Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Just say no!

More people are doing more with less, time is crunched and you just don’t want get stuck in a sales pitch. So you make excuses or delay the inevitable with a white lie or a stall tactic.

“Let’s talk about this after the first quarter when we will have a better handle on our business plan.”

“Can’t talk now because I am heading to the airport and out of town for a business meeting.”

“You should really contact Jim in purchasing. I know he’ll be interested in what you have to say.”

Be careful though, your blocking moves may work too well. Don’t forget great ideas can come from anywhere – even a sales call. But it does make sense to speak plainly and honestly.

My friend Dan is in business development at a successful advertising firm. He’s been doing this for a long time. Persistence and determination are his stock in trade. Overcoming objections and trying to understand wants and needs is what he does. He believes in his product and he believes he represent potential value for his prospects. He is fearless and relentless. But I think people might be surprised how he reacts when a person just says NO.

“Rejection is tough to take but you have to remember that a definitive negative answer has a positive impact too. Closure is good. You can move on,” explains Dan, “You have an opportunity to better target your prospects and avoid being too much of a pest. I wish more people would just say no. It is helpful to understand the reason and those stated will help you plan a strategy moving forward. There is nothing wrong or rude about a polite response like: No thank you. We are just not interested. We are happy with our existing resources. An answer like that doesn’t hurt my feelings. In fact I’m happy to know that I have done all I can do at that point in time.”

Just say No. And you’ll waste less time: yours and the hapless sales guys that keep calling. But listen too before you shut someone down. Every once in a while a sales guy really does have an incredible offer and perfect timing. (It might be Dan.)

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