A 'No' Today is Not Always a No Tomorrow

Rejection is tough. Selling is tough. Being good, or even great, at this profession is tough.


We hear no a lot. And this is where it could get complicated. Do we actually hear no, or is it not now?


Confidence. Doubt. Skill. Fear. Attitude. Preparedness. Activity. Effort. Results.


Did we assume someone was going to say no, wanted to say no, or maybe was just not in a position to say yes? Did we overcomplicate the ask? Did we not clearly articulate the ask?


Pandemic life might have even exasperated how complicated rejection can be. Maybe we even internalize no more than we used to and take it personally. When in reality, this new "normal" is still complicated, exhausting and hard to navigate.


Even your close contacts, trusted connections, and people you've known for years might be having a hard time getting back to you, or making commitments.


Are we hearing no verbally, in writing, through other channels? Or maybe someone is ghosting us - intentionally or accidentally? Or, an even more philosophical question, are we hearing no in our heads and cannot move through the fear of rejection that brings?


Sometimes the no is not a no at all. And a real no today is not always a no tomorrow.


Call people who said no to you in 2020. Call people who said not now to you in 2020. Strike up a conversation. Begin a dialogue. What do you have to lose? What do you have to gain?


Usually, I am more focused on motivating and inspiring sales professionals to strive to be the best versions of themselves. Talking about the negative, and the rejection (or fear of rejection), feels out of place. I rarely write about or comment on this element of the sales profession. And yet...it is timely, and hopefully helpful today that I did.


No is often masked by comments like, "this looks good, we'll get back to you." Or, "thanks for sharing, we'll consider what you've provided." Or, "it's a really busy time right now, call me in a few months."


Selling is often one human being to another. Except of course when it's more than that. There are eight billion people in the world. Do the math. We aren't all going to click perfectly with everyone we interact with. Don't overcomplicate what you are trying to accomplish. An introduction? A first meeting? A presentation? An invitation to an event?


5 Ways to Combat Hearing No (even if it's only in your head)

  1. Figure out how much activity you need to generate at the front end of your sales process to have more than enough leads and first connections

  2. Generate leads through many sources, including personal and professional introductions

  3. Role play each step of the process - with someone you trust - specifically testing how to pivot and navigate when you hear objections or "not right now" comments

  4. Reflect on some of the "yeses" you've heard over the last year - can you replicate any of the circumstances that led to the yeses?

  5. Read books that will motivate you, inspire you, and teach you to see the no objectively as something that happens in sales, business, and life


Confidence. Doubt. Skill. Fear. Attitude. Preparedness. Activity. Effort. Results.


#youvegotthis

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