you know yeah there we go so um but yeah I think
(07:21) it was definitely scary when I first started to you know call up these people and not really know what they would say and for me that was the scariest part of the rejection I was like what if they answer and that’s still scary to me I’m like what if they like tell me to you know get lost what what am I going to do
(07:38) and I think it’s kind of just getting over that fear because at the end of the day it’s not like you’re talking to these people face to face and the worst thing that happens is they hang up on you then they hang up on you and you know the worst things can happen so it it is interesting hearing you say that
(07:56) because I think most people I talk to it is usually the opposite they usually prefer emails and then phones are something that they have to kind of work on um so that is interesting to hear um what helps you the most kind of grow as a writer and writing emails and just kind of getting over that fear of
(08:15) rejection in that just keep doing it yeah like you know not spak yourself out you got to push you got to push through it um you know having other people also uh review emails that get sent to you or reviewing your emails before you um send them out is definitely kind of beneficial um you know just quick quick
(08:36) reviews or seeing what other people are kind of writing as well um to try to pick up on you know certain lingo or uh anything of that sort um I think that’s helped um but yeah I would say really just like keep doing it because it’s like you’re going to you’re going to mess up as well like there’s definitely
(08:57) going to be mistakes and stuff that maybe you shouldn’t have um you know typed out or things you shouldn’t have said or anything of that sort but um you know as as you said as well just like you know kind of on to the next and just like you know it’s it’s okay you know yeah it’s how you learn you have to kind
(09:14) of fail to succeed you you got to be repetitive and you know um you know sometimes it can be a little repetitive but that’s that’s how you grow I feel and um experimenting yeah for sure and this kind of leads into my next question but I feel like knowing that your background was in the restaurant industry kind of answers it
(09:35) for me but was this job really your first interaction with rejection in the workplace and you know having to reach out to people and getting those knows or do you feel like there were some past jobs that kind of like prepared you for that in a sense yeah um I would say so like before demand Drive I was uh a beverage
(09:59) director for a couple restaurants so I um I would coordinate and create uh cocktail menus um so be beer wine cocktails uh and there were a couple craft cocktail restaurants that I helped kind of grow uh so seasonally I would have to you know flood Sweat and Tears create a menu from like my thoughts and
(10:22) my testing and R&D and everything and I would have to present them to I mean not only the owner uh and you know the managers everything like that but um all the staff uh so there was definitely you know as I’m creating these drinks and everything everyone’s testing them so there’s there be some times where people
(10:40) are like what are you putting in front of me and why is this like good um so getting denied on certain you know um beverages that I really thought were like you know I think this is super good and then other people are like this is not good uh I uh practice at least in that sense of in a workplace setting yeah exactly so
(11:03) getting the feeling of being like no this is not going to go on the menu and I was just like bummer okay back to um you know trying it out again and you know um go back to the drawing board and see you know what works and um you know what doesn’t and that’s that’s the whole idea I think you know behind rejection
(11:26) is like you know stuff how to overcome rejection like how you approach it some of it’s not going to work and you just have to like go back and like learn from getting rejected prly and just be like okay what can I fix to make this you know go on the menu or make this person you know say yes to a meeting or anything of that
(11:47) sort um so I I think you know coming from my previous role there was definitely a yeah where you know all Blood Sweat and Tears went into this menu and then people were like this is disgusting uh so you you know it definely helps yeah and it kind of shows you too that regardless of where you end up whether it be sales or
(12:10) another industry or you know back in the restaurant industry uh you always are facing rejection at a professional level it’s just different in sales because people can hang up the phone on you or send you an Ask email and tell you to subscribe even though you know it is a an automated erail so I think um that is
(12:31) a good lesson and I think being in this role and in sales it really does you know create thick skin in a way because you’re able to know how to handle rejection and kind of spin it and that’s partly why I wanted to have you chat about this topic because I feel like in general from what I know of you and I
(12:53) feel like our team knows of you you’re a very positive person so I would love to like just hear how you kind of spin negativity to positivity when it comes to the SDR role um you know it could be rejection when people hang up on you or it could be something different but maybe if someone is just struggling with
