In my last blog I said you would probably rather endure a root canal than hear your prospect say, ?We like your presentation but?? However, understanding why a prospect says no is one of the most valuable steps towards ?yes? in your entire sales process.
In this blog, we?ll explore the first five of 10 things you can do after your client says no, not counting taking hostages until they say yes.
Step 1: Never take ?no? personally.
Structure your presentation so that no means no to this particular presentation, this idea, or at this time ? not no?to you personally. I?ve always felt that if the client said no, they are the loser not me, because I?m simply offering to solve their problems. Never let your tone or body language convey disappointment after no. Change your posture and demeanour to one of curiosity and sincere interest.
Step 2: Take responsibility for the no.
Generally, when you get a no, it means you missed a no earlier in the process. After no, you need to retrace your steps to find the no you missed along the way.
Take responsibility for the no with questions like: ?Did I misunderstand your goals?? or, ?Can you help me understand why my proposal isn?t appropriate at this time?? Perhaps you misread the prospect?s goals or budget. Did you establish rapport? Did you build your brand and credibility before making the presentation? Did you relate to the buyer?s style? Or has something changed since you conducted your initial C.A.N. (customer needs analysis)?
Never argue, never try to prove the prospect is wrong, and always ask questions to discover where you missed the mark. To take responsibility for no, you must understand the root cause of all no?s.
Your prospect did not agree to sit still for your presentation because they had no interest.
What would you guess is the number-one reason advertisers advertise? Our survey of 540 locally owned and operated businesses revealed that the number-one reason businesses advertise is to increase sales. The root cause of no is always that you have not convinced your prospect that you will increase their sales.
So, the ?no budget? excuse, or any other excuse for no, is always a cover for the real reason: You have not convinced the prospect that you have the best solution to increasing sales. Business owners are entrepreneurs by nature and seek to minimise the risk in every investment. Entrepreneurs will sell their car or borrow from their mother if your presentation convinced them their investment will pay off.
And a no can only be turned into a yes when your prospect wants to achieve the goals you have identified and when they believe your solution is cost effective. You made your proposal because you believed it was good for the prospect and now you need to take responsibility to learn why it missed the mark so you can make a better presentation the next time.
Step 3: Be prepared to negotiate.
Some buyers say no as a negotiation tactic to capture a better deal. Always build enough into your presentation to leave room to maneuver. Never offer so much value-added or other perks in your initial presentation that you have no room to sweeten the pie.
Again, ask questions to determine if this is a negotiation tactic. Questions like, ?What would we have to do to make our proposal work for you? And, be prepared to practice our ?Negotiation One-O-One?: Never give one without getting one. If your prospect asks for a lower rate, you can?t concede without changing the rotation, asking for a longer commitment, or some other concession.
Step 4: After no, always leave the door open.
If you have not been able to turn the no into a yes, get agreement on next steps, again through questioning. Questions like, ?Now that I have a better understanding of your situation, may I make an appointment to make another presentation that addresses your concerns and achieves your objectives??
Always try to get agreement on a specific timetable for next steps.
Step 5: If the no is a veiled no, like ?I have to think about it? or ?I have to talk to my partner or accountant,? ask questions to remove the veil.
Questions like ?What is it in our proposal that requires more thought?? or ?May I have the opportunity to meet with you and your partner to explore this further??
In my next blog, I?ll address the rest of our 10 things to do after your prospect says no.
Wayne ENS is president of ENS Media Inc He can be contacted at email@example.com
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