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

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