When to say no

“ Getting to Yes” was a best selling sales book because as sales people, we look for the green lights, head nods,  agreement. Yes is music to our ears and the word we find ourselves saying to questions about our ability to deliver.

“Getting to no” would be an important sequel because sometimes we should seek out the negative from our prospects, table it first and let them know it’s okay.  There are also times when we need to say no to a prospective client which can mean we miss out on that sale.

Now, some people reading this may think I’ve lost my marbles.  They may think that sales means a focus on the positives, the benefits and the dream.  I don’t necessarily disagree but I will say not always.

Like I’ve said before, when you show up for a sales meeting with an abundant mindset, you’re able to look for a mutual fit rather than business at any price (to you that is).  You’re able to table objections first and only go ahead when there is a genuine fit.

Yes it takes confidence and belief.  But then, we are talking about sales professionals here, right?  If you’re living in the land of desperation, discount and overpromising just to get a sale across the line, then you’re yet to turn pro.

Seeking the negative doesn’t mean being negative.  It does require you to be informed, market savvy and to see the world through the eyes of your prospective client.  It requires you to consider what fears prospects have, identify their frustrations and then and only then how your solution helps them address those.  It means being okay with saying no when it’s not going to be a valuable exchange because you know there is another client out there for whom the fit will be excellent.

 

To me there 2 big signals that tell you when no is the best thing you can say for both you and for the prospective client:

  1. Mismatch between what is possible and what they say they want

This is the client who is uneducated about your service offer and as such, knows what they are after but hasn’t any factual, experiential or realistic understanding of the time or resources required in order to deliver that to them.  Those clients who are okay once they understand what’s involved and want to go ahead are worth saying yes to.  If a client wants what they want but doesn’t value what’s required in order to avhieve that, you must say no.  Saying yes in this situation will wind you up in lots of hot water when you simply can’t deliver, or you deliver at the cost of your own business.  Time to walk away.

  1. Your values don’t align

Not what they’ve got on their website (sorry but so many people say they value integrity, honesty, exceptional service), but the way they behave.  Observe and find out how your prospective client treats their staff, their own clients, their suppliers.  If it matches the way you treat yours, you’re aligned and the working relationship is more than likely to be harmonious.

 

Own the sales process including smoking out objections.  Know how to skillfully table objections as you take your prospect on the buying journey so they feel they’re in the hands of a caring professional who “gets them”.  Avoiding the negative doesn’t mean it’s not there – it’s just unspoken.   And when it’s unspoken, there’s nothing you can do to address it.   That’s when you get a prospect giving you unlikely reasons for not going ahead at the 23rd hour when you thought it was a “done deal”, or for cancelling a contract early into the project with buyer remorse.

Be comfortable in the negative and you cancel it out.  Be skilled, be courageous and see the world through your customers’ eyes.

 

Don’t let the heading fool you on this video

 

View our other posts

Structure is the Key

If the business world in Australia goes into hibernation, what on earth do we as salespeople do?    Well I guess we could pull up stumps and “go home” mentally and turn our attentions elsewhere.  That’s certainly one option. My question about that though, is what...

The Hidden Impact on your Customer Facing Teams

Bushfires.  Coronavirus.  Global Recession.  Mass layoffs.  Daily updates on social distancing.  Industries disappearing.  Queues at Centrelink.   It’s rough.  Could get rougher.  Could?  Let me change that to probably will. For the industries who still have...

How to connect despite social distancing

Life has just jumped tracks.    One minute we were heading into a recession…but we kind of knew how to handle that…and we could prepare ourselves for less spending by less individuals and businesses…It would hurt, but it was something we could handle. Coronavirus...

How to sell in a recession

It’s coming.  Some say it’s here.  We dodged the last one….just.  This one is seemingly unavoidable. Selling is easy when the economy is buoyant, when confidence is high and employment is so abundant people are quitting jobs to pursue their passions. Relatively...

Coronavirus Update

These certainly are interesting times we’re living in, aren’t they?   With each day comes new information and new restrictions about the way we interact with one another to protect ourselves and those most vulnerable to Coronavirus.  I wanted to reach out to you...

One thing impacts something else

We don’t just transform in one way without transforming in other (sometimes unexpected) ways.  We just don’t.  I used the example of extreme weight loss in another article, so let’s return there for the purpose of example.  In losing say, 37kg in weight a person will...

Staying Hungry and Humble

There is a truth in sales that must be accepted in order to be truly successful and to ensure that success is continued.  And that is that we never pass go.  To use the Monopoly Board analogy, we may step on the destination but then we move beyond it…over and over and...

Acting As If and Imposter Syndrome

At some point in our career, each of us feels like we’re going to get the tap on the shoulder to tell us that the game is up.  They’re finally onto us…nice try but we’ll take it from here.  Imposter Syndrome.But where does Acting “As if” fit into this, and is it the...

Service is a privilege

To be of service is a privilege.   There I’ve said it.  It’s the fastest way to right size yourself, to put your ego well and truly back in its place and to live a life of legacy and purpose.  Not everyone sees it like this. Service isn’t related only to a job, a role...

2020: Hindsight or Vision?

Welcome to 2020! What a year, right?     What’s it going to bring you?  What will you bring to it? In December I wrote that with the start of a new decade, we have the opportunity to leave behind the habits, behaviours, thinking patterns, feelings, approaches...