Many traditional sales approaches emphasize the importance of getting prospects and customers to say 'yes'. Here are some examples:
"A small 'yes' (a demo, accepting literature, etc.) leads to a big 'yes' ( a closed sale).
"A prospect who is saying 'yes' is still a prospect (even though the 'yes' is seemingly a willingness to take an action step, such as "I want to think this over." but is really evasive and non-committal).
A salesperson who accepts these types of affirmative responses has developed a set of "happy ears" and probably has a sales pipeline that is bulging at the seams with opportunities that look good but never seem to close in the forecasted quarter. A salesperson with happy ears has never learned to accept a 'no' from a prospect or to get the prospect to say 'no' so the sale can really begin.
High performing salespeople however, have an entirely different perspective of 'no'. They understand the power of this two letter word. Using the word 'no' (or a form of it) at the right time with the right person:
-Enables them to level the playing field with prospects who attempt to commoditize their product or service offering.
-Allows them to put the possibility of not doing business together on the table in the first sales call which is a powerful strategy in the sales process.
-Gives the prospect the right to say, "I don't think there is a fit between our two organizations"…but also gives the salesperson to say the very same thing to the prospect and qualify out of the sales opportunity.
These are just a few of the benefits of using the word 'no' when talking to potential customers.
If you are a President, CEO or business owner, ask yourself this question–"How do my salespeople view the word 'no' and how do they use it with our prospects and customers?"