845: Saying NO at the right time, quickly tells you where you stand

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Saying No really is saying Yes to yourself by empowering you to make the right or better deal.

I recently had a deal where I said “NO” instead of my regular “YES”. I’ll do most anything for a customer. The deal involved me and two other parties. When I said NO, the reaction from one of the two parties was pretty cool, he said “I still want to do the deal, let’s figure it out so we can make it happen”. The other party however was bitter, and really showed their displeasure. I was like WOW, one minute we were going to do business, and the next minute (because I said NO), bam, total resentment…really??

One of the things I really had a difficult time with for the 35 years I’ve been in this business was the ability to say no and then the ability to have the difficult conversations that go along with saying no. Also difficult for me was finding a way to stand up and advocate for myself.

To say no in that deal, I literally forced myself into role-playing before the call on how I was going to give them a very difficult NO, but I also found it wildly liberating once I actually did it. Because once I actually told them NO and watched and listened to their reaction, I realized their reaction told me two things:

1. who they are

2. what everyone’s position is in the situation

You know if you say NO to somebody, say a prospect or a customer who’s asking you for a big amount of money to secure their account, and they respond with harsh outrage, then you know exactly who they are now and what their relationship is to you. Everything’s been defined and is clear so now you know where you stand.

If you are in a negotiation and you say NO, either they’re going to back away or they’re going to give in and want to continue moving forward with the business at hand. You now know where you are and where you stand so it becomes a very interesting tool to use because it allows you to see things in a different way.

After I said NO to that deal I mentioned earlier, it led me to start thinking of it in that way as opposed to thinking of it as something that was going to be dangerous or hurtful or maybe the wrong thing to do.

Pretty much all of the Greenhorn Reps I work with say YES to just about everything a prospect or customer asks of them. That’s because they’re not yet sure of exactly what they or their company can and can’t do or what decisions make the most sense for their company. But Greenhorns have a good excuse since they have not had the time to build many strong relationships yet that enable them to say NO. The faster you get there, the more you’ll grow your business.

Veteran DSRs don’t have the same excuse, they know the business. Vets, try saying NO to the things that you need to say NO to. This way you’ll know where you are and where you stand with prospects and your current customers. It’s wildly liberating!!!

Be a Resource…and Sell Something!

P.S. When do you say YES, and when do you say NO? If you know that something will not happen, say NO right away so everybody knows where it stands right then. If you say YES or that you will check on it, you leave yourself open to a ton of work, plus letting the issue linger while you’re working on it. In many cases, lingering issues make you look like a typical DSR, and most customers say this is one of the biggest reasons they don’t like sales people…they should’ve just said NO in the first place.