Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 07, 2016, 11:54:02 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Only take a NO from someone who can say YES  (Read 2838 times)

Paul Keith

  • Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 1,982
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Only take a NO from someone who can say YES
« on: June 06, 2010, 12:56:08 AM »
Common knowledge but I still have a hard time learning to develop this tough skin. That's why I decided to post this article even if it's light on examples because someone might want to think about this and haven't.

http://manylogue.com...he-power-to-say-yes/

Quote
Finding the right person to say the ultimate NO is the only way to be sure that a deal will not happen.  Until you get to that person, a rejection by somebody else along the way may be for all the wrong reasons: he has his own agenda, he doesn’t understand the value of what you are selling, he doesn’t want to bother, etc.  It is certainly not easy to do, but the bottom line is that you should not accept a NO from somebody who does not have the power to say YES.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Only take a NO from someone who can say YES
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 02:14:53 PM »
Far better to pre-qualify your prospects such that you only talk to the person who can say "yes" to begin with.

Old adage: Confine your sales efforts to those who are truly M.A.D.

These are the people who have the:  

Money available

Authority to make the purchase

Desire to acquire your product or service

Your sales efforts and presentation times increases dramatically each time you 'pitch' to someone who lacks one or more of the above three characteristics. And in many cases, it can even jeopardize your prospects down the road.

It's also important to realize that your presentation can only effect the level of desire to make the purchase. It has absolutely NO effect on a person's available money or authority to commit.

So be sure to do your absolute best to first determine if the purchase funds are available - or have a real possibility of being made available. Don't let unbridled optimism blind you to obvious tire-kicking, "cozy" interviews, cattle-calls, or attempts to elicit free services before an actual sale is made.

Second, be sure you are talking to the person with the authority to commit. The only reason for speaking to someone without purchase authority is if that person is genuinely acting as gatekeeper to the actual decision maker.

After that - put on your 'sales hat' and knock yourself out! ;D

It's good advice. I cut my sales efforts in half and upped my conversion rate significantly while still reducing my company's sales lead/cycle time by pre-qualifying clients whenever possible.

Go git 'em Tiger! :Thmbsup:


« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 02:25:14 PM by 40hz »

steeladept

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,059
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Only take a NO from someone who can say YES
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2010, 12:33:45 PM »
The only caveat to that is that often, the person who has the M&A are far, sometimes very far, removed from those who have the D.  Moreover, the person(s) who have the D may not like what you are pushing down their throat by woeing the person who has the money and authority.  This happens at my company all the time.  To avoid the people who don't have the money and or authority, the saleforces usually go to the top and work down.  They woe the CIO or General Manager who dictates that we make it work in our system which, by design, won't.  Granted, this doesn't affect the salesman directly who made the sale to the stupid CIO who was too important to ask his "underlings" if it will work, if it will help, and if it will be cost effective; but it leaves a very bad taste in everyone's mouth for that company even if they do have good offerings.

The end result from a successful sale is (from good to bad):

1)  You have a good win-win relationship that works for everybody (what you want)
2)  You have a sale that is passable and *May* fix a percieved problem, but causes more problems.
3)  You have a sale that is subsequently unusable and does not get used leaving a bad taste in the company's mouth about your company (even if you do have a moneyback guarantee).

The end result could be even worse on an unsuccessful sale:

1)  You could have a great product that never gets a champion (usually the end user) because they don't know it exists and/or that it is possible they could get it.  By the time they do hear about it, the decision is made and the person with authority denys any possibility of getting it because the decision was already made.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 12:41:20 PM by steeladept »

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Only take a NO from someone who can say YES
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2010, 02:01:50 PM »
To avoid the people who don't have the money and or authority, the saleforces usually go to the top and work down.

A super-dumb move to be sure. You can't afford to alienate the people who will be using the product or are responsible for "making it happen."

But there's a difference between when you're "selling" and when you're  'wooing', informing, or otherwise educating. You should do the last three with everyone who has a stake in the outcome. These people are all gatekeepers.

The point I was trying to make was that you don't try to sell something to people whose job isn't to buy.

