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Rule #43 -You don’t learn how to win by getting a “YES” …

… You learn how to win by getting a “NO.”  This rule has been pivotal for me in my own professional selling career.  It liberated me and made me realize that I can fly as high as I want.  A rule? Really? Yep!
Sales Professionals put too much pressure and value on the word “YES.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I love that word because that is what pays the bills; however, we internalize “NO.”  It is seen as failure, and it chips away at our identity, and that’s when the negative self-talk begins. Look, selling is hard.  It’s a profession where you get to experience rejection all day long, every day.  What we fail to realize is that how we look at this rejection is a choice. 
In my past life I worked on a sales team.  There were a few of us and in our daily huddles we would talk about the victories of the previous day.  It was painful initially.  I’d go sometimes two or three days without having anything to contribute. I was focused on the “YES” and sometimes a week or more went by between them. My team was focused that way too, then we were presented with a challenge to look at “NO” and the rejection that comes along with it through a different lens.  We were asked to keep track of the “NO’s” that we got and then celebrate them.  (This was a very foreign concept, after all we had a victory bell in the office that we rang to celebrate a new client!)
We were taught that the idea behind celebrating the “NO” was a way to reshape our thinking around selling and what we were doing as a business development team.  See, a “NO” is really a win from the perspective of it being one less obstacle in my way of getting to a “YES.”  It is one less thing that I have to distract me from my mission of success.  Sales professionals spend way too much time hoping/praying/trying/chasing to get a “NO” to be something other than what it is. 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m super competitive and I hate to lose, but if it’s truly a “NO” then let’s call it that, not one of the many thousands of things that make it sound prettier than what it is:

“I’ll send you some literature…”

“I’ll follow up in a few weeks…"

“Give it some thought, and I’ll circle back…”

“Sure, I’ll be one of many to reply to the RFP…”

And on and on and on…

Of course, we say these things above and then we go to our managers and say “I have a great opportunity, just wait!
(Side Note:  If you or your team has said any of the above in the last week or two then you may want some help in your sales process and strategy, just sayin’)
I’m challenging you to re-think “NO.”  Fight hard to identify it and call it out for what it is.  Stop hanging on to wishy-washy words in hopes that it will magically be something else.  At the end of the day, the better you become at “NO,” the more proficient you’ll become at “YES!”

A simple tweak of our attitude or mindset in relation to prospecting can make an incredible difference in the return that we get from whatever the prospecting activity is. Want to learn more? Reach out to us or better yet, come crash a class and learn how to maximize your ROI on your activities.

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