“The second thing I want to hear from a prospect is ‘No’ “, a financial professional recently told me. “I love hearing ‘yes’, but I like hearing ‘no’ from prospective clients. That sounded crazy when I first heard it. Who would like hearing no? When girls rejected me in high school (and college) I didn’t like hearing no. When I applied for jobs, I didn’t like hearing no. However, when he explained his answer, it made perfect sense.

The first time I heard no, I was shocked. What was wrong with me? I thought I had the best product on the market, AND I’m a nice guy. Who wouldn’t buy from me? I took it as personal rejection. Furthermore I thought successful people heard yes all the time. Not true! Michael Jordan never made all of his shots, and Babe Ruth struck out most of the time. So why do sales people like hearing ‘no?’

Decision – Sales people manage a pipeline of opportunities. People commonly use phrases like, “Sure, I am still interested.” or “Yes, I might buy.” That is not the truth. As a result, the sales person keeps spending time on the potential sale. No means the decision has been made not to buy. I can now move on to someone else who might buy and invest my time and resources elsewhere. I like hearing no because it saves me time, and it helps me manage my pipeline.

LinkedIn Tips to Drive Sales

Understanding – Scientifically Speaking is not perfect. When someone tells me no that gives me a chance to understand “why.” Are my prices too high? Was there a competitor I didn’t know about? Did I present enough value in my sales pitch? Hearing no sets me up for the next conversation and discussion. Like an athlete who loses a race, I change my approach. I like hearing no because it helps me understand and perfect my approach.

Drive – The first time I failed a test I studied harder the next time. I knew what I did wrong, and I performed better the next time. Hearing ‘no’ drives me in the same way. If I hear ‘yes’ all the time, I get lazy. My ego gets too big, and I don’t try as hard. Winning doesn’t drive people as much as losing. No is not the end of the world. As Annie says, “the sun will come out tomorrow”, and you will have the chance to try again. Try harder the next time.

Hello? – Please tell me something! When a client stops taking my calls then I don’t know anything. Was my price too high? Did you run out of budget money for the year? Are you still with the company? I like hearing no, but I hate hearing nothing. The only thing worse than a girl saying no to dating me was if she ignored me and stopped taking my calls.

Stop Selling So Hard

Most people prefer to hear ‘yes.’ Yes means bonuses and compensation. I like hearing no because it means the prospect respected me enough to at least give me an answer. I can move on to another sale, change my approach or ask for understanding. No is not the end of the world. It is just another fork in the road, and sales professionals can then decide which path to take. The next time you hear no, just smile and relax. You are in good company. It’s not the first or last time you’ll hear no.

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