Sometimes It’s OK to Accept "No"

My friend Andrea Waltz has a great program entitled “Go For NO” that suggests just that…you should Go For NO! Don’t let the word scare you or intimidate you. As Andrea says, it’s the only way you can get to a YES!

I love that attitude.

Today I want to talk about accepting “No”. And that’s many times easier said than done. As salespeople we are programmed to sell, sell, sell. But, there does come a time when you have to accept the “no” and move on.

I realize there are prospects out there that we all have in a totally separate category from the rest; the ones that would make our career or be trophy accounts or be feathers in our hat with the boss. But, you can’t get so personally vested in these potential prospects (sometimes remotely potential) that you lose focus on prospects that can and should be closed.

Is it hard to turn them loose? Yes. Should you turn them loose? I think so.

If at any point you find yourself pursuing a prospect out of spite (don’t laugh, we’ve all had those who we were going to sell “just to show them”), let them go. Forget about them. Move on. They are draining your energy and stealing your time.

It is ok to accept no as an answer.

Again, I realize this is contrary to our inner compass of looking for and working for that “yes”, but sometimes that’s the reality. Continuing to chase that prospect who will never buy is taking away time and energy from your current clients and prospects who do need and want what you have to offer.

I’m in no way suggesting you give up at the first sign of opposition or at the first objection. I’m talking about those prospects who we ALL know are never going to buy—not matter what.

Don’t be afraid to take them off your list and move on. I believe one of the biggest time wasters for salespeople today is continuing to chase prospects who will never do business with them. Your time is too valuable to waste.

So, how do you know?

You know, don’t you? You may not want to admit it, but you know. You know who those prospects are. You know the ones you still have on your “list” that will never move from prospect to customer. Oh, they’re nice enough and great people. But, they aren’t going to buy.

The professional thing to do is move on. Or, as Andrea says, “Go For No”.

When you get that final “No”, accept it and move on. You’ll be a better salesperson because of it.

The best way to handle these prospects is to let them know you are taking them off “the list”. Here is a great way to do it. “Mr. Prospect, I’ve been calling on you for a while now and as much as I’d love to do business with you, my current client base and prospects demand my full attention. You’ve said you’re happy with your current situation and I respect that. You know how to reach me if that changes.”

It’s just as simple as that.