I just finished a great easy read book by Fenton, Richard, and Andrea Waltz. Go for No!: Yes Is the Destination, No Is How You Get There. [Vancouver, WA]: CourageCrafters, 2008. Print. It is a great book, not just for salespeople but for anyone who is letting self-imposed limiting beliefs get in the way of success. One of the common weaknesses we find in salespeople when we evaluate them is that they have a high need for approval. They need to be liked more than they need to close the business.
You may have some of those folks on your team as well. They don’t hang in there and ask “why” when the prospect says “no” or says “I need to think it over”. Frequently it is because they are allergic to the word no. “No” symbolizes failure and as described in the book, we tend to avoid failing believing it will lead to becoming a failure. The book points out that failing and success are not on opposite ends of the spectrum. Failing is a stop on the path to success. Well-known examples are Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison. They both failed a number of times before attaining that ultimate success, but neither would view themselves as failures, nor would the general public. Clearly their “failures” were stops on the way to great successes.
Our salespeople can learn from this lesson. If we just slightly shifted their mindset to focusing on how many “no’s” they needed to get each week as opposed to how many “yes’s” they would keep plowing through even if they met their quota of sales for the week. If they got more than the usual number of sales, they would have to keep working hard to get those turndowns. If our salespeople kept pressing forward even after attaining their goals, think about the massive over-achieving that could happen.
While the concept is simple, it is a valuable lesson for salespeople, and most everyone who wants to achieve, grow and be great. Help your salespeople grow beyond their comfort zone and get them skilled in the art of seeking the “no”. Help them learn to embrace “no” as a process to getting to “yes”.
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