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Please Tell Me No


MPI Toronto Chapter On October 26, 2018

I love being rejected. Literally told NO. Surprisingly, I don't hear it enough...and I'm in sales!

There are only two acceptable ways to end a sales opportunity:
 

  1. Get the prospect to say YES
  2. Get the prospect to say NO 
I mean getting a yes is great. We all need a yes. Without a yes, we don’t gain new clients, secure contracts, plan events, grow companies, or make any money. But I’ll take a no just as happily as I’ll take a yes.
 
Here’s why: because whenever someone tells me no, it means that I can stop investing my limited time, focus, energy, and resources into them.
 
Getting a no is a definitive answer (at least for the time being). Definitive answers are necessary to be able to effectively end a sales opportunity. And, because I value a no the same as a yes, I have a 100% successful close rate.
 
Why This is Important
This approach to not only embrace the no but proactively seek it out stops you from mistaking silence as a no.
 
When it comes to sales, silence ≠ NO.
 
The Problem
Every single salesperson has encountered the below situations, as well as the corresponding irrational self-justifications to stop pursuing the prospect.
 
  • You cold call a lead and then send a follow-up email, but they never respond. You tell yourself that they probably weren’t even qualified to buy from you.
  • Your prospect accepts your calendar invite. You call, but it goes to voicemail. 8 times in a row. Radio silence. You rationalize to yourself that they didn’t have enough money.
  • An interested prospect just needs to loop in their business partner before pulling the trigger. You follow up 2 days later (as mutually agreed!) but they don’t respond. You convince yourself that they must have slipped into a coma. You send flowers to local hospitals, just in case.
  • A qualified prospect is seriously ready to buy. You CRUSH the sales pitch (obviously), but afterwards, they literally drop off the face of the earth to never be heard from again. You conclude that they must have died. That’s literally the only logical explanation for their silence. RIP.
  • You get a verbal commitment. They even shake your hand! You send the paperwork to finalize the sale, but POOF, they disappear. You schedule an emergency session with your therapist to try and figure out why the prospect hates you personally. 
In the casual dating world, this unwarranted silence is commonly referred to as ghosting.



Picture Source: https://studybreaks.com/culture/the-genius-and-cowardice-of-ghosting-a-relationship/

According to Google, ghosting is defined as “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”
 
In the dating world, people generally react one of two ways when they’re ghosted:
 
  1. Fold under the pressure of the perceived rejection (just give up)
  2. Continue calling, texting, DMing, and “liking” every single new IG post (stage 5 clinger) 
In the professional world, even though persistence pays off, most salespeople still err on the side of non-confrontational passiveness when they encounter silence. Instead of continuing to pursue their silent prospect, most salespeople simply mark the opportunity as close/lost and move on.
 
But why?
 
The Solution
Unfortunately, I don’t have a revolutionary solution to teach you for when you encounter a silent prospect...yet. But here’s my advice to increase your success in sales, just do one simple little thing: you must relentlessly and indefinitely follow up with every single qualified prospect until they give a definitive answer, either a YES or a NO.
 
I repeat: you must relentlessly and indefinitely follow up with every single qualified prospect until they give a definitive answer, either a YES or a NO.
 
Don’t stop when you encounter silence from a qualified sales prospect. Just keep following up. Nonstop. Forever.
 
 
 
About the Writer
Vincent Murphy is the Vice President of Canada at BizBash Media (www.bizbash.ca), the leading resource for event and meeting professionals in North America. He is currently expanding the BizBash presence and forming valuable partnerships in Toronto and throughout Canada. He connects venues, suppliers, and event organizers to create memorable live experiences across North America and beyond.
 
If you’d like to tell Vincent NO, you can do it on Instagram @vincent.murphy, by email at vmurphy@bizbash.com, or over the phone at 647-258-9094.


 

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