How To Turn a No into a Yes

6 Out of 10 Say No

When you’re in sales you’re going to hear the word “No” and you’re going to hear it a lot more than you hear “yes”.  In fact, if you’re great at sales 6 out of 10 people will turn you down. And to be great in sales you can’t let the no(s) you get, get you down.

On today’s show discover:

  • …that there’s a positive side to every no;
  • …how to know what no means;
  • …and how curiosity can help you turn No(s) into Yes(s);

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It’s Easier to Say No

vending machine salesMost people find it easier to say no then to actually make a decision. For that reason, those of us in sales are used to hearing “no” far more frequently than we hear “yes”. In fact, studies show that the average customer says no about five times before they say yes. Now you could let those “nos” pile up on you and bring you down or you could recognize that every “no” is getting you that much closer to your next yes.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of missed sales opportunities because some people feel that no is the final answer. No is not the end of the road, no is where the sales process begins.

Think about it like this, if everyone said yes everything would be sold through vending machines and you might be out of work. True salesmanship starts when the customer says no. This is when you use your skills to first understand what no really means, then work to address it and if possible turn it into a yes.

What Does No Really Mean?

Let’s take a look at what it means when a customer says “no” because most of the time, in sales, “No” doesn’t mean “No”.

It could mean:

  • “I’m interested but I don’t see what’s in it for me yet?”  -or-
  • “Based on what I know so far, the risk is far greater than the reward” -or-
  • “There is a really important and specific thing I need your product to do for me and you haven’t shown me that” -or-
  • “I can’t afford it right now” -or-
  • “I don’t understand what you’re offering so I can’t yes to it”

Many times “no” simply means your customer doesn’t have enough information, hasn’t seen the value yet, or is confused about something you’re offering. In each case it’s easier for the customer to say “no” than to tell you they’re confused, need more information or don’t think the product is worth the price. Even when a customer says they can’t afford it, there’s a really good chance they just haven’t seen the value yet.

How Do You Turn a No Into a Yes?

It’s actually pretty simple; you just need to find out what information is missing and then fill in the gaps. The best way to find out what’s missing is to ask good questions and be curious in your approach. You’re not trying to convince the customer to say yes, you’re trying to understand why they said no.  Remember “No” is not rejection, when you find out what’s missing and provide it you can turn a “no” into a “yes”. Successful sales people do it all the time!

Example: Trying to Convince a Customer to Say Yes

Salesperson: “And you get everything for just $197.15. So where would you like me to send it?”

Customer: “Well, I don’t know. I’m going to have to talk to my wife about this first”

Salesperson: “Well you’re in charge of your own finances aren’t you or does she need to approve everything?”

Using this approach it’s very unlikely that a customer will decide to say “yes”. Even if they do, it’s not the kind of experience you want your customer to have. No one wants to feel bullied.

Example: Using a more Curious Approach

Salesperson:” I understand, now when you two talk what are the main points you’ll want to review with her?”

Customer: “ Everything you’ve told me about the product sounds great. I just want to be sure she’ll be able to make this everyday. It sounds like a lot of work to prepare and she has a very busy schedule.”

Salesperson: “I see, you know I can’t believe I forgot to share this with you before but you can make a bunch of this up ahead of time. So she would only need to prepare it once at the beginning of the week. It’s how a lot of my busy customers do it.” 

Customer: “Oh you can? Perfect, I think this will work out great then”

Getting Value when “No” Does Mean “No”

wolf-1454397_640Even after all that you may get a no that really means no and that’s ok because there’s still something positive that can come from it.

When you get a “yes” in sales you get a check! But while there is no check for getting a no you do get something of value if you choose to take it. You get valuable experience and a chance to review what happened on the call. It’s an opportunity to think about what you can do differently next time.

It’s how anyone who is great got where they are today. They tried, failed, learned from it and tried again. It’s a simple formula but you have to be willing to take something away from every “no”.

While it can be tempting to blame something or someone else when you get a “no” there’s no value in it. Rather, think about what you did, what you said, and what you could do differently next time. Review what worked well and what didn’t. When you gain something of value from a “no” it’s a positive experience.

Michael Jordan once said:

“I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”Michael Jordan

Today’s One-Two Punch

Learn from the No(s) you get today to get more Yes(s) tomorrow

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