'No.' Get Used to It.
A few years ago I was passing through Nashville on the way to a speaking engagement in Orlando. In an attempt to get bumped up to First Class, I approached the gate agent and asked her if that cabin was full. She said, "No." I asked if the wait list was full and she said, "No." Since it was a sister company to an airline for which I am a million mile flyer and thus have special privileges, I asked if I could get bumped to First Class. She said, "No." I asked if I could be put on the wait list. She said, "No." With a smile on my face I said to her, "You say 'No' to me a lot. Were we ever married?" Five minutes later, she stopped laughing, regained her composure and said, "Honey, you sit down right there and I will take care of you."
And that is how I got into First Class that day.
Sales begins when the customer says, "No." I am sure that you have heard that one before. As salespeople, we live with that word all day long.
Voicemail is a No.
Locked doors are a No.
Caller ID is a No.
Even quoting a job can be seen as a No.
And all of this occurs day after day.
My brother-in-law Jeff is a sales trainer who travels the world. He told me that he helps his customers to overcome call reluctance by telling them that it takes 10 phone calls before you get to "Yes." So, rather than making a phone attempt that ends up in a voicemail, he teaches that it be seen as one successful step towards an inevitable "Yes."
Mark McCormack, Arnold Palmer’s first manager and the author of the book, "What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School," wrote that everyone is born a salesman. As children, we all make an attempt to convince our mom that eating ice cream at 4 o’clock in the afternoon won't spoil our dinner. Those who go into Sales are the ones who generally succeed at that task and actually enjoy counting how many times they overcome their mother’s objections.
The first step to getting past No is getting used to hearing No. See it as a roadblock and the end of the line and this profession is probably not for you. Let the word drift right through you and march on and you will be rewarded with all the ice cream you can eat.
Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at NAPL. His training programs can drive the sales of print reps and selling owners. Check out his Sales Resources page and contact him at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.