By Ken Hammock, The Joy FM

In sales, it’s the one word that we don’t want to hear, but so often do. Sometimes it feels like we hear the word “no” more than we hear “yes.”

Recently, I sent an email survey to a number of my customers and several of my colleagues with a simple question. “Why do your customers say, No?”

The list of reasons was quite lengthy and I’d gladly share the results, if you would like.

However, it was interesting to see how the responses were very similar in context regardless of whether it was from a retail or service business, or whether the sales model was structured for  business-to-business or business-to-consumer.

The one true discovery from all the answers reveal that most of the “no” answers were mere excuses. Saying “No” actually was not the final answer, rather a revelation of an unanswered objection. Or, worse the true reason may be answers to questions that were never asked. If there are unanswered questions, the prospect often has no alternative but refuse.  A more complete and thorough needs analysis might have disqualified the prospect and deemed the attempt as a waste of effort. I firmly believe most proposals should never have gotten to the estimate, quote, or pitch stage.

Equally, if we are to graduate into a seasoned sales representative then we should see the opportunities that might be hiding in a rejection.

First, is the rejection an opportunity to grow our knowledge and abilities.

Second, we can determine if the rejection is absolute or if hope remains.

Finally, can we discover something about our own perception of the relationship with the customer? Are we seeing everything through the eyes of the customer? Or through our own filters? Do we have their full trust, or does the relationship need deepening? Are we missing the customer’s actual view point, and are we presumptuous?

When the word “no” becomes a factor in your transaction, how do you respond?

Let me know if I can help.

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(Ken Hammock is a 30-year marketing veteran and is the Corporate Engagement Specialist for The JOY FM. You can reach him via email at ken@theJoyFM.com)