1204: Saying NO quickly tells you where you stand with a customer

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I had a deal where I said “NO” instead of my regular “YES”. And I’ll do most anything for a customer. The deal involved me, and two other parties and the deal was not good for all the parties. When I said NO, the reaction from one of the two parties was 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. It was like WOW, one minute we were going to do business, and the next minute (because I said NO to that particular deal), bam, total resentment… really??

Over the decades I’ve been in this business, the ability to say no and then to have the difficult conversations that go along with saying no have been quite difficult for me. Also strained for me was finding a way to stand up and advocate for myself.

To say no in that deal, I had literally forced myself into role-playing before the call on how I was going to give them a very difficult NO, but I then found it wildly liberating once I actually had done it. After taking that stand and watching and listening to their reactions, I realized their reactions told me two things:

1. Who they were

2. What everyone’s position was in the situation

You know if you say NO to somebody, a prospect or a customer, for example, 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 because everything’s been defined and is clear so now you know where you stand. Either they’re going to back away or give in and want to continue moving forward with the business at hand.

It becomes a very interesting tool to use because it allows you to see things in a different way.

After that “NO” situation, I learned to think of it differently as opposed to thinking of it as something that was going to be dangerous or hurtful.

Most Greenhorn DSRs I work with say YES to just about everything a prospect or customer asks of them. That’s because they don’t have enough experience and knowledge yet to know what they or their company can and can’t do or what decisions make the most sense for their company.

Because Veteran DSRs don’t have the same excuse since they know the business, Vets should try saying NO to the things they should say NO to! This way you’ll know who you are dealing with and where you stand with those customers or prospects. It’s wildly liberating!!!

P.S. When do you say YES and when do you say NO? If you know that something will NOT happen, then say NO right away! This lets everybody know where it stands right then. Dragging it out by saying YES initially makes you look bad because the issue lingers while you try to figure it out. 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! Just say NO in the first place.

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