A sales pitch will always include an element of pressure, no matter how slight, that you don't want to introduce until you absolutely have to. And the only time you have to is when you finally "pop the question" and ask for the sale.

My criteria for calling something a "good sale" is pretty simple. A good sale is one that makes sense for both the seller and the buyer. It "makes sense" when the customer's requirements are met or exceeded, at an affordable price and within an acceptable time frame, by a product or service the seller is genuinely capable of delivering - and supporting after the sale.

We usually think of it as: Done correctly, on time, within budget - and no bad surprises.

 8)


steeladept

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,059
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Only take a NO from someone who can say YES
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2010, 09:57:22 AM »
Ah yes.  That is the best outcome to be sure.  Unfortunately, that isn't the way it works often times.  I did read into your statements and consider selling the entire process whereas you were speaking strictly of the sales pitch, presumably after all the marketing and buy-in have occurred.  There is, indeed, a difference between the two. 

In my company, and I would presume in many older companies as well as egotistically run younger companies, the top often gets taken in by the fawning over them at the ego stroking that is often accompanied with sales.  They feel because they have the authority, they also have the knowledge and, therefore, don't get others involved.  Now this is often not the case as well, don't think I am overgeneralizing here, but there is a great deal of ego-stroking that tends to go into a sales process - and many manager's egos confuse authority with knowledge.  I think most salesmen know this, and many, if not most, will use this if and when they see it.  As I said, I have seen many products purchased because it is a great idea from the marketer to solve an issue the manager identifies, but that was never run past the workers to determine suitability and then ends up shelved or making issues much worse than they were without the product. 

If you don't work from the bottom up, how will you be able to identify the issues and target your products?  If you don't get the buy-in from the bottom, who will champion the product internally?  And getting back to the point, if they say No, and you don't accept it, how can you expect to have a champion or get buy-in by going through with the sales process?

With your separation of definition, I can sort of see where you are coming from; but once the No is stated, even in your definition of sale, you are in most cases alienating those very same stakeholders. The ONLY situation I can see where you are not is when the purchasing department (Money only, no authority or desire) says No, but the manager has the authority to override them and say yes.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Only take a NO from someone who can say YES
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2010, 10:44:10 AM »
^You raise several excellent points.

One thing we insist on is speaking to the users before we finalize our proposal. We've caught tons of mis-spec'ed details and avoided several hundred headaches this way.

We always tell management that our experience has taught us that end-users make some of the best systems analysts - because they know their jobs cold.

We've only occasionally had a problem with being allowed to do that. And in the three or four cases where we were not granted access, we took a big deep breath and declined to offer a proposal.

The reason we do this is because very early in the history of our company, we made the mistake of letting a company with major labor relation issues dictate to us how we should accomplish our job. That project turned out to be a total nightmare in terms of financial and personal costs. It was the only project failure my company had in over 20 years of business. And we have no intention of repeating such a mistake.

In retrospect, the single most valuable sales "skill" you can acquire is the ability (or permission  - if you work for someone else) to walk away from a bad sale. Like the old song says, you gotta know when to hold, when to fold, and when to just walk away.

Learning to say "no" to a potential customer is much more important than learning how to avoid getting a "no" from them.
 :Thmbsup:
  

« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 12:38:24 PM by 40hz »

steeladept

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,059
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Only take a NO from someone who can say YES
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2010, 11:27:14 AM »
Sounds like you work for a great company that many should learn from.  :Thmbsup:

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Only take a NO from someone who can say YES
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2010, 12:37:10 PM »
^Don't know if it's that great.

But it tries very hard to operate ethically, as well as in a logical and consistent manner.

And it is my own...so any failings it has are my direct reponsibility. 

Note: It's also not spectacularly profitable. (we have definitely felt the pinch from the recent economic downturn in the market sector we're in.)  But our clients love us. And people seem to like working for us.

So I'd consider it a success.  

Feel free to draw what lessons and conclusions you will from that.  ;D

steeladept

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,059
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Only take a NO from someone who can say YES
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2010, 12:45:12 PM »
And it is my own...
So therefore it has got to be great, right  :P :Thmbsup: