It’s wonderful when a prospect says No. Now it’s clear. Now we’re not wasting each other’s time. Now I can ask the real questions to uncover what they actually want or need.
Sometimes it is about price. After I’ve spent an hour helping her get clear about her goals, then outlining scope of service and detailed custom work, I finally got the price question. And her expectation was much lower that what it will actually take to get what she wants. That’s a good thing! Now we can adjust expectations and she can do some concrete planning. Or I can also refer to a cheaper (and lower quality) service provider. That’s a win! Because I served her and she knows I am at a higher level of quality. She knows my price, and she can come back. Because she will eventually grow to the point where she’s disenchanted with the cheap service provider. In the mean time, she can refer people to me who are looking for quality.
Sometimes it’s about commitment. To invest in a strong marketing program you have to be ready to grow your business. And many times the No is not about me, or the quality of my service, or the pricing, but about the fact that they’re not ready to grow yet. I’ve just helped the prospect get a lot clearer about what they really want. And that’s a tremendous service.
Also, I can stay in service. Don’t write them off. Offer to review the proposal they get from somewhere else. Send articles. Continue to serve in any way I reasonably can that doesn’t take a lot of my time.
You’ve probably never had this problem, but many times in the past I would sit and stare at the list of prospects on my screen, avoiding phone calls. And it wasn’t really because I was afraid of talking to people. Deep down inside, it was because I was afraid of finding out that my list of prospects wasn’t real, that actually I didn’t have any prospects. And if I did talk to people, I’d avoid the closing question. So I would prefer to sit and imagine that my pipeline is full rather than asking for a definite yes or no.
So there I am, maybe sitting with a list of people who would love to buy from me, if I would only ask the question. Or, maybe sitting with a list of people who will never buy from me, but I’m sitting there by the phone waiting for one of them to call me. How sad! Sitting there afraid–afraid to make anything real and concrete, to shine the light on it to see what it really is. Sitting there afraid to know what’s real and what’s not.
My coach helped me to see how disempowering that is. Why not find out? Ask them all right now. And if all of them say no, that’s so liberating! Even empowering! Because now I know what I need to do and I can go out and take action. Fantasy is disempowering and leads to inaction. Reality is empowering and leads to action. And action leads to sales success.
Steve Johnsen is a marketing strategist, a business coach, and the Founder of Cloud Mountain Marketing. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 best-seller, 5 Easy Steps to Make Your Website Your #1 Employee.