I was never really a fan of the word
no. Like you, I always equated the word with negativity, such as no you cannot
have ice cream; no I don’t want to go on a date with you; or, no you are not a
fit for the job. It took some time as I matured in my career to come to terms
with the word no and then it hit me – no can be a good word. No can be a very
positive word. It just all depends on the context.
Sales people, I believe, struggle more
with the word no than those in other professions. Inherently, as a career sales
person, you only want to hear the word yes. Yes, you got the job. Yes, I will
buy from you. Yes, the contract is signed. But sometimes, in certain cases, the
word no has the best outcome. Let me explain.
I have yet to meet a sales person in
my career that has a 100% perfect client rate. Meaning not every client creates
a healthy working relationship. There are times when you, not the client, need
to embrace the word no, as in “no we should not renew our contract; you would
be better served with another firm”. There are times when sales people are so
far into the sales process that pulling the plug on the deal seems impossible.
And then, out of nowhere, the prospect says “no we’ve chosen someone else”. In
either case these are blessings in disguise.
Long-term health and prosperity for
your sales career depends on you accepting that the word no can be a good
thing. So, how can you embrace no? Understanding that not every deal is healthy
is the first step. Second, it’s not just what you say but how you say it.
Saying no with sincerity is the only way to go. And finally, looking past the
initial no, and fully understanding the positives or opportunities that lie