When people say “No”
The 10% rule in sales says that if you reach out to 10 people for your services or product, at least one will say yes. Well, some people may be happy with the 10% but my focus is on the majority 90%. My curiosity is how I can take this bulk and nudge them from a ‘no’ to a ‘yes’? The answer I found lies in the basics.
People say ‘no’ when they have no need for your product or services. That for you is critical feedback because you obviously got in touch with them because you thought that they were potential clients but they think they don’t need what you have to offer. Work at bridging that gap. If you can close that divide, you have a conversion. Investigate, question, learn and understand your potential clients better. Maybe you need to change your pitch. Maybe you missed to highlight some features about what you do. Maybe you need to win their trust. Find out and fill that blank and you will move closer to a ‘yes’.
People say ‘no’ when there is no urgency to buy. This is even more dangerous for your performance because you have probably created the need and delivered the information but since you failed to create the urgency, they will probably buy at a later day, and that probably will not be from you. Create the urgency for the sale. Give a discount if that is allowed. Make a special allowance. Give them an extra perk if it is permissible to urge them to buy. Use your creativity to create urgency.
People say ‘no’ when they do not have the authority to say ‘yes’. They may not even bother to tell you that they are not the right person to make that decision. Find out who is and contact that person. It is important to speak to the decision makers if you want to make a sale. And what would be smart is to get some tips about the decision maker so you have a selling advantage. “Can you tell me a little more about your boss?” will open doors for you for more opportunities than the one you have at hand. If that fails too, what stops you from asking for references? Please understand that people don’t like to say no. There is a certain inexplicable embarrassment that goes in telling someone off. So if you ask for references you are giving an opportunity of relief for the other person to help you.
And when ‘no’ means ‘no’, don’t give up. For whatever reasons unexplained or unavoidable, a ‘no sale’ today does not mean a ‘no sale’ forever. Keep the person in view and keep in touch. Find ways to add value to the person. Find ways to be a part of their purpose. The returns that you will eventually get, even if that means having made a good friend, will outweigh the temporary loss you felt under the disappointment of the ‘no’.
With three weeks to go for the year-end, gear up with all your strengths and energy and make the magic happen—because you can—because the persistent always win.