When you’re out there in the market, trying to make sales for your product or service, it’s important to understand the value of no.
We’ve all experienced the slog of advancing a potential sale through the so-called ‘sales funnel’, investing time and effort as we go. While many prospects fall off along the way, through lack of effective and efficient communication or whatever, others progress nicely and seem worth the ever increasing commitment of resources. One of the more difficult skills of selling to master is the ability to recognise the difference between a prospect who has erected a barrier to buying and one who simply isn’t going to buy.
This is the value of ‘no’.
Listen to what prospects are saying to you. Are they saying that they’re not going to buy because, if they did, they would have to do ‘abc’ or ‘xyz’? That’s a long way removed from a straight ‘no’. Maybe, in fact, they would be perfectly happy to do ‘abc’ or ‘xyz’ and begin to use your product or service. Maybe they’re simply searching for a solution to their problem and maybe that solution might come from you. They might be looking for a ‘way out’ of some deal or contract they find themselves in currently. Indeed, they might be looking for a strong argument to bring back to the boss as to why they should invest in whatever it is that’s required.
Developing the sale to a point where you hear the word ‘no’ can actually be a deal maker as much as a deal breaker. It releases tension and brings the situation to a head. Even if there is no deal done afterwards, it is a resource liberator, allowing you to invest those scarce resources in the next target.
Think about it : that ‘no’ you’ve just heard could be a call for a solution. “No, I can’t use your solution because …” gives you, the vendor, the opportunity to nip that ‘because’ in the bud. Now that they have explained the ‘no’, you can offer your prospect a way out, an escape, a solution.
Either way, that is the value of ‘no’.
Selling is not easy, so be sure to have your antenna finely tuned, so as not to miss these type of situations, where a ‘no’ is often a cry for help.