Rich, a Topaz sales coach, sat in front of the online participants with a friendly smile. “Okay, let’s go around and share what we learned from the sales training homework assignment,” he said.
As the participants began to each share, one person hesitated, fidgeting in their seat.
Rich noticed and gently interjected, “Is everything okay, Charles? Did you have a chance to complete the assignment?”
The participant nodded nervously. “Yes, I did, but I’m unsure if I understood everything. I think I might have missed something.”
Rich’s smile grew wider. “That’s completely normal, Charles. It’s okay not to understand everything right away. That’s why we’re here, to learn and grow together. So why don’t you start by telling us what you do understand, and we can go from there?”
Charles nodded, relieved, and began to speak. “Well, I understand getting a prospect to agree to a yes or next step but not getting a no as an answer. I feel unprepared for that.”
Rich nodded as Charles finished speaking. “Okay, so it sounds like you understand the importance of getting a prospect to agree to a next step or a ‘yes’ during the sales process. That’s great! But it’s also important to be prepared for the possibility of a ‘no’ as an answer.
“You see, a ‘no’ doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the conversation or the sale. It could mean that the prospect needs more information or time to consider their options. As salespeople, we need to anticipate objections and plan to address them.
“So, if you’re faced with a ‘no,’ try not to take it personally. Instead, discover more about why the prospect is saying ‘no.’ Are they unsure about the product or service? Do they have concerns about the price? By understanding their objections, you can address them and turn that ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’
“Does that make sense, Charles?”
Charles nodded. “Yes, I think so. I see why it is important to be prepared for a ‘no’ and to try to understand the prospect’s objections.”
Rich nodded in agreement. “Yes, it’s also important to remember that sometimes a ‘no’ really is a ‘no,’ and that’s okay. It’s essential to respect the prospect’s decision and not try to force a sale that isn’t a good fit. Not only is it a bad look for you and your company, but it also wastes everyone’s time and resources.
“By learning to accept a ‘no’ gracefully and move on, you’ll build trust with the prospect and be able to focus your time and energy on other potential sales opportunities. It’s all about finding the right fit for both the prospect and your company.
“So, remember, a ‘no’ doesn’t have to be the end. It can be an opportunity to learn and grow for you and the prospect. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude, and you’ll be well on your way to success in sales. Thank you for being so honest.”
Rich could see Charles’ confidence growing as the conversation continued. He knew this fundamental shift in his belief system could make a big difference in his success in the sales training program and future sales career.
PRO TIP: Our ultimate goal is to build trust and one way is by giving permission to say no. Remember, a no today does not mean a no tomorrow. But no trust today guarantees there is no tomorrow.