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Sales Tip: Sell More by Hearing ”No” Early

One of the sales people I work with shared that she was struggling with a prospect. The prospect was polite, but aside from agreeing to continue the sales process was not sending any clear buying signals. In fact, she seemed a little distant. The sales rep was smart enough to ask, “Do I have a chance of selling you this system?” The prospect honestly answered, “No, my best friend sells for the competition.”

Of course she didn’t want to hear a no, but it would have been worse to continue along the “sales process” waisting time in a losing cause.  She was able to thank the prospect and get to work with people that she did have a chance of selling.

If you want to sell more business in less time be willing to hear no earlier rather than later. If your pipeline is small or you’ve not closed a deal lately you might start pressing and miss the clues the prospect is giving.  You’ll be focused on what you need to say to change their mind instead of listening to the no.

Sometimes doing what seems contrary is the exact thing we need to do. Don’t be afraid of hearing no, and especially be willing to hear it earlier than later. A no, might be what you need to hear from a current prospect to help you hit your sales target.

Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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