No and yes are important words that impact your selling. Prospects say no when they don’t want to buy. That’s a no in selling to avoid. Other times you need to tell yourself no when a prospect is unlikely to buy. Here’s how you can get both the yeses you want, the noes to avoid and the noes you need to sell more.
No Budget is often an important no in selling.
Too many salespeople take their valuable selling time working on prospects who are unlikely to buy. One important factor in being able to buy is having a budget. No budget? It’s time to realize the prospect really isn’t viable this year. You might question the prospect about the possibility of moving funding from another project to fund the purchase, but if no budget results, you must tell yourself, “No, this is not a prospect.”
You’re not the only one who might say no. Your prospect has ideas, too.
What if you are being evaluated against other suppliers? You want to hear yes that you’re the chosen supplier. Just like in tennis, 100% of the time there is going to be a loser. Someone is going to hear no.
You have work to do to avoid hearing a no when you want to hear yes. Be sure to ask a few questions during your sales process that indicate what you need to do to win the business. One question, “How are you going to determine the successful supplier?” is a question that shows you the criteria the customer is using to evaluate the candidates. Those are the areas you want to demonstrate your strengths in your proposal or presentation. You are more likely to hear no if you are weakest on the criteria that your prospect values the most.
What can you do if you are weak in your customer’s important criteria? It’s a challenge to demonstrate there are more important criteria for your prospect to consider. After all, telling a customer he’s “wrong” is often a losing selling strategy. Instead, present other criteria if you know them to be more important and ones where you are strongest. A simple question like, “Have you considered (your strength) in your evaluation?” will at least tell you if your prospect has considered it. You are probably going to hear a no later on If your prospect did consider your criterion and rejected it in place of another.
When is enough enough? No is an important word when It might be time to say no.
You will work with difficult customers at some point in your selling career. Slow or no paying customers are one type of difficult customer. Another type are the ones who don’t follow through on promises made. Other customers are difficult because they are always looking for you to cut your price and don’t seem loyal to you anyway. Others want you to bid only to use your bid to negotiate with another supplier.
At some point you have to decide whether these customers are worth keeping. You may think it’s a tough conversation to fire a customer. You don’t need to have a conversation about how working with them is so difficult. Instead, have a price increase discussion. In today’s environment a price increase happens more often than ever. You will lose a customer when you raise your price enough and it forces them to look for another supplier.
Most successful salespeople are optimists. They believe that things will generally turn out all right. It’s the optimistic salesperson who realizes sometimes he has to say or hear no so he can move on to a better sales situation.