When I talk to a prospect, the second best thing I can hear is “no”. No is much better than hearing, “Not yet.” Or “What if we could do it this way…”
As one of my mentors taught me, “No means next!”
When I get a “no,” I can move on. I can let that prospect go and spend my time and energy serving someone who’s more ready for the transformation I’m offering.
How good are you at hearing no?
What happens when the story I’m telling myself is, “I really need this deal?” Or worse yet, when we decide that “this deal will be perfect for us”?
When we become invested in a particular outcome, in this case, we’re invested in a “Yes” from the prospect; it can be hard to hear other answers.
So we keep trying. We keep calling, shifting the offer, turning ourselves inside-out to get the “Yes” when what they are saying (in different words) is “No.”
Going for the “No”
What if you would “go for the No” earlier in the sales process?
You have the first discovery appointment, and it goes OK; maybe they even ask you for a proposal!
Before you start working on that proposal or schedule the next call, you could ask, “_Can you tell me, as specifically as you can, what outcome you’re expecting if we engage in this process together? _”
How excited are they? How much do they value the change they are describing? Not sure? You could ask them!
Then you could propose a budget, “You seem excited about that! I’m not really sure yet, but I think this will come out to a budget between $X and $Y; if it comes out in that range would that be a good value to get that result?”
This gets all the potential objections out on the table early before you invest a ton of time and emotional energy into the process.
How do you “go for the NO” in your new business conversations?