(13:13) that you know they keep getting Nos and you know there’s not a lot of yeses how do you kind of spin that to make it a positive for yourself I think would be good advice to hear I I appreciate you saying that Maddie um no it’s uh yeah no I I I think um how are you going to succeed at anything if you’re negative
(13:33) all the time first of all I I I think you you got to stay positive and um at just you know in from you know a professional standing to also just you know your own well-being um try to be as positive as possible and try to uplift um you know all the people’s on your team and just individuals uh in general
(13:54) because um negativity can just put a lot more weight on yourself and more pressure um than what is needed um but I guess the way I think about it uh would be in a sense that you know somebody hangs up on you per say you’re like well this this person sucks or you know whatever but you you you know can either take a break
(14:19) you know walk around your house or the office or anything like that and then just go right back to it and kind of like almost learned to forget as well it’s just like you know that the other person at the end of this phone I’ll probably never you know going to actually see again or talk to again per se um so to
(14:38) just be positive that um you know maybe the next person that picks up the phone or reads that email response it it’s going to be different so just keep on you know pushing with a positive mindset uh that somebody at the end of the line is goinging a better person than the last person you talk to um because
(14:59) there’s just plenty of fish in the sea you know so um yeah I I would say that um yeah negativity there’s no room for negativity in this yeah this field I would say I think you have to have um the mindset that all rejection in sales is really just redirection which is going to be the title of this episode
(15:23) and I think whenever someone hangs up on me or is rude or whatever it might be um or maybe they’re nice but it’s just not the right contact I think it just shows me okay maybe I need to rethink like how I’m going about this for this specific company and you know trying to break into this company and get to the right
(15:43) Prospect and so I think um just using that mindset too can be helpful of just not just looking at it as a no but as a not the right person how can I find the right person from this there um and I think we all have had experiences where you know you end up calling one person and then you know it’s an awful
(16:06) experience but then you try someone else and you get the meeting so I think um it’s all about just seeing it as not rejection but redirection and um I’m sure like there’s people listening who maybe have just started their sales career or maybe they’re looking to further their sales career whatever it
(16:26) might be or maybe they’re hitting a low um and I think uh it would be really great to hear just some like tricks tips tactics anything that you could share that’s maybe more tangable maybe it’s a routine in the day or um you know something that you do when you’re kind of are you know keep getting a lot of
(16:47) nose and you want to kind of redirect things what do you do personally that can sometimes help that process um yeah that’s a that’s a great question because it definitely I mean as you know the this field um there could definitely be you know es and flows in general UPS ups and downs um and when you’re in like a low period
(17:13) of you know your connection rate is low um you’re not getting a lot of yeses and things aren’t really moving you really you know um get hard on yourself you’re like why isn’t anything moving and you know um and kind of bringing it back it’s like you just gotta keep on pushing um you know you really have to just
(17:35) bring it back again like stay positive and just keep keep on pushing um and I think what helps me a lot is uh I mean I got a couple cats so like they’re always like you know if you got they’re always in the background somewhere yeah so it’s like I I need a little metal break I’m just like I’m gonna go sish my head
(17:54) against my cat and just like you know um little metal break walk around uh get outside get outside is definitely a huge a huge thing um soak up some sun just for a little bit you know sit on your steps or something just like breathe some fresh air uh I think that’s very beneficial um sometimes talking to uh
(18:15) other you know sdrs or your managers as well can be very uh beneficial in just trying to um you know see because you’re never the only one going through these uh low periods as well and these like slower periods 100% yeah yeah yeah yeah but there’s always um I was gonna say it always gets better is my you
(18:43) know my thought as well like it’s not going to be like this or forever it’s like you know there will be a period where you’re going to be on top of the world again but yeah and I think sometimes that redirection can be good um just to mix things up a little bit like I like how you said get outside you
(19:01) know change things up whatever it might be maybe your surroundings um I think sometimes just mixing things up and getting a new perspective whether that be talking to your managers or your fellow teammates I think that can really help you just see a different perspective because sometimes you know I feel like you and I
