Customer Experience News & Trends

What prospects really mean when they say ‘no’

If “no’s” weren’t a natural part of the selling process, there would be no need for salespeople. What you do and say after hearing “no” will make a world of difference in your ability to close sales. 

Different meaning

Each “no” has a different meaning, requiring a different approach.

Here are two of the most common meanings of “no:”

  1. Unanswered questions. The prospect may not have all his or her questions or concerns answered yet. Confused prospects almost always say “no” to give themselves time to develop a clear view of your product or service.
  2. Inadequate explanation of benefits. The “no” simply may mean that you haven’t completed the education process of your product or service. Different prospects need different amounts of information before making a buying decision. A “no” under those conditions simply means the prospect needs more information.

Building trust

One of the most powerful times to build trust is after a buyer says “no.” By listening carefully and using the proper selling skills, you can continue to move the sale forward despite an initial “no” from the buyer.

When the buyer really means ‘no’

Even when the prospect is firm with a “no,” you still have a sale to make. The sale at this point is to win the opportunity to stay in touch with the prospect.

Getting a commitment to revisit the prospect at a later date takes some of the sting out of a “no.”

Adapted from: “When Buyers Say No,” by Tom Hopkins, a sales trainer.

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