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11 Feb 2014

The 20 Things that 'No' Could Mean

Whether you are in sales, marketing, business development, support or management, you will come across the answer 'No' many times at work. Many people equate 'No' to 'No Opportunity' or 'No Chance', when in fact No can mean over 20 things as follows:
  1. Know More.  Here the customer wants to know more, and if you don't tell him, he will say no
  2. Still Thinking.  Many people hate to decide immediately as they don't want to be seen as rash
  3. Procrastinate. People procrastinate because it gives them a comfy feeling that they're in control, when in fact procrastination simply puts you higher risk as things may change.
  4. OK but not Strong enough to say yes.  This is the most common, when you feel that there is still certain things lacking but you just don't know what it is now.
  5. Test Your Patience.  Here saying no will test if you're serious to pursue further or just give up
  6. Need to Clarify First.  People will ask questions to clarify first, and say no is easier than yes.
  7. Wrong Timing.  Like your first date, you say no to go to his house as your parents are at home!
  8. Pricing.  This is the most common reason, for price is the one of the top 3 factors to consider before yes.  The other 2 factors are Suitability and Credibility.
  9. Mis-match of Needs.  Since they cannot get satisfaction from what you offer, they say no.
  10. Perception issue.  Very common when you're new or unknown, people will perceive your quality to be poor. That's why they say no.  But if you are McDonalds, they'll say yes. (read the blog on The 36 Stratagems of McDonalds at here)
  11. Financing.  Here people cannot afford it now but to save themselves from embarrassment, they pretend it is other issues and insist on saying no.
  12. Dislike. When people don't like and trust you, they will never say.
  13. Credibility issue.  There is simply no trust in what you are offering now.
  14. Evaluation.  Upon evaluation by the experts, they realised that they cannot say yes.
  15. Management issue.  Often management has certain preferences and they simply cannot say yes to someone that they think are not up to the mark.
  16. Subsequent Change of Mind
  17. Competing Offers force people to say no. Like Apple's iPhone 5s, people say no because they realized that Samsung's S4 is better.
  18. Business Strategy issue.  Whenever there is a change of strategy, people will hold back yes.
  19. New things happening, making saying yes impossible.
  20. Business Structure change, thereby re-starting the whole process. Saying no is natural.
The key is that we should never take no as the final answer.  Neither should we feel discouraged or rejected. As can be seen from the above, there could be at least 20 reasons why people say no, and none of them is attributed to you.  So if you are a salesperson, manager or specialists, you must learn to accept no as a norm.  The best way is to interpret the 'no' as 'need to know more'.  Follow-up several times with the prospect and soon they will be moved by your sincerity and say yes. Because we know it is not the big fish that eats the small fish, but the persistent fish that eats all fishes!  So my friend, take no in your stride and you will strive to success!

By Andy Ng, Sales and Management Trainer at Asia Trainers, details of courses at here.

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