“No” does not mean the end of the road.


In almost all meetings, the sales team saying that the customer is saying “NO”. No matter what is the new products or new suggest of a new customer, the sales team are repeatedly saying “but the customer said NO!.”


I wrote this blog to explain my view of the meaning of “No”.


“No” is the end of the road, so does every “No” means the end of the road?

I am like you, I said “No” many times to an offer and then shortly after, I look to buy the same product. So, what happened, why did I change my mind?


“No” is an expression of a mind state at the time. This mind state is expressed by a “No” word. So, does the mind state reject the sales offer?

No, there is a seldom chance to have a mind state rejection. It is just an impulsive response to a new offer.


To achieve a sale after hearing a “No”, is to work with the prospect to convert his mind state. To overcome a “No” and hear a “YES”, we should carefully discover the state of mind and not to stop at the word “No”. Asking the right follow up questions and listen to the prospect to figure out the reasons of the state of mind to overcome the “No”. Prospects do not buy based on a need, they buy based on


To Get from “No” to “Yes” in Sales: Listen to What the Client is Really Saying

Sales campaigns can be complex. Frequently, many moving parts need to be aligned. People must agree and products and services must fit the challenges that the client is facing. When you finally get to the point of presenting a proposal and articulating your solution, it is not uncommon to hear no. The challenge to you as a sales professional to not hear “no”, but to try and hear what the client is actually saying.


Remember that clients do not buy based on a need, they buy because their mind state is to say: “YES, I am buying or using this product!!!!!” A quick good example, when two kids are knocking on your door to sell you chocolate for a fund raising, many of us will agree to pay $5 for a bar of chocolate that is from unknown brand/manufacturer, does not test as good as my favourite chocolate that I protect from my family, which I can buy 2 for $1 in the dollar store. So why do I buy this chocolate bar. So, why do I buy this chocolate bar, more expensive than my favourite chocolate, taste not as good as my favourite chocolate and I keep it for them time till I donate it or I throw it away to the garbage.


A second example, is we pay for a dinner in a fancy restaurant for 8 oz. barbeque beef close to $50, while the same piece will cost $30 in an average restaurant and about $10 or cheaper in a low end restaurant with an open buffet salad and a drink. Included.


The third example, is we prefer to pay $6 for a gallon of Milk in a convenient store after waiting in a shot line and we do not go to chain store to pay $4 although we have the same likely hood of waiting in a line.


The reason to pay more to what we do not need is the state of mind in the first example, supporting a charity or a kid to achieve his goals. In the second the decision is driven by a desire to feel important or to have a special treatment or occasion and it does not have any relationship with being hungry or a desire to eat. In the third example, the perception of quick service is driving the decision despite the fact that in a smaller parking lot you a less chance to find a spot and get it faster.



So, how to explore the state of mind and what is the possibilities?

“No” means “I am not comfortable with your solution.”


The prospect will be looking for similar experience of solving his problems. The prospect is concerned that the solution may increase his workload or creating more issues and problems. In many cases, I learned that the prospect is suffering from other issues and non-related problems that impact his comfortable level with new product or service. “No” means talk to me more.


“No” means “We are not ready to commit.”


The prospect is either over loaded with busy schedule or there is a budget cycle that needs to be aligned. In many cases, I learned that the prospect has an issue with his superior and does not want to introduce a new purchase.  “No” means come back later but not right now.


“No” means “We don’t get it.”


The prospect has a comprehension problem with the material you provided, in many cases the prospect would ask for more information or clarification. Despite the role of sales to explain what the product about but sometime the prospect himself is getting his brain busy that he hear what you say and does not listen to what you say. In many cases, I learned that the prospect has a board meeting or a major meeting in the immediate after the meeting and then the prospect does not have the state of mind to accept your information. This particular “No” can be always sensed when the prospect will ask can I keep this material, it is an immediate indication that prospect can not get it. “No” means explain to me in a different way, I am interested but I like to understand more!!


“No” means “Too risky for us right now.”


The prospect may feel that he understands the product but in reality the prospect cannot articulate the value and criticality for the product. The prospect is looking for articulation of the value and to trust the relationship. If you have a reference customer that the prospect trust is a good value. You may also build a trusting relationship. The word risky is red flag of a concern, for many small business and start up companies, it is a fear that the company many disappear or lack the resources behind its offering. In other situation, it is a concern of the performance, etc. “No” means comeback with more information to make me feel comfort and trust your solution. Many smart businesses can convert this “No” by introducing another technical salesman, customer support or other clients or consultant to increase the trust. A marketing campaign many be a way to convert this “No” to YES


“No” means ”We do not need your product.”


The prospect does see the immediate need of the product and how it can serve him. This “No” means that you did not do your due diligent and you need to better articulate the customer specific pain point and how you are solving it. Some intelligent questions will help you understand the gap. This may be a red flag for you to change your messages and come back to the prospect.

This “No” is an alarm that you better understand the prospects and align your solution to solve his pain.



“No” means ”We are not ready.”


The prospect is not inline with the product value, the sale team did not ask the right questions and did not articulate the answer pushing on the point of pain. More work is needed to understand the client, the culture and create a dialogue.   This “No” is an invitation to better understand the prospect then comeback. The right set of questions will reveal amazing aspects of the prospects. This is an alarm that you are required to better understand the customer.


“No” means “I can’t support this.”


This prospect is not willing to be your champion or reference. This “No” may not have any relation with the performance of the product. The prospect may have an issue before or a pain that it heart the prospect. The prospect may have issues with his superior or have been threaten so has cannot speak about new products. This “No” may also indicate that the customer does not get what he expected from your products or the value is not delivered.   This “No” is an indication of more work needed to align the prospect to your product values.   Pay attention!!!


Next time you receive a “No”, try to understand the state of mind of the prospect. Think,  adjust and go back; when you are ready. A prospect buys with his feeling and not based on a need, and he pays more than premium when ever he like and without a logical reason and it is not driven by a needs.



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