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The Green Sheet Online Edition

February 13, 2023 • Issue 23:02:01

Street SmartsSM

Accept no and get closer to yes

By Natasa Cvijanovic
Tesla Payments

No matter who you are or how long you've been in our industry, receiving a no instead of a yes is difficult. However, rejection is a temporary setback and often just a detour to something better. You must learn to accept it gracefully and adjust quickly.

What is your reaction when you receive a no? Do you ignore the prospect's wishes and keep selling to them, or do you accept their rejection and attempt to connect and build a relationship with them in another way?

Ditch bad advice

We've all heard the occasional salesperson proclaim, "Never take no for an answer." And this approach is still being fed to sales trainees across multiple industries despite the fact that it's terrible advice—and some salespeople aim to live by it. When salespeople attempt to achieve such an unreasonable objective, they often go too far. I'm referring to the defining moment when one goes from being a professional, confident salesperson who is passionate about their products to being an obnoxious, arrogant hustler who will stop at nothing to get a sale.

Not taking no for an answer may have worked years ago, but selling in today's business environment is more complex. Prospects are savvier. Constantly pursuing yes, ignoring the possibility that your product or service may not be the best fit, and refusing to accept no will undoubtedly result in rejection.

Ask follow-up questions

If I'm selling and a prospect says no, I always ask about their objections. I'll say, "Thank you for taking the time to listen. What about the product or service didn't work for you?" or "What feature of the product or service did not meet your expectations?" And if I have a solid rebuttal to their objection(s), I'll throw it out there and see what happens. If they continue to reject my efforts, it is time for me to move on.

By disregarding your prospects' objections or making it impossible for them to say no, you risk alienating them and hurting your chances of doing future business with them. Consequently, time, effort and resources that could have been devoted to other opportunities are lost.

Play the long game

Instead, be patient; don't give up. A prospect's answer isn't always final. How you handle it can affect your future relationship with them. Sometimes no means no forever. That's fine. Take the time to improve your pitch, build an extensive network and learn more about your customers' needs.

Taking no for an answer can have many benefits and is sometimes the best option. Typically no one expects a salesperson to be reasonable or understanding. It's the nature of the sales industry, and it's nothing personal. Prospective buyers are conditioned to anticipate being manipulated during the sales process. They are waiting for you to use every trick in the book to ignore their no.

Don't be that salesperson everyone despises when they see your phone number calling. It reflects poorly on your product, service and company. You'll get a bad name if you don't take no's seriously.

Smash the old stereotype

Rather than giving the prospect what they expect, consider surprising them by accepting their no. Your lack of defensiveness immediately changes their image of who you are and what you want.

It's counterintuitive, but graciously accepting no from a prospect the first time around may lead to more yeses in the future. Recognize and accept that they're not interested at the moment, but politely ask to follow up later.

Agreeing to a future conversation is enough; no specific time or date needs to be decided. Since you started your relationship with respect and positivity instead of manipulation and being pushy, they will likely want to talk to you again.

Stop wasting time

Consider this: Salespeople wouldn't be needed if prospects said yes all the time. Prospective clients constantly say no, which is why salespeople have jobs. Remember, as long as you have done your job, every no brings you closer to a yes.

It's important to determine which prospects will never become customers. Stop wasting time with people you know won't buy your product or service and focus on connecting with those who you believe will. Take both yes and no answers. It’s the maybes that actually cause problems. end of article

Natasa Cvijanovic, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Payments and member of the SEAA advisory committee, has a proven track record within the payment industry of cultivating successful relationships with ISOs, MLSs and strategic partners. In developing national sales channels, she provides training and coaching to sales partners to enable them to become better business partners and advocates for their merchants, and to assist them in building portfolios producing steady residual streams. She is also dedicated to consistently delivering high levels of professionalism, integrity, dependability and trustworthiness. Contact her at natasa@teslapayments.com.

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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