Sales Tip – Basing your sales call goals on getting told NO!

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So you have read the title of this blog and you must be thinking I have lost my mind, but this is not a new sales tip. Throughout my career in sales and marketing, I have heard this strategy in several different variations. I am not sure who originally coined it and definitely not taking credit for its invention, but I think it is very beneficial technique to generate business. Personally, I compare this approach to a similar strategy for playing Blackjack. Side note, I’m a horrible Blackjack player and seem to be the guy who can have a 20 with the dealer showing a 6 and inevitably the dealer will pull a 5 card for 21! But…I am not crazy; this really is a good sales tip. I have heard it from other professionals and it makes sense.

  • The approach is similar to playing the odds in Blackjack in that you will not, just by simple laws of averages, lose every time.
  • The Blackjack method is to increase your bet by double each time you lose and then you make money by playing smart on the slam dunk hands (Double downs and Splits). This way you should always break even, until your bank roll runs out or you have reached the table limit. Challenges arise with being okay with the amount of money spent when you have lost several times in a row, as well as dealing with other people at the same table who do not play by the book.

So, how do we apply this to sales? As noted above, I have horrible luck at Blackjack, but fortunately have not had the same experience with sales. Let’s say that on average you get one Yes for every ten No’s in your sales contacts; and use that average to go out there and be successful.

  • Make it a personal goal each day to get ten No’s (your number will vary) before you are done for the day making sales calls. This means some days you are done with sales calls in the matter of an hour or two, and others you might be in for a long day. The long days are actually good because that means that you are getting several Maybe’s and Yes’s!

Now to deal with the challenges…

  • The first is your “bank roll and table limit”. In this case the bank roll equals your time and energy. Let’s put this into perspective, no matter how wonderful of a product or how successful you are at the rest of the business, if you or someone in your team is not putting massive amounts of time and energy into sales, you are likely to have a hobby, not a business. You need sales to make your business successful, so get out there! Think about chasing No’s!
  • The second issue is dealing with the other people at the table, the things that are out of your control. For example, potential customers may not have much need for your product or they have prior relationships with another business that is meeting the needs of the company, which are legitimate reasons for saying No. To make the most out of a NO, listen to the potential customer to understand what they need and how they do business, you may be surprised that with an open mind you can adjust your sales approach to change a No to a Yes. Keep yourself in front of that lead in a non-aggressive way and maybe one day, you will be there to help the customer. Overall, just make sure there is some value to you in those No’s.

Now get out there and start getting orders! Post some comments about what No’s you get and why.

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