Being told “no” in sales shouldn’t stop you asking for a “yes”!
It’s a “no” from me. That sounds quite harsh, doesn’t it?
“No” is seen as such a negative word and is probably rooted somewhere deep from childhood as a bad thing. But it really doesn’t have to be.
A “no” is all part of life, business, and sales – and it’s a common part of your lead generation process. It’s perfectly normal, even if you never really get used to it.
Rejections might stop you asking, but rejections are an important part of sales. Learning to work with the “no’s” and look at the positives and learnings from them should be high on your agenda. A “no” isn’t always bad; in fact it’s hardly ever bad if you look at it from a different perspective. So let’s do that.
Being told “No” isn’t the end for your sales conversation….
Why. One of the most important words in the English dictionary and used by children all over the world to understand “why not?” We should learn from our younger inquisitive selves. Asking why we’re not allowed more sweets or why we’re not given permission to go on the bus into town on our own aged 10 is important. It’s important because we learn.
- We learn why it wasn’t right this time.
- We learn the reason behind the answer and what options that leaves us with.
- We understand the person we’re talking to and where they’re coming from.
Being told no is only useful if you ask why. It doesn’t have to be a huge emotional question – you can explain that it’s helpful for your business growth and development in future. Most people should be happy to oblige.
A “no” isn’t always a “no”
A “no” might just be a “not right now” to what you have on offer. A “no” might be a “not today” because the person you’re asking isn’t in the right frame of mind or position to say yes. It might be a bad time for them.
Asking “why not?” will certainly help you understand this more, but learning from it and understanding how and when it could become a yes in the future should be your aim.
“No” is part of the process, remember. You should almost be grateful for a “no” as at least you now have the opportunity to learn more about this sale and how you can give the right service or product.
If it’s a definite “no”, again you’re one step closer to a sale because you can move on to the next prospect knowing that you’ve tried but it wasn’t going to work out in this case. A no is better than a maybe if you need to focus.
Find out how a no could become a yes
What are the reasons for the “no”? Is it “no, not today”, or “no thanks, we’re happy with our current provider” or even “no, we don’t need what you have to offer”.
The above examples don’t mean that you shouldn’t follow up another time. It doesn’t have to be case closed unless both parties decide it is.
If the situation might change for this business in the future then a “yes” might be more likely. Maybe their budget is low or they’re in the middle of a big change. It’s possible that you’d get a “yes” after these situations have changed. It would be sensible to let them know that you’ll follow up with them in future.
A “no” might be a “yes” next time
We’re not suggesting that you simply keep asking – that would be a terrible waste for your time and your prospect’s. We’re suggesting that if you were to follow-up in a few weeks, months or even a year then the answer may well turn into a yes.
Asking for a good time to check back in would be a great learning from this “no” and would help you and the prospect. There’s no real shame or harm in asking for a better time to call back. It keeps that door open for another more suitable time.
Change the way you ask and it might become a “yes”
It could just be possible that you didn’t frame your request in the right way for them. It could be that you didn’t describe the value or demonstrate the return in working with you or how much better they’d be with your product or service.
Learning from this “no” and asking in a better, more informed way to your next prospect will mean that this “no” has helped you to get more “yeses” from elsewhere. It’s all a learning curve, this sales and business journey, and those who fail to learn will learn to fail.
Look at your reply and listen to your prospect. Did they understand what you were offering and are they really getting you? Maybe you’re focusing too much on the features and not enough on benefits they’ll get. Maybe they need a more compelling reason to buy, or perhaps you simply forgot to really nail your call to action.
Learning from a “no” is how we all progress and it’s no different in business. Look to turn those future “no’s” into “yeses” and your sales funnel will be a lot healthier.
How to make all this really very simple…
Putting all this into a CRM will help you grow and nurture your leads more professionally and more effectively.
When you ask why you’ve had a “no” you can record that on your prospect’s profile and schedule a follow-up when you feel they’re more likely to be in the position to buy.
If the “no” is just a “not now” then ask when is a good time to call back or ask who’s the best person to contact. Add their details to the company profile and schedule to follow-up with them instead next time.
If you’re just not right for the lead right now try to find out when you might be. If the company goes into a buy-out or the marketing team change, or the CEO leaves, you might well be in with a chance. Maybe their existing provider contract is up for tender soon. Can you find out when?
Set a reminder to check in with the company another time and use SalesRadar to scan the business and see if any new people have joined the team.
Staying in contact and learning from your unsuccessful attempts will be the difference between and thriving sales funnel and a leaking one. If you forget everyone that says “no” and just work on finding more leads you’ll be leaving business on the table and making your own life a lot more difficult. Yes you’ll need to develop some internal resilience, but it’s character building, after all!
Constant and timely contact is so simple with SalesRadar. Build yourself a simple follow-up system and set reminders to check in with your leads and prospects.
Staying front of mind is a powerful way to build sales and using your “no’s” to learn how to get “yeses” should be high on your agenda.