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You Must Know This About No

If you can ‘sell’, you become hugely valuable. Here’s a brutal truth about selling. It’s the difference between success and failure. Do you know it?

Selling is hard. It needs courage. Resilience. Confidence. In modern business, the ability to ’sell’ is more cirtical than ever. Yet the process is fraught with setbacks and rejection. It can be depleting and draining. Unless you believe this one brutal truth. Here it is.

‘No never means no.’

Let me be very clear. This idea does not apply to those many occasions in life when ‘no’ absolutely means ‘no.’ And I’m thinking of you here, Harvey. It only applies to this one very special case. And for many of us in business, it’s central to our success, today and tomorrow.

So when does ‘no never mean no?’

When you are selling professional services to potential clients or stakeholders. And this applies in my view if you are angling for a promotion, or a new role.

All ’no’ means in these circumstances is this. “Not now.” Or, “Not yet.”

For a client to ‘buy’ our services, they need to have courage, and to manage their fear of failure. These are real pressures for them. They have much at stake.

As we push for a decision – ‘will you buy?’… ‘will you give me what I want?’ – it’s easier for the client or stakeholder to say ‘no.’

But what they really mean is: “I need more time. A few other things need to fall into place. So, not now. Not yet.”

In many industries, as automation and artificial intelligence take over many of the functions we perform today, one of the most vital strengths a human brings to business is the ability to persuade. Machines don’t have empathy. Machines can’t sell. It’s our ability to persuade so as to get the ‘yes’ and the support for our ideas that will future-proof and turbo-charge our careers.

And central to selling and persuading is expecting and having the resilience to handle many, many ‘no’s’. The more ‘no’s’ you’re getting, the closer you’re getting to the ‘yes’ answer.

So, get your mindset right.

When you’re selling, ‘no never means no.’ It just means: ‘Not now.’ ‘Not yet.’

Pause. Recalibrate. Think about your strategy to gently approach that moment again with your prospects. Pick your timing. Add some more value. And then, ask again.

You’ll be surprised how often that original ‘no’ turns into a ‘yes.’

In selling and persuading in business, learn to love ‘no.’

It’s just turbulence on your flight path to success.

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9 Responses to You Must Know This About No

  1. Chris Blackman November 8, 2017 at 11:11 am #

    Sometimes, “No” might mean, “I don’t quite get your value proposition yet, I don’t get why this is a good deal for me”.

  2. Grant Butler November 9, 2017 at 10:14 am #

    Thanks Chris – great advice and you might need to add Kevin as well, unfortunately!

    • Chris Savage November 13, 2017 at 10:53 am #

      So true, Grant!

  3. Jaqui Lane November 9, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    Chris, I’ve had many instances when No has meant No and then Yes (in business that is). And sometimes it’s taken 1, 2 or 3 years. Yep. One memorable no took
    three years to convert into a yes and in the process I established a good relationship with the person…so that’s why it became a Yes. No in many cases does mean, not ready, too busy. Patience and persistence and nous are a great combination.

    • Chris Savage November 13, 2017 at 10:54 am #

      Agree, Jaqui.

  4. Peter Cornelius November 9, 2017 at 12:55 pm #

    Totally agree Chris. Very similar sentiment to one Agency CEO I worked with for many years who said after an unsuccessful client pitch “there is no such things as a lost pitch. Its just that some take longer than others.” It’s an adage I have always worked under and so often holds true. Great blog Chris….

    • Chris Savage November 13, 2017 at 10:54 am #

      Thanks Peter.

  5. Paul Alexander November 9, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    nice one bro

    • Chris Savage November 13, 2017 at 10:54 am #

      Thanks Paul!

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