A “No” Is One Step Closer to A “Yes”

11Aug10

Why do people fear being told “no”? Simply put, its hard to accept.  Being told “no” isn’t easy as a child and even more difficult as an adult!  Emotions such as anger, frustration, embarrassment, and worry are common symptoms people feel when being told “no.”  Yet, in sales if a person fears being told “no”, he or she is likely not right for the position.  Thus, learning to accept “no’s” is a valuable skill not just for sales people but for anyone who wants to get closer to a “yes”! 

Activities such as going door-to-door or cold-calling is enough to deter many people from sales jobs.  Selling requires a person to: a) be confident, b) face objections, and c) ultimately accept “no’s”.  First, a confident person is seen as knowledgeable, able to inspire others, and persuasive.  Next, in order to move through the sales cycle, the prospect will have questions and concerns.  By understanding how to address objections, a person can pinpoint the underlying reason why the prospect is saying “no.”  Perhaps, the prospect needs more information in order to buy the service or product.  Finally, accepting a “no” is required.  People have different needs and wants, therefore not everyone will need or want what is being solicited.  In going one step further, successful sale people learn from those who say “no” by gaining valuable information that may help with future sales calls. 

I am no longer in a sales position yet I still apply this concept to other situations both in my professional and personal life.  I don’t fear asking about something I don’t know.  I am not afraid to talk to people who I don’t know.  I will ask, just to see if I will get a “yes”.  For example, yesterday as I was going through my bills, I noticed a $3.00 charge on my checking account (note: pet peeve with small fees such as transaction fees, interest fees, monthly fees, etc.).  I called the financial institution to inquire.  The agent explained that the personal finance software I use charges the bank a fee, therefore that fee is passed onto me.  After politely listening to his response, I asked for the fee to be waived as a courtesy (your probably thinking, “OMG its only three dollars!”)  Well, he waived it.  Had I feared him telling me no, how likely would I have been to ask in the first place?        

Nonetheless, the intent is not to say, “always accept ‘no’s'”.  Yet, learning to go through the process will provide you with valuable experience that can benefit you in your personal and professional life (even if you are not in sales).  It may be difficult in the beginning but once you get several no’s, a couple of things will happen.  You will be more comfortable with hearing someone tell you “no.”  And, you will be one step closer to a “YES”!

When was the last time you were told “no”?

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