Business Development TacticsSales ProcessSales Tips

When to Persist Even after You Hear the Word “No”

By June 28, 2011December 21st, 2015No Comments


Today we bring you a guest post from The Whale Hunters Certified Partner, Loretta Love Huff, headquartered in Phoenix.  Enjoy!

Many sales people give up on their dreams because they worry about and try to avoid that feeling of rejection that comes when a prospect says “No”.  It’s a natural concern.  No one really wants to feel like a reject in life. However, it is a word that successful sales people must navigate past if they are to close deals, especially big ones.

When you hear “No”, it’s important to discern the story behind the “No”.

Here are 3 reasons someone may say “No” and what you can do to navigate past it.

1. Your prospect isn’t in touch with the value of what you offer.

Ask more questions about the challenges she is experiencing for which your offer is the solution to their problem.  Walk them through calculating the cost of either not doing anything or the upside if the problem is overcome.

For example, “What opportunities have you missed out on because you haven’t dealt with ______?”  “If you landed just one new client (or reduced one expense item), how much would that add to your sales (or profits)? “

2. It’s not an urgent issue for them right now or they’re afraid of the change it will bring

They may not admit to a fear directly, so you’ll have to use your empathy barometer to identify this.  Remind them of the benefits using their words of getting to their desired end goal and assure them you’ll be with them as they navigate through the change process.  Explain the steps but don’t complicate things. Keep asking what questions they have.

If it’s not something they have to have, there isn’t much motivation for them to invest right now.  “An undisturbed prospect won’t buy.” Conducting the cost analysis above might make it more urgent for them. If not, find out what situation might make it an urgent issue (Whale Sign) and then send them back to “Baja”.

3. They can’t muster the investment required

Ask if some part of them does want to move forward. If so, have the part that isn’t ready articulate the fears and concerns they feel. Sometimes just giving voice to those fears will reduce the anxiety.  Resist the urge to “overcome” their concerns.  Be empathetic, but follow up with questions about what they are going to do to resolve their issue.

If it’s a cash flow issue, discuss payment options.

A couple of studies have revealed that only 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact while 80% of sales are made on the 5th contact or later.  Yet 48% of all salespeople give up after the first contact, 25% after the 2nd and 17% after the 3rd.  This means that 90% of the salespeople give up before 80% of the sales will ever be made!  Stand out from the crowd and build an extraordinary business.

Loretta Love Huff, a Certified Whale Hunter Partner is an award-winning business consultant and coach. She has a BS in Psychology from Howard University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago. Visit her at