a ‘no’ vote can be positive

Early in my radio sales career, I received a large order from a client whose business we had been trying to win for quite awhile. The owners were ecstatic and made a big deal out of it by letting the entire staff know. Needless to say, I was proud of that accomplishment.

However, the very next day, the local newspaper published that a controversial talk show host had been hired at the station. By the time I got to work, the client had called to cancel the order. They were adamant about not associating with that personality. I was crushed.

After experiencing every emotional response you can name, my resolve kicked in. So did the determination to never get caught in that situation again.

A germ of understanding took root. This loss was on me because I never asked them what might cause them to cancel their business. Nor had I asked what we needed to deliver to make them heroes for purchasing with us. Knowing these answers I could have crafted a solution giving them access while guaranteeing they wouldn’t’ be placed in that personality’s show. My bad. Tough lesson learned.

None of us want to hear the word ‘no’, but ‘no’ is only a directional. Hearing ‘no’ is a potential outcome from every interaction with prospects.

Be encouraged, not discouraged, by each ‘no’ you receive. Work to get to a ‘no’ vote sooner rather later. When you do, two things will happen: you will be better positioned to create a pathway to ‘yes’; and, you learn early on in the process if there isn’t a fit. Hearing ‘no’ can actually make you more effective and efficient.


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