Sales Development: How to Move from ‘no’ to ‘yes’

To better visualize the range of perspectives that we encounter every day in our sales roles, I’m asking you to imagine a straight line, one inch in length. Now consider how many pinpoints one may make along the line. The possibilities are almost infinite, and those pinned points resemble the potential variances in each customer conversation.

“No” is most often a temporary answer.

My story

I am often approached to test drive brand new products on the market. It’s a treat to be among the first, as well as experience the latest thinking. This week, I was asked to test a new service. Learning more about it, I was the one who responded, “not for me.” The product is not consistent with the way I do business, and I do not wish to disrupt what is already in place.

However, the person behind the new product is a longtime friend, and he asked for a conversation. It’s always good to catch up with friends, peers and clients throughout the year to learn what’s new. And so, a date for catching up live was set.

One never knows when new ideas for a collaborative effort might occur. During our conversation, it was evident that, while the service I was offered to test is not my style, it could well suit the business model of a couple of people I know. Slowly, I became open to learning more.

Moving from "no" to "yes"

Similarly, should you feel a disconnect on a job interview or in conversation with a prospective customer, begin asking the questions on your mind. Be inquisitive, not from an angry point of view for having your time wasted, but from the point of being curious. It is curiosity that frequently builds admiration.

Thought-provoking questions prompt a high-energy conversation, and soon new ideas develop. In turn, the energy and ideas work toward presenting new possibilities for working together. Sometimes this happens during the initial meeting, and other times, it happens several meetings down the road. But ultimately, the “no” turns into a “yes” when you are open to discovering new perspectives.

Your story

Think back to those conversations where you or a client quickly dismissed the ideas presented. How did everything work out after the fact? Were you disappointed that you didn’t give the pros and cons more of an opportunity?

Should you hear “no” from a client or hiring manager, be inquisitive to learn their reasoning. Offer a variety of perspectives to see if it might make a difference. The congenial exchange, many times, can change one’s opinion.

On the other hand, should you receive a sound “no,” then ask if the answer is:

  1. forever
  2. just not now, but perhaps down the road
  3. financials need the approval to move forward

Exploration of statements and reasoning provide a far broader perspective and allow room for additional creative ideas. In the end, one is far more likely to experience success in securing what they are after.

Sales development tips
  • Explore why an idea may not appeal to you.
  • Inquire as to why a thought is not to someone else’s liking.
  • Ask questions regarding related possibilities on the table.
  • Keep in mind that “no” is usually a temporary answer.
  • Remain congenial no matter what transpires.
  • Dig deep to figure out where concerns reside.
  • Answer concerns thoroughly and promptly.
  • After addressing a concern, ask if the answer is satisfactory.
  • Obtain a timeline for moving forward.
  • Celebrate success!

Following these guidelines will lead you to the smooth sale!

To learn more about how the phrases and terminology your sales teams are using can impact sales success, read NewVoiceMedia's white paper "Phrases proven to kill rapport and engagement." 
Elinor Stutz
Elinor Stutz

Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, delivers inspirational keynotes at conferences and authored three books: The International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, and her second best-selling book is “HIRED!” Her third book, Stutz’ third book, “The Wish: A 360 Business Development Process to Fuel Sales”, provides a comprehensive plan for building a worldwide audience. announced Stutz as a Top 1% Influencer. CEO World Magazine named Stutz as one of “The brightest sales minds to follow on Twitter”. Stutz was featured on the cover of the March 2015 Sales and Service Excellence e-Magazine. NowISeeIt and BizzHum both named the Smooth Sale Blog as one of the “Top 100 Most Innovative Sales Bloggers.” Stutz consults and speaks worldwide.

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