How NO gets you to YES
Written by Harlan Goerger
Clients not responding, no return calls or emails? here is what works!
How to move customers to yes or no in the sales process.
The ever on going chase. Is he in today? Leave a message and he’ll call back? Drop an email and no reply? The chase is on, the salesperson chasing the prospect and being frustrated with the non-response.
Even a straight NO would be preferred to the confusing non-reply.
Over the past several weeks I’ve been working on a special project and contacting a specific group of executives on work with the project. Ben is a very active executive in the community and on several boards for various organizations.
Over the next several weeks it was call, leave messages, call the cell, he’s in a meeting and no response to emails on resetting the time.
The project does have a deadline!
One morning I’m looking over the call list and Ben’s name is prominent on the list. OK this is a yes or no point in time.
An email went like this: Ben, hope your past challenges have been resolved and your back on schedule. You had indicated a strong interest in the project but had to change past appointments.
As a community leader the ability to assist other business to grow is a primary motivation of yours. The projects main purpose is to assist other business’s in make the right moves to grow the community.
We have a limited time frame and limited number of people we are offering this to. It would be fantastic to have you on board.
If you are still interested in being part of the project, please, simply reply “Yes” back to this email and I’ll be in contact.
Should you have decided to say “No” please reply so to this email and we’ll continue to invest our time contacting others.
Either way, your contribution to the community is greatly appreciated.
An hour later the reply came back with “yes”, that’s all. A phone call that afternoon setup another appointment and by the time you read this, business will have been concluded.
Personally I’ve utilized this approach more and more. Everyone seems to be running at crazy speeds or as Jill Konrath says, “crazy-busy”. Overloaded with information, requests and choices; too often no action is taken simply because it is not the top of the list at that moment.
Help the prospect make a choice by giving them a very simple choice, Yes or NO! NO is not a bad word, it indicates where you should be investing your time. Not everyone is prime for your product/service today; maybe next week or next year, but today is a NO and that is OK!
In this example, Ben indicated a Yes, what do you suppose that tells us about his intent with this project? If he had indicated NO, then I and the team can focus on others and not invest energy in wondering what the non-response means.
The approach also tells the prospect that you have value, time restrictions, deadlines and such just as they do, you are equals and not some pesky commission chasing salesperson.
The word NO is not always welcome in the sales field and many try to convert the no to a yes with seven tries to get the yes and all types of objection responses. The reality is persuasion does not work that way. If you are unable to engage a customer effectively with value for them, then they need to say NO. It’s your responsibility to engage them based on real value to them, not you.
Yet countless salespeople today are “chasing” the maybe or the might be and burning up a great deal of valuable time.
This maybe counter intuitive for many, but because you ask for the NO you will probably get more Yes!
Give it a try, you maybe pleasantly surprised!
Harlan Goerger, Prez