I saw a plaque the other day that said that Teenagers need to understand the No is a complete sentence. After I got finished laughing at the sentiment, I realized that in sales, no should never be a complete sentence.
We have all gone on that cold call, and talked to the gatekeeper who has told us, No, we can't meet with the decision maker. We call the decision maker and they say No they don't want to meet with us. We meet with the decision maker and make our pitch, then get a No. This has happened to all of us, the difference is, how do we deal with that No.
A No at the door is either the end of a call or a challenge to get around the gatekeeper and reach the decision maker. How do we get there? We get a business card that has an email address that we can contact. We find someone else in the organization that can get us to the decision maker, or we try to charm the gatekeeper in to letting us through.
We get to the decision maker and they say no to a meeting, we again have a choice, we can back out and leave, or we can take the No as a factor of the decision maker not having enough information to see the advantage of a meeting. Given that scenario we need to figure out a way to get enough information to the decision maker so that they see the value of a meeting. Mailers, emails, testimonials, a call from a trusted ally are ways to make this happen.
We get that meeting with the decision maker, and as we're making our pitch and we start testing a close, we're getting No, do we take the No as a "No Sale", and walk away, or do we take the No as a lack of information on our part, that has led to the decision maker not seeing the value of our product? Of we see that as the problem, we go back, probe to find where we have agreement, and then we probe to find out why we're getting a No. Once we find that point, we can then give more information, support our information, and try another close. We continue to work through the process and keep working to get to the yes at the close.
I guess the point that I want to make, is that as a salesman, we need to not accept No as a complete sentence. Instead of hearing No, we should hear a request for more information. As salespeople we always worry about losing a potential customer because of being pushy, but we need to develop a non threatening approach that will allow us to collect the information that we need, to change that No to a yes, and we then need to present the information and get to the next step.
I had a Sales Manager who used to tell me that No mean's not just today, not No forever. I think as salespeople we need to realize that, and see No as a challenge and not as a roadblock.
Labels: David Colomb