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You are going to hear “no” every day.  You can choose to let it beat you down until you are looking for another career path, or you can see the opportunity it affords you. 


In sales, we’re often trained to become numb to the word “no.” We hear it at the very start of the sales process and, depending on how our interaction with contacts goes, we might hear it several more times before a deal ever closes. In prospecting, we can expect to hear it at least eight times — remembering that a lack of a reply is actually a silent “no” — before we ever get a response. And, even that response might be a very audible “no.”

Unfortunately, we don’t just hear “no” from customers, either. Sometimes, it comes from technical experts and managers we work with, too:

  • No, I can’t come with you on that sales call…
  • No, we can’t build that solution…
  • No, we don’t have those resources…
  • No, we don’t have those skills…
  • No, you can’t offer that discount…
  • No, we don’t work with that target market…
  • No, we don’t want to partner with that company…

The bottom line is that, as a sales rep, you’ll inevitably face “no” every single day — and probably multiple times throughout the day. If you let it bother you, that kind of rejection can beat you down and make you want to start looking around for another job.

Until, you hear the magic word: “Yes.” And all it takes is one “yes” and suddenly you’ve forgotten about all the previous “nos.”

  • Yes, my boss would like to speak with you…
  • Yes, you’re right, we should address that issue…
  • Yes, I would like you to talk with our owner…
  • Yes, I do want to work with you…
  • Yes, let’s do it!

Ah, the sweet sound of success!

The reality, of course, is that you’ll always hear “no” significantly more often than you hear “yes.” After all, if you consider that a successful sales rep typically boasts a 25 percent close ratio, that means he or she is still hearing “no” three times before they hear one “yes.” It’s up to you, however, to choose how to handle rejection.

Here’s my advice: Soak up the joy of every yes and recognize the opportunity in every no.

It’s an opportunity to turn a gatekeeper or prospect around and land that first appointment. It’s an opportunity to uncover more details and, ultimately, show a contact why they need to address a particular problem. It’s an opportunity to show your manager the real potential in an account. And, most of all, it’s an opportunity forge ahead and win another sale.

The bottom line is that “no” is in the eye of the beholder. So, how are you going to respond when you hear it today? Will you see potential failure or potential opportunity?

 

About the author

Kendra Lee

Kendra Lee

Kendra Lee is a top IT seller, sales advisor and business owner who knows…

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