Saying No to Prospects Makes Salespeople More Effective

Posted by Chris Mott on Wed, Sep 09, 2009 @ 16:09 PM


There is a great video going around which illustrates how absurd prospects sound when they start negotiating. It's absurd because of the context, "I budgeted for a trim but I want color highlights for free, perhaps if my husband approves I'll pay you next time."

We know this strategy won't work in the "real world" and yet when we are selling the rules change. Why is this?

We are afraid of losing the deal so we act desperate; our pipeline is empty so we put all our energy into saving one deal and avoid looking for new business. We make excuses about the economy; commiserate with our peers and further erode our personal bravery.

Let's consider why prospects negotiate.

  • It works
  • They can say they tried
  • It gives them a sense of power
  • They like to manipulate people
  • They are testing you
  • They will buy only on price

If the underlying reason that prospects negotiate aren't based on price, there is very little risk in saying "no" to them.  You can't loose the deal - you don't have it yet. Salespeople must learn how to say no and see what happens. If a prospect needs to buy and wants your help, statistics, while they won't predict this do show that you're very likely to remain in the game after you say no. The problem is with you, what you're thinking and how this affected your actions. Stand up for yourself and do the right thing. No one but you can take responsibility for being treated fairly and professionally.

Topics: sales competencies, sales pipeline, selling tips, under achievement, increasing sales

Sales Pain - Are you Creating Enough

Posted by Chris Mott on Wed, Aug 19, 2009 @ 15:08 PM

Yesterday was my weekly personal trainer appointment.  Tony, my trainer, has been teaching me the fundamentals of Olympic power lifting.  His belief is that training this way addresses more muscle groups and builds explosiveness. My interest beyond physical fitness is to be a better bicycle rider and being explosive should improve my ability to climb hills.

So there I was, sweating away, attempting to get the form right.  It turns out that lifting heavy weights requires strength but it's the form and process that makes it possible.  The most difficult part is learning to literally throw your body under the bar as the weight reaches your chest.

I was out of my element, over-thinking everything, and today I'm sore.  The sales question is, are you pushing your salespeople outside of their comfort zone and forcing them to "throw" themselves into situations that make them hurt?

If you're not, then you aren't effectively doing your job and you are doing them a disservice.  The truth is, we don't really grow as people and practitioners until we force ourselves, or get forced into situations where, we may know they are good for us but we avoid them because we aren't comfortable being outside our comfort zone.


In the current economic times it's harder than ever to succeed and my view is that only the people who change and adapt will thrive. So what's your choice?

Topics: sales training, sales performance, sales improvement, selling tips

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