Make “No” Your New Sales Goal

I have a ten month old baby in my house right now, amazing experience watching little Gianna develop and grow. We were sitting at dinner and my daughter Meredith said “No” to Gianna, …she was throwing food on the floor. My wife Katherine turned to her and said “try not to use that word, we don’t want it to be the first word she learns…”

Nobody likes to hear no, and as a society we have been programmed to avoid saying “No” which is really funny when you consider we founded this country on the idea of NO more taxation without representation and the like. We like to answer with “maybe” or “I need to get back to you” rather than say no, it’s just more comfortable, and the advantageous have learned to interpret a  “maybe” from us as “yes” just to complicate things.

In sales, we know that there are always going to be some “no”s. We don’t like to think about it, in fact, getting a “no” often puts people off, especially if they have a sales goal or they just plain old need the money. Even worse, we are willing to accept it when a prospect says “ I need to check with my wife”, or “I’m not sure that’s in the budget, I’ll need to get back to you”. Why are we willing to accept these kinds of answers which after all are just code words for “no”? Is it that we don’t want to be rude? Or is it that we just don’t want to hear them actually say the word no?

 It may be one or all of the above. I’m here to tell you that we need to love the word “no” instead of avoid it. When we accept customer code for “no” we are not helping ourselves or our prospects.

A sale is simply an agreement. The decision to agree or not to agree needs to be clear so that there an be new opportunity for both you and the prospect. Living in the land of “maybe” allows us to linger in an agreement that has not happened and probably won’t. Our prospects need to be empowered to make a clear decision so that everyone can move on with ease and grace either with the sale or without.

 Why are we afraid of “no”? Since we know it is inevitable that we are going to get “no’s” and “yeses”’ what are we so concerned about? If I told you I would give you $ 100  every time we flipped a coin and it came up heads, would you say “OMG what if it comes up tails”? For that matter if it came up tails would you say “I just can’t do this anymore, It’s never going to come up heads”. No way, you would be flipping that coin all day and every time it came up tails you would be all “flip it again, it’s got to come up heads soon”. In fact, since its a 50/50 shot that you get heads or tails, you would want to get as many tails as possible because that means you would eventually get just as many heads.

  What if we treated sales with the same attitude? Think about it, what if we decided we were going to go out and get 20 “no’s” a day? You would be guaranteed to get some “yeses” in there and it would totally destigmatize getting “no’s”, in fact you might celebrate getting “no’s” just like getting tails when you flip a coin, knowing that a “yes” is on the way.

 Yes and no are two sides of the same coin, Yes lives in the land of No, you cant have one without the other. So start setting a “no” goal for your sales whether it be weekly, monthly or daily and watch the results shift over time.

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