(19:21) relate to this where sometimes you kind of just get in the zone of doing the same thing hitting the same contacts trying the same you know titles whatever it might be and I think um sometimes you’re like I’m doing the right things why isn’t it working out but sometimes you just have to go back to the drawing
(19:40) board and really think about okay well what are the things I’m doing and what could I be doing different maybe just to mix it up no I completely right and that kind of where it comes into um experimentation in general it’s just like you gota try different things because you don’t know what’s going to
(19:59) work and you know this job is kind of everchanging with messaging and how to approach the job itself it’s not just black and white um which like you can get pretty creative with it so you can make it um you know more exciting and more fun for yourself to be doing it because um you kind of mess around you
(20:16) know maybe not do it to like a top Target of yours but like you know some some other some other targets you can kind of just like you know play around with messaging and um you know even with phone calls and stuff like that play around with the phone calls um you know if somebody answers the phone uh you
(20:31) know one of the things I did when I first started was uh you know as we’re cold calling just be like as soon as somebody answers like hey this is Kyle with blah blah blah um you just won yourself a cold call do you have you know 30 seconds to see if it’s elevant for you uh now that was kind of a big
(20:47) hit for a little bit um I’m sure yeah you get some Chuckles here and there uh some some people are like all right that you know that was good so yeah you can you can play around experiment kind of gets you out of a funk if you’re in one you know yeah and I think it’s you know just remembering to like we’re talking
(21:06) to humans on the other end of the phone or the email and I think um that’s part of it too with redirection I think you know even if someone specifically isn’t the right target for you to be talking to if they are a person who you know you have live on the phone it’s worth it some sometimes to even just ask and to
(21:27) see if maybe they have someone in mind and sometimes they do sometimes they don’t sometimes they can’t share that information but it’s always worth it to try because then that kind of gets you to that next step of you know Finding at least someone who might be a better um so just remembering that you’re talking to people too I think is
(21:47) important well you know we’re we’re all human beings at the end of the day trying to you know uh you know get by and progress and you know um I I think I think about that all the time what you just said pretty much it’s just it’s another human being at the end of the at the end of the day so you knowless of you’re a robot talking to
(22:06) some AI which I mean is pretty common now but yeah no I think it’s um such an important thing to remember okay all right I’ll look back to another question so I would love to hear I love asking different stories that people have when they come on the podcast just to hear about experiences they have and so for
(22:28) this topic in particular with rejection is there any experience you’ve had in the past year and a half that really stands out to you as something that was a learning experience maybe it was really bad really good really funny crazy somewhere in between but maybe just that one story that you go back to
(22:50) a lot because it really you know showed you a lot about the role yeah yeah um it’s probably a couple I know when I when I first started um one of the projects that I was on um it was it was a newer projects um so still try to you know get the bearings of um you know what we did um in general and our uh you know the targets that we were
(23:18) going after um and I I called this guy and I I was probably only calling for a month at this point uh and this person answered and was definitely very upset that um I was calling him and um you know was saying uh you know stuff along the lines of like you don’t even know you know what our company does you know
(23:41) kind of like definitely releasing some anger that he probably had before the call even occurred um and just was like Hey some random person I’m gonna go off on this guy um but yeah just pretty much like say like you don’t even know what we do you’re yourself won’t even like you know alha y y um and then hung up uh
(23:58) as you know probably expected and um so that definitely um made me think more like all right I should definitely be doing some more research into these accounts that you know I’m um you know targeting uh because uh I never wanted that to happen again uh so I was like if somebody you know I’m always like ready
(24:22) now just like I want this person to be like you don’t even know what we do and I be like actually I do um you know to to say um you know that I do have an understanding of you know what our service was and how you know we can benefit you know the people that we’re kind of targeting so that that definitely
(24:43) um helped me do my research and look more into the companies that we are um prospecting me to so that that was definitely when I first started um for I was like I was like scar yeah I like that story because I think um it literally happens to every single salesperson like that exact scenario um and if someone says that
(25:11) hasn’t happened to them they’re lying so if G just is a situation where you’re like I never want this to happen again so I’m going to make sure it doesn’t and then you don’t so it you know it’s it hurts it sting in the moment but then you’re more prepared for the next call and the next call it’s kind of you know um you learn
(25:32) from your mistakes you know you just you’re like okay what can I do differently that uh would kind of um deescalate that situation and you you learn from it and yeah you just you just grow as a better SDR you know and I think also like it’s okay to make mistakes I think sometimes you know we get really hard on ourselves and if
(25:58) something doesn’t go the way a conversation doesn’t go the way we thought it would or we get a negative response to an email that we you know really wanted a positive response to maybe it was like a top Target or something um I think that you have to give yourself some Grace sometimes and remember that we all you know are just
(26:17) trying our best and trying to figure out the best people to talk to and I think every single s strr Sen or not senior has gone through that and so I think it’s good to hear people talk about it and just say hey this has happened to me but I learned from it and so that’s the that’s the takeaway it’s like you can
(26:36) make mistakes just make sure you learn from it and you don’t let it happen again you know and exactly what you said it’s like I mean uh you know even even the people that you’re calling if they’re you know SE Suite or VPS and stuff like that it’s like they’re also like you know trying to figure their own stuff out as well
(26:55) like their own job uh you know so it’s it’s just having that in your head as well being like you know we’re all just trying to you know figure out what we’re trying to do they’re going to make mistakes we make mistakes and that’s that’s part of you know life in general you know oh it’s it’s a good lesson for not just
(27:15) sales but also life and so you know it’s I mean if you think about it rejection is a huge part of life regardless of if it’s a professional career or not I mean that is just how it goes and so the sooner you kind of take that take those experiences and shift them from negatives to positives kind of like we
(27:36) were talking about earlier I think you’re able to just you know have more tenacity and get through situations better than you were previously so that’s all we all do absolutely and stay positive yeah no I think that’s one of my you know main takeaways I think for sure from chatting with you and I think
(27:55) uh everyone else will see that too I think it shows as someone who is a senior scr was just in president’s Club has been doing great like I I said it before but I’ll say it again like it’s been great to see you grow and I also think that there there it’s sink or swim in a lot of these situations and I think
(28:14) um it’s good to hear from someone who you know is doing really great and it’s always on the you know leaderboard and all that stuff just to hear maybe if it’s some who’s a newer whatever it might be that everyone goes through the same highs and lows and it really is just a part of the job but at the end of
(28:34) the day if you let those experiences teach you something it can be a positive well I I appreciate it I I I think I came on to a great team and some Ro bottles on the team like yourself you know so um you know there there’s there’s some shoes to fill that uh you know and some people to you know keep up
(28:55) with and um I was like you’ve been doing great and it’s it’s really awesome to see and um everyone I think who will be watching this from the office knows that you’ve been doing great so I think it’ll really resonate with people that you know we’re all just trying our best and you know it it takes some rejection
(29:14) sometimes to redirect and figure out what works for you so I really appreciate it I appreciate the conversation and I know that everyone’s really going to like it um is there any final thoughts that you have or anything that you want people to make sure they take away um I’d say the biggest thing is um you
(29:34) know kind of to recap this conversation uh we’re all human at the end of the day uh you know we’re gonna we’re going to make mistakes um you know the other people that you’re emailing or talking on the phone to um they’re going to make mistakes um and to strive to be as positive as you can be um because uh
(29:55) it’s it’s hard to progress if you’re um too busy being negative about everything I mean yeah no I think played it simple no yeah no I people will really appreciate hearing that and like I said you’ve been doing great so I think it’ll show everyone at our company and beyond that you know we all have our highs and
(30:17) lows but at the end of the day you can take those lows and bring it into a redirection of some positivity so I appreciate it hey I I appreciate you Abby so thank you thank you well thank you guys and we appreciate you for listening and stay tuned for the next episode

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