Know Your No

Know Your No dan skognes leadership development trainer coach consultant motivation blogger speaker

If you are in sales, one of the things that can drive you crazy is when you have done everything right…and the sale does not happen.  What happened?  Was it something you said or something you should have said?  Was it your lack of confidence or your cockiness?  Was it that the customer did not trust you?  It could be any of these things, or something different altogether.  That varies on you and the customer.

You could be doing all the right things and still lose the sale.  How can that be? Customers are different…and in the art of the sale, to be successful, you have to figure out very quickly who you are dealing with.

If you are dealing with an analytic type of customer, keep the chit-chat short and have plenty of supporting data to help them make a decision.

If you are dealing with a people-person, have a cup of coffee and spend time getting to know them.

If you are dealing with a worrier, be understanding and encouraging.  Help them know that you are there to make their lives less stressful.

If you are dealing with someone who is indecisive by nature, help them to make a decision.  Sometimes you have to point out the obvious fact that they need help in deciding, and you will help them.

If you are dealing with a skeptic, earn their trust.  Be honest and transparent.  Admit it if you don’t have all the answers. They will respect you more if you are truthful and admit your mistakes.

When a client says, “No,” what are they saying?  Very often it is not a final answer.  It simply means they have not been given enough information to make an informed decision.

One of the things you can do to get over the “I want to think about it” excuse is to anticipate that outcome.  That is a false objection.  Most often it is a price concern, or maybe they don’t trust you yet.  They may need more time or need more information.  After you have established rapport with your client try saying this, “John, I am going to give you what you are looking for and make sure it works in your budget.  I just ask you one thing.  When I give you the price, don’t do something ridiculous like saying you need to think about it.  I want you to be honest with me and tell me what your concerns are.  Whether it is price, or benefits, or something else, just be honest with me.  Can we agree on that?” Then remind them of that commitment before you show them the price.

If you take that objection off the table up front, it helps the customer get what he needs, and helps you get what you need.  Everyone wins.

Anticipate what the Nos are going to be.  If they are likely to object to the price, the timing, the lack of features they want, whatever….if you anticipate them up front and address them clearly and honestly you will find that the sale is a natural outcome.

People buy from people they like and trust.  If you are doing everything technically right and not closing the sale, look in the mirror and figure out what you need to change.

P.S.  For some reason, salesmen think they have to talk a lot.  Try listening more and talking less.  If you get customers talking about themselves by asking good questions and showing interest in them, it is amazing how the relationship just naturally forms.


Dan Skognes

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