If you’ve been up close to the Sandler Training sales approach, you’ve probably heard, “Go for no” at least more than once, if not a hundred times. In fact, hearing the word, no, from a potential client can be your gateway to a sale. But it makes a big difference when the no occurs during your sales cycle with a prospect. You may hear a hard no or a soft no. The trick is to know the difference.
If you hear no at the beginning of your sales cycle with a prospect, take that as a hard no. In other words, the prospect doesn’t want what you have to sell. Be thankful. You haven’t wasted time courting this client to no useful conclusion.
On the other hand, if you hear a prospect say, “Yes,” at the start of your sales cycle, consider this a soft yes. Your prospect is interested in hearing more, but you still have a lot of work to do. The word, yes, at the start means the prospect wants to hear more.
But be careful. Take your happy ears off. At the start of your sales cycle, don’t take the pr
ospect’s yes as an open door to easily walk through to a sale. Make no presumptions at this stage. You’ve more work ahead of you to make the sale.
If you hear no at the end of your sales cycle with this same prospect, consider this a hard no as well. At this stage, after your presentation, getting no from a prospect is telling you that you’ve missed something along the way and your sale isn’t going to happen.
Maybe you haven’t probed for pain deeply enough. Or you haven’t worked through the budget phase as well as you should have. Just analyze your approach, try to determine what went wrong, and learn from the experience
But if you hear yes at the end of your sales cycle, take this as a hard yes. Yes at this stage says that your prospect is ready to move ahead and to sign on the dotted line.
In any event, be clear what kinds of yes’s and no’s you want to hear at every stage of your sales cycle with a prospect. And make this a part of your sales-call